A carpet subwoofer box is a way to reduce the amount of space taken up by the subwoofer for installation purposes. The carpeting covers the subwoofer so it looks more like an ordinary piece of furniture than an audio device. With this blog post, Hooke Audio will guide you step by step on a How to carpet subwoofer box.
How To Carpet Subwoofer Box
Part 1: Preparing Your Materials
If you have the subwoofer already installed, take it out of the box. Locate the screws that hold the subwoofer speaker to the box. Use a screwdriver to loosen them. Lift the speaker from the hole until all the wires and cords are pulled through it. To prevent damage, you can set the subwoofer aside as you work on the box. (You can purchase carpet from any car audio dealer who builds enclosures.)
- You should not leave the subwoofer unattended while covering the box. Carpet will not lay flush with the speaker and could cause damage.
To calculate the area of the box, measure its dimensions. Write down the measurements of the box’s length, width, and depth. The equation 2(LxW) + 2 (WxD) + 2 (LxD) is where L is the length, W is the width, and D is the depth. To calculate the area that the carpet will cover, use a calculator.
- If your box measures 24x12x10 in (61x30x25 cm), your equation would be 2(24×12) + 2(12x 10) + (2(24×10).
- Next, simplify the parentheticals by adding 2(288) +2(120) +2(240).
- Add the numbers together: 576 + 240 + 480.
- Add the numbers together to calculate the surface area. The total box surface area is 1,296 sq. inches (0.836m 2).
- If you don’t have a rectangular box for subwoofers, measure each side and add them together.
The liner carpet should be cut 6 inches (15 cm) wider than the box’s perimeter. Liner carpet should be lint-free, match the interior of your vehicle or the area where the subwoofer is to be kept. To ensure you have enough carpet, measure the length of the box from the end that is closest to the box’s edge. You can cut carpet to the right length with a pair of scissors.
- If your box measures 24x12x10 in (61x30x25 cm) the perimeter at the short end will equal 2(12+10), which would simplify to 44 inches (110cm). The length of carpet will be 50 inches (130cm) if you add 6 inches (15cm) to it.
- You can wrap the box with one continuous piece of carpet if you use a carpet that is longer than its perimeter.
- Liner carpets can be purchased online, at an auto supply store, or carpet shop.
- You should avoid using carpet with thick backing as it won’t bend or be able to bend it around the box.
Variation: Vinyl upholstery can be used in place of carpet.
The carpet should be cut as wide as the length and width of the entire box. To find the measurement, add the length and width of each box together. You will need to use scissors and a straightedge in order to cut carpet to the right width to wrap around the ends. This will ensure that there are no unattractive seams at the edges of your box, and it will appear one piece.
- If your box measures 24 x 12×10 in (61x30x25 cm), carpet width would be 24 + 12, or 36 inches (91cm).
Place the liner carpet on a flat surface. Because the adhesive you use emits toxic fumes, find a flat area in an area that is well-ventilated. Place your carpet flat on the ground, with the good side facing down. Smoothen out any wrinkles to make it flat.
- Do not place the carpet face up, as it can cause it to be reversed when it is attached to the box.
- To keep your work area properly ventilated, open the windows and use a fan.
Place the box in the middle and face the speaker hole. Place the box in the middle so that carpet extends beyond the short ends of the box by the same distance on each side. To ensure that carpet covers all of the wood, wrap the carpet around the long sides of the box. If necessary, adjust the position of the box.
If you place the speaker hole facing up, carpet seam will be visible on the front side of the subwoofer box. It may not look as neat.
Part 2: Wrapping Carpet Around The Long Sides
Contact cement can be applied to the sides of carpet. To ensure that the cement is well mixed, use a stir stick. Dip your paintbrush in the cement, and then apply a thin layer of cement to one side of the box parallel to the carpet. Spread the cement directly on the area of carpet that is rectangular below the one you have just finished.
- Contact cement is an adhesive that sticks directly to itself. It can be purchased at your local hardware store.
- Spray adhesives are also available. To ensure it sticks better, apply it to carpet and to the box.
Tip: Contact cement sticks best to itself so make sure you apply it to the box as well as the carpet. Otherwise, it could be more difficult to remove.
Allow the cement to dry for about 10-15 minutes. It is best to avoid working on the cement while it’s still damp. Otherwise, it will not adhere properly. To make sure the adhesive is dry but tacky, test it with your finger.
Spray adhesive doesn’t have to dry before you can start using it.
The box’s glued side should be pulled against the carpet tight. Pull the carpet tightly until it is straight. Slowly lift the carpet up and press it against the adhesive-covered side of the box. Wrap carpet edge around the box’s top and smoothen any wrinkles with your hands.
To smoothen wrinkles in the fabric, you can also use a plastic scratcher.
You can remove wrinkles and folds from carpet by carefully peeling it back and stretching it again. You can usually adjust the carpet one to two times without having to reapply adhesive.
Place the side that you have just glued onto the box. Flip the box over so that the speaker hole is visible. You must be careful not to pull carpet from the side that you have just glued.
Glue the carpet to any side with the speaker hole. Apply the contact cement to both the side with the speaker holes and the rectangular section below. Let the contact cement dry completely before you stretch carpet tight against the side. You can smoothen any wrinkles by hand.
- You can cover the speaker hole with carpet, as you will eventually have to remove it.
Use contact cement to attach the carpet to the third side. The speaker hole is on the left side of the box. Apply the contact cement to the side adjacent to it and carpet below. Once the contact cement has dried, you can pull carpet onto the wood and smoothen it. You should now have two flaps of carpet on the third side. These will fold over to the back of your box.
- Do not glue the third side to the speaker hole. You won’t then be able to use the contact cement.
Part 3: Cutting the Back Seam and Speaker Hole
Apply the contact cement to both the back and ends of the carpet. Apply a thin coat of contact cement to the back of your box. It should point up at this point. Next, coat carpet with it. Let the contact cement dry completely so that it can adhere better to itself.
- Make sure that your carpet flaps do not touch the adhesive. Otherwise, they could stick together and make it difficult to remove.
Place the sides of your carpet on the back, so that they overlap by 3.0 inches (7.6 cm). Press one of the carpet flaps against the back of your box. Smoothen any wrinkles as much as possible, starting at the edges and working towards the center. Fold the second flap so that it overlaps slightly the first one. The carpet should be pressed down so that it sticks to the wood.
- You can trim the pieces if you feel carpet is too high in the overlapped area.
You should make a seam running the length of your box so that it passes through both layers of carpet. Place a straightedge parallel to the edges of your carpet. It will run through the middle of the box. Use a utility knife to insert the utility knife in the carpet along the box’s edge. Then drag the blade along this straightedge until it cuts through both carpet layers. If the blade is not able to cut through both carpet pieces in one cut, continue to go over the area until the blade feels the wood beneath.
- If the blade slips, always cut away from your body.
- You can leave a scratch or a dent in the wood, as it will be covered by the carpet.
Be aware: A dull blade can leave a ragged edge that will make your seam look unattractive.
Take out any overlapping pieces to make sure the carpet has a perfect seam. The top flap of the carpet should be removed. Next, remove the top flap and expose the bottom flap. Take the piece of carpet that was cut from the bottom flap of the wood and tear it away.
- You can use a plastic scraper to remove the carpet cut pieces.
To secure the carpet flaps back on the box, press them down. Make sure the top carpet flap is pulled tighter so that the edge aligns perfectly with the bottom flap. Use firm pressure on the top flap to smoothen out wrinkles. The flaps should look flat against the wood with a straight seam in the middle.
- You don’t need to reapply adhesive. However, if your carpet isn’t sticking to the wood again, you might have to apply another layer.
Take the carpet that covers the speaker hole and cut it off. Flip the speaker box so that the speaker hole is facing up. To locate the hole, press down on the carpet. The knife blade should be pushed through the carpet. Next, slowly shave towards the edge of the hole. To remove the circular section, follow the outline of the hole with the blade. Slowly work so that your cuts are clean and straight against the edge.
- Look for any loose carpet sections around the box’s side or back. There may be ports for additional speakers or cords. These should be cut in the same manner.
Watch this video to know the way to carpet a subwoofer enclosure in just a few minutes with no special tools.
Part 4: Securing the Carpet to the Short Ends
To create flaps, cut the carpet from the box’s corners towards the edges. Place your blade on the corner of the box, and then make a straight cut towards the edge. Continue to snip the corners of the carpet until you reach the edge. Each short end should have 4 rectangular flaps.
- The carpet can be easily folded over by separating the edges into flaps.
Spread contact cement and wood on one side of the box. To make it easier to work on the subwoofer box, stand it up on one of the shorter ends. Apply a thin coat of contact cement to the box’s shorter end. Apply the cement to all of the carpet flaps. Let the cement dry for about 10-15 minutes or until it feels dry.
- After applying the contact cement, make sure that the flaps do not touch each other. They will stick together making it difficult to separate.
Note on Contact cement:
All contact cement uses solvents that must evaporate in order for the adhesive to become dry. The solvent evaporates and causes the surface to cool. Condensation will occur on surfaces if the humidity is high enough (as it is in Louisiana). The moisture can cause the bond to become weaker. It’s better to wait until a more dry day if the humidity is too high in your area.
You may need to use a heat gun if the humidity is too high in your area or because it’s cold and damp. You should ensure that you have plenty of ventilation if you use a heat gun. Even though contact cement is non-flammable, you still need to have plenty of ventilation.
Place the top and bottom flaps on the end, so that they overlap. The flaps perpendicularly to the speaker hole should be found. Press the flap against the wood until the contact cement sticks to it. To ensure that the box is flat, smoothen out any wrinkles along the edges. Next, fold the top flap so that it overlaps with the first and press down.
- For now, leave the flaps at the front and back open.
With your utility knife, make a straight seam in the middle of the flaps. Place a straightedge in the middle of your short end, parallel to the edges for the top and bottom flaps. Use your straightedge to guide you, cut through the flaps at their overlap to create a new seam. To make it easy to remove the carpet pieces, ensure that the blade passes through both the carpet and the padding.
- Take the knife off your body to prevent any injuries if it slips.
To remove the sections of the cut carpet, peel the flaps upwards and press them down. Before carefully peeling off the adhesive, remove the carpet from the top. Find the section of carpet you want to cut from the bottom flap. Then, tear it off. Press the top flap down until the edges are aligned. Then, create a straight seam in the middle of your box by pressing it back down.
- If you are having trouble removing the carpet from the wood, you can use a plastic scraper.
Fold the flap towards the front of your box. Pull the flap on the box’s side with the speaker hole tight. Smoothen the wrinkles by pressing the flap on top of the bottom and top flaps. The front flap can overlap pieces already attached to the box.
- Do not fold the flap at the back of your box immediately. It will make it more difficult for you to make your cuts.
Between the corners of the front flap, cut a 3 in (7.6cm) curve. For the front flap, place your knife blade in one corner. The blade should be dragged through the carpet in a half-moon curve to create a concave curve. It should extend about 3 inches (7.6cm) from the edge. Your cut should end in the corner of the front flap. To ensure that you get through all layers of carpet, continue the cut along the front flap 1-2 times.
- A curve can be used to create a neat seam at the box’s end.
Tip: To make it easier to cut the curve without a guideline, you can use a piece of chalk or a marker washable to draw the contour.
Take out the sections that are not needed to make the curve flush with the box. You can discard the cutout part of the front flap by ripping it off. The front flap is curved and can be removed to reveal the carpet pieces from the top, bottom, and side flaps. Before pressing down on the wood, remove any carpet pieces that aren’t needed. Make sure the curve is aligned with the cut-in bottom flaps to ensure they don’t overlap.
- Curves hide seams better than straight cuts and are less obvious.
Fold the back flap and cut it so that it curves. This creates a perfect seam. The back flap should be stretched tight. Make a curve parallel to the front flap. You can lift the back flap to remove the pieces of the carpet underneath. The back flap should be pressed down so that it is flush with the rest.
- It’s OK if the curves don’t look exactly the same.
Continue the process at the opposite end of the box. Turn the box upside down so that the short end of the box is facing up. Allow the contact cement to dry on the flaps and wood. Begin with the top and bottom flaps and create a straight seam in the middle. Fold your front and back flaps over and cut them in curves, just as you did with the first side.
- After you are done, you can screw the speaker back in the hole.