Thanks for comments all
I have varnished quite a few things around Chez Flops and have already decided my preferred varnish is acrylic (water based) clear satin. I use the Wickes stuff, quick drying, nice finish imo.
I had seriously intended to spray them matt black but after looking at them for an evening I have decided to go the varnish route. They have already had a cursory sanding, mostly to remove all the pencil doodlings but they will need a more thorough sanding before varnishing.
The build. One thing came home very strongly to me and I know I'm probably going to state the obvious and repeat what has already been said but - you can never have enough clamps.
Wickes do a good sized clamp for Â£20.00 and I reckon the minimum required to build a Frugel Mk 3 would be six if one cabinet was assembled at a time. In other words six per cab. That would cost Â£120 though and unless I was going to be making wooden boxes on a regular basis it would prove to be uneconomical. Somebody should hire these things.
DTB lent me a selection of clamps and I used four of them. Two of them wouldn't fit the entire width of the assembled Frugel Mk 3 so for eah final side panel fixing I used two clamps and an assortment of weights. Far from ideal but I seem to have got away with it.
I copied Colin's tweeter enclosure, he very kindly sent me a length of broom handle with the flat pack for their base. The plywood panels from Colin were very very good indeed, fitted together like a dream. The same couldn't be said of their packing though, the courier driver, after delivery, asked me if he could borrow a pair of pliers to pluck several wood tacks from his body after he'd carried it via a lift up six floors. But we won't dwell on that
When I first connected the horns for a first listen they had no interior accoustic foam apart from the carpet underlay arround the rear of the driver and they had no outriggers fitted. No tweeter was used either.
Initially I thought I'd made a huge mistake, they sounded awful, almost as if any vocalists were gargling with gravel. I tried a variety of sources, no change. Then suddenly, after about ten minutes, everything seemed to come into focus and they sounded good. Is that normal? They have sounded good ever since. Have had about five hours worth of run-in so far.
I then butchered a small IKEA cushion for some accoustic damping and kerfuffed about with that for a bit. Added tweeters, took tweeters away, added outriggers. Listened with as critical an ear as I could muster.
My conclusion is I prefer:
No internal foam damping
Outriggers with spikes fitted (on carpet)
As mentioned in opening post I do rather like the bass, I was warned not to expect a strong bass but it's fine for me, very happy with it. This is perhaps a little surprising as the rear of the cabinets face curtains behind which are a set of glass sliding patio doors. I'm told these things prefer a corner.
Unfortunately placing these speakers in a corner is not an option for me. Where I sit to listen my ears form a triangle with the Frugels of around 2.5M. The tweeters are subtle but I can hear a very definite difference. When I sit on me sofa to listen they are level with my ears, by a stroke of luck.
Overall, I'm really rather pleased, bit of a gamble as these were an unknown quantity for me and the overall cost with flatpack, drivers, tweeters and all the paraphenalia associated with the build was around Â£350.
Here's some pix, in the first one the bottom panel is not glued, it's there to make attaining 90 degrees simpler.
You can see me teevee in there, that's the one I got from Currys front window at Charlton at the August riots. Wicked, innit?