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Thread: How much can I expect to pay for the turning of some MDF spheres?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Madison, WI
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    How much can I expect to pay for the turning of some MDF spheres?

    I have a speaker project that requires some spherical enclosures. After much searching, it seems that short of casting out of concrete, the best way to make the finished product would be to buy two wooden bowls from IKEA and glue them together. That said, IKEA products are not used for speaker building for a variety of reasons, including resonance, appearance, cost, and the fact that I'd have to drive all the way to Chicago to get them.

    Anywho, I'm wondering how much it would cost to have some spheres (specifically, four more-or-less identical hemispheres) turned on a lathe. By stacking rings of decreasing diameter on top of each other I can approximate the shape of a sphere pretty well, but I'd need someone with a lathe to make them properly round. Exact precision isn't that important, but they do have to appear identical to the naked eye.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Calling any spiny guys in Wi. Please come to the front of the bus
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Grand Rapids, MI
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    Well....

    Ok, so I ain't in WI, but just out of curiosity, how big are we talking? That's gonna play a big factor in pricing, as well as what machinery is required to complete the project. Also, how many complete spheres did you need?

    Hutch

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Ok, so I ain't in WI, but just out of curiosity, how big are we talking? That's gonna play a big factor in pricing, as well as what machinery is required to complete the project. Also, how many complete spheres did you need?

    Hutch
    About 10" in diameter, and only two complete spheres are required. I can assemble a set of very rough spheres by cutting lots of circles and gluing them together, but getting them all the way to a proper sphere shape is the tricky bit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
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    Not Cheap

    Well, I haven't turned MDF before, but I would imagine it would involve frequent sharpening. Also, how thick can they be?

    As for general cost, if the blanks for the hemispheres were already glued up (with good/safe joints), and they could be glued together (by me) to make the final shape, then I would probably charge around $200 (not including shipping).

    Hutch

    P.S. Plus, there would be no guarantees that they would be 10" diameter on the dot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Well, I haven't turned MDF before, but I would imagine it would involve frequent sharpening. Also, how thick can they be?

    As for general cost, if the blanks for the hemispheres were already glued up (with good/safe joints), and they could be glued together (by me) to make the final shape, then I would probably charge around $200 (not including shipping).

    Hutch

    P.S. Plus, there would be no guarantees that they would be 10" diameter on the dot.
    Hmm. A little out of my price range.

    I guess I'll try Plan B, which is cast concrete. Making the moulds is a bugger, but it's hard to argue with the cost!

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