If I was using wood, I would build it as a box, close to the width x depth of the speaker base so it could be filled with sand or shot. A good 3/4" cabinet grade plywood or mdf would be my choice. It is more stable than 3/4" board stock, less likely to warp or check and the surfaces finish evenly. I would then get a set of feet that would support the weight of the speaker, available at all the parts stores.
I built a pair of stands modeled on the Skylan stands. I used Ipe, which is a Brazilian hardwood I believe, but it is the hardest, heaviest wood I have ever seen. You can't nail through it, and you have to drill your pilot holes for the screws the exact same size as the screw, or the screw will break off. I used 1" mahogany for the top and bottom panels, glued and screwed to the Ipe 4x4's. I then mounted spikes on the top and the bottom. You can see a picture in my system profile.
those are really beautiful stands. So you decided to use posts that attach to planks on each end. Do you think that it would sound better if the wood was solid the whole way up?
I have a friend who is a pro cabinet maker who is going to make these for me and a major reason is WAF. So I want to stay away from the box look.
Hanalemike - Nice stands. I've used Ipe (also known as Ironwood) quite extensively in various outdoor projects (outdoor railings and bridge decking). I think most of the Ipe you buy these days is coming from Mexico. Good warnings you've already provided - be prepared to pre-drill everything for the thread, shank and head of screws, or screws will certainly snap right off. I opt to use three separate bits for that as the various countersink bits I've tried burnout in Ipe too fast. Also, very important if you choose to work with that wood - the ultra-fine sawdust it produces can be both irritating to skin and eyes, and is supposed to be carcinogenic - definitely wear a good dust mask and eye protection, work outdoors whenever possible, and clean up thoroughly afterwards. I always wondered about using this wood for vibration and wondered if it would be appropriate. It is remarkably dense and heavy. It is used frequently for outdoor decking and projects that will be similarly exposed. The outdoor lifespan of untreated Ipe is around 90 years! It is also naturally resistant to rot and insects. Not very relevant to use as an audio platform. I wonder why it it is not used more frequently in audio applications. I'd guess the weight of a similarly sized piece of Maple, for instance, would be about 2/3 that of Ipe. It is a bitch to work with though, and that may be why you don't see it that often in indoor projects. It's also not very pretty as wood goes, being rather dull and without much visual depth to the surface. I wonder if, when you get into woods of this density could they be counter to the reasons for using wood in the first place (does Ipe "sound good" as a platform, or does it move into the direction of a marble platform - so rigid that it actually may amplify vibration?).
I don't know which look better, the Spendor's or the stands they are sitting on.
As for the wood being solid all the way up I can't say, but FWIW, using a hollow center post allows you to fill it with some materials that could provide better mass and dampening properties. Kitty litter, fine sand, #8 lead shot, or Star Sound Technology Micro Bearing fill are good candidates. My stands have a combination of kitty litter and lead shot in them.
Hey, aaawwww, thanks for the nice words gents. I did think about trying to have the posts go all the way up with out the plates, but decided to go with the Skylan design as people seem to like them.
AFAIK, Ironwood is different. Our home is surrounded by an ironwood fence, and I thought the ironwood in mexico is like mesquite....Anyways, the ironwood here cuts like butter compared to the Ipe which dulls saw blades, and drill bits. It could be like Dolphin, Dorado, and Mahi-Mahi, same fish, different names, depending on your geographic location. Maybe what I think is Ironwood.......really isn't Ironwood at all? The rest of your description of working with Ipe is right on. I think it works pretty goods as vibration absorption and I am planning on making a component stand out of it. I wouldn't think it is too rigid as you can still gouge it pretty good with a hammer, so it does absorb some energy.
I've been impressed with how the speakers sounded with the ten planks of oak wood that I placed together. I think that I'm just going to level them, glue them and add a two inch maple top and call it my stands. Still thinking about using marble on the top. Any advice on that?
As a longtime wood worker, I urge you to worry less about the kind of wood and focus more on the construction. It is important to note that laser interferometry tests proved that vibrations from the woofer can move the cabinet 1000 times greater in excursion than the dome of the tweeter.
Use a good hardwood that works with your room and speaker decor. But most of all, make sure it keeps that cabinet from moving and does not vibrate! Also, make sure you don't misalign any time alignment between satellites and woofers.
With all that being said, you might look at walnut, beech, or kingwood as these woods have a history of stability. There is a reason why walnut is the choice wood for gun stocks where small amounts of movement alter the point of aim. Don't over look Finland birch plywood or even OSB as these laminated woods are extremely stable. You will need to cover the OSB with a veneer of some sort, though. The birch ply may be acceptable as it comes.
Your stands look great Hanleimike (Hawaii?) Ironwood is a trademarked brand name of Ipe. Ipe itself is a generic term for any of a number of South American hardwoods. Your stands should be with you for a long time.
Andyth, I was curious if you have decided on a material and design? Pics of the finished product would be great.
Once again thanks for the input. I purchased a pair of sanus ultimate foundation stands but ..... they didn't pass WAF. So now my current concept is to have a 12 inch by 12 inch by 1 1/2 inch maple or oak base (do I need a metal base plate?). I'll make a triangle tube of three maple 8X1 boards. Kitty litter fill them 60 to 70% full. Have a maple 1 1/2 inch speaker plate. I have jumbo dh ceramic cones and screw down the monitor to the base. I'm going to use ribbed rubber around 1 inch cork for my footers.
Any last advice before I start?