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Article: How to Make and Fit Loudspeaker Gaskets.

DIY Speaker Gaskets.

      When constructing loudspeakers it is important, (for correct operation), that an air-tight seal is achieved between the driver and it's cabinet.

      Professional manufacturers often have custom gaskets provided for use with the drivers but it is rare in the DIY world that the purchase of drivers is accompanied by a gasket of any variety whatever. Occasionally a strip seal may be provided but not often.

      QTA can provide closed cell, self-adhesive Neoprene strip seal in 3 widths and 2 thicknesses for DIYers to construct their own driver gaskets.

  How to fit closed cell Neoprene strip.

      The strip is coated with an aggressive / high tack paper-backed adhesive which once applied is difficult to remove, (depending upon surface characteristics) and works well with clean MDF. The thinner width materials 5mm may be better suited for tweeters as the narrow width allows easier tracking / placement around smaller diameter cut-outs.

Speaker gasket strip
(1) Find Gasket Length

(1) Without removing the backing strip, use the strip to measure around the edge of the cut-out. Note the tape is placed on edge for this measurement as it then flexes around the bends better. See fig(1). The strip should be cut marginally longer than the required length leaving about 20mm overlap of the two cut ends. This allows the use of a splice / diagonal cut, through the tape giving a better air-tight seal than a straight butt joint.

Partially fitted speaker gasket strip
(2) Partially Fitted

(2) Peel off the backing strip and position the tape in place, fig(2). Ensure the tape passes on the inner side of any screw holes used to fix drivers to their cabinet, (a source for potential  leaks, as air can leak through the screw threads). 

Positioning gasket strip for cutting
(3) Ready For Splicing

(3) Using a sharp scalpel or craft knife make a diagonal cut / splice through both pieces of gasket material. fig(3). You really do need a sharp blade for this to achieve a good flush joint. Remove the waste pieces of material from both strip ends.

Final fitting of gasket strip.
(4) Completed Joint

(4) Butt the two angled / spliced ends together and press the whole tape firmly into place. Fig(4) shows the final result.

      Under normal compression the material will compress to around 10% of its original thickness, so, for a 5mm thick strip, this will compress to around 0.5mm. This information may be helpful if you are machining driver cut-outs for a flush fit, otherwise....... it's no real problem.

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