Introduction: DIY Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker

Picture of DIY Bluetooth Bookshelf Speaker

Building a bluetooth speaker is not a very complicated project, and you can get really creative with the design and use any material you have on hand. I decided to use walnut and cherry for the box, however any wood would work.

Step 1: Speaker

You can find speakers online, however I got mine by walking into my local car stereo store. I just asked if they had any single speakers laying around, where the second one broke, which they did. And they actually gave it to me for free which was really kind. So just a little tip, of you want to build one too.

Step 2: The Wood

Picture of The Wood

I began with planning out the wood, and taking grain direction into account for a finished clean look. I built the box based on the size of the speaker I had, however you can make it any size you'd like.

First I cut the wood to size, and I'm going for a box with mitered corners, where the front and back face sit inset into the box 1/4 of an inch.

Step 3: Dados & Miters

Picture of Dados & Miters

To keep the front and the back cherry piece in place, I decided to go with dados in the walnut, so two dados in each piece, one for the front and one for the back. And it's a lot easier to add the dados before cutting the wood to size.

Then cutting the miters, and to be honest with you, miters are not my favorite, they're kind of tricky to get right and perfect, although they do provide a really nice and clean look.

Step 4: Hole for Speaker

Picture of Hole for Speaker

So planning it all out once the wood was cut to size - where to fit the speaker, where to place the switch. And I decided to go with a blue LED light to indicate whether the speaker is on or off.

I marked out where the speaker would go, and then I used a coping saw to cut out the interior. I know a lot of people like jig saws, I have never really been a huge fan, and one of the reasons for that is I prefer to do this kind work inside the shop, and doing it by hand is a lot quieter and produces a lot less dust. Plus it's kind of a relaxing exercise in precision work.

Step 5: Speaker Grille

Picture of Speaker Grille

Then I figured it might be nice with a speaker grill, so I started working with a piece of MDF, marking out the size, and drilling a variety of holes. First I meant for this one to just be a prototype, and I was going to make the final one in plastic, but once I was done with this one, I thought it worked really nicely, so I just went with it.

I also drilled shallow holes for small magnets which I added in the corner, and these magnets will ensure that the grille attaches to the speaker.

I picked up some speaker fabric in my local fabric store, and just stretched it around, however you could probably use any fabric you like. The whole grille fits great on the speaker and simply snaps in place with the magnets.

Step 6: Gluing

Picture of Gluing

I still need some more holes for a power cord in the back, as well as holes for the switch and the LED light in the front for the cherry parts, so taking care of that on the drill press.

Note that I don't recommend gluing the cherry parts in. I can do that here because of my local environment, there are less seasonal changes here than in other areas, but in general, it's better to just glue the mitered corners together and let the panels float freely.

To get the speaker off the ground, I cut up small squares of cherry and then I just chamfering the edges. Then gluing on.

Step 7: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

For a finish, I went with three coats of shellac, and once that was dried I added some of my tung oil wax polish with steel wool for that super smooth feel.

Step 8: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

Then finally, the electronics. I'm using a bluetooth amplifier, and I've got a rather handsome switch.

It's all pretty simple, power coming in to the switch, which splits off, and one wire goes to the blue LED connected to a resistor, and the other wire goes directly to the amplifier. Then the amplifier of course connects to the speaker.

I got little feet I'm putting on the amp, to get it off the ground, and then I'm doing the soldering work.

Putting in the speaker wires, and of course checking so it works.

Step 9: Adding the Speaker

Picture of Adding the Speaker

Then to secure the power plug in the back, I'm simply using hot glue. And I will use a simple 12 volt power block to power this unit. Also gluing in the light. And I spray painted the screws I'm using to attach the speaker to the wood black, so they would blend in better. And then of course adding the grille.

Step 10: Bluetooth

Picture of Bluetooth

So this unit is completely controlled through bluetooth, which of course you can use through your phone or computer. And that's also where you control the volume.

I think this speaker turned out really great. It has a nice finished look, and it will be great for listening to music and podcasts!.What I love about this project is how you can change it endlessly with different types of wood, or you could use plywood and paint, there are just so many different options.

Step 11: Watch the Video!

For a much more in-depth look of all the steps, make sure to check out the video.

Comments

Hakamisu (author)2016-12-02

I've been looking to build my own Chromecast Speakers (I have a lot of speakers with no amps lying around). My biggest hesitation in starting is I can't seem to find what kind of power supply to use. I know most of the time I can use a 12V but how many amps should I get? Is there a rule of thumb?

GleasonFamilyWoodworks (author)2016-11-02

Great project!! Going to try to knock one out for the home!!

Steinzel (author)2016-08-28

Nice project! Very nice workmanship too!

Just one question, with no glue on the cherry wood and the grate held on by magnets, doesnt it vibrate some on the bass notes? Just wondered, Thanks!

jozka (author)2016-08-12

It is amazing! I admire your skillful work with power tools, design, electronics and the way you put all that together. :-)

compufxr (author)2016-08-11

First of all you need to know several things about creating a speaker box. You can't just judge by the size of the speaker unless of course you just want noise. There are acoustical values that need to be taken into consideration. Also the components you hide inside the box all reflect sound waves and alter their paths as well. It's not just as simple as placing everything in a box. You should probably seal the inside of the box and definitely use some padding. You may even need a port to enrich the bass and round out the sound depending on your build. Overall I think you did a nice job but for really good sound you need to know a bit about speaker building.

gbferrell (author)compufxr2016-08-11

Yes, I dislike seeing these speaker projects with no consideration for actual speaker building portion, which is the most important and interesting part. A car speaker probably won't have the parameters available to even create the correct enclosure, but are probably more forgiving in that regard. I guess I will have to create my own Instructable.

cparshley (author)compufxr2016-08-11

I was thinking the same thing. I like the idea, and would like to build my own bluetooth speaker, but basic sound doesn't quite do it for me.

It's okay if you don't want to (since I could google it and get results), but do you know any reputable places to gain this knowledge? I know there's lots of variables for box dimensions due to speaker performance, so I'd like to go somewhere with good information

compufxr (author)cparshley2016-08-11

http://www.diyaudioandvideo.com/Guide/BuildSpeakerBox/

Ancient Android (author)2016-08-11

Another excellent build Linn.

BTW, for whomever doesn't know Linn, she is a master woodworker with many real world down to the earth FREE woodworking tutorials. I hope she joins us here often.

RonM5 (author)2016-08-11

Very good project. I love the wood choices!

jerry.ericsson2 (author)2016-08-11

I guess I sort of made one like this, however I took a shortcut. My mother was throwing out an old stereo that she received as a gift back in the 80's. It wasn't much of a stereo, and the speakers are truely crap, but they sound better then old computer speakers so I went with them. I put the bluetooth receiver in a small project box, and a mini 3W amp in another, the put jacks on them and used patch wire to connect them. I put an old lipo battery scavenged from a broken mp3 player in as power, and it held a good enough charge to power the receiver. I took 5 volts off the amp and used that to power the amp. Now all I have to do is turn on the unit (toggle switch on the bt mod) and my iphone or computer can feed the speakers. They are actually to large for my purposes, as I want them in our motor coach so I may take the speakers out of the case and mount them in our tv hutch so they are out of the way. I will loose the echo effect that the wooden case gives it so it may sound worse. I actually built a new amp for it that puts out 15W per channel and may replace the amp on this unit with it, as it does need a bit more power.

kamil47 (author)2016-08-11

Very nice project and useful (for the house) Bluetooth speaker. I appreciate it, and hope to have time to make it.

By
the way, what power supply was used? I think, there should be more
practical built in lead acid bigger battery (for instance 6V, 7.5Ah).
This can make Speaker transportable and such battery can last long time.

mckeephoto (author)2016-08-11

Wow. I have been thinking about making one for years. Great instructable... Now, a visit to the car audio store. And, to get a dc power converter...

The walnut contrasting with the cherry is beautiful! Great channel too. I think I need to make that pencil case for my sketchbook.

LyfHax (author)2016-08-11

Way cool! And LOVE the shop, too!

DylanD581 (author)2016-07-15

Cool Bluetooth Speaker! What is the output of the amplifier - how many watts?

Me2free (author)2016-07-14

I really want to build this, and i love the drawling.

Thomas Paine (author)2016-07-14

Where did you get the electronics? I'd like to make this for my shop.

darbinorvar (author)Thomas Paine2016-07-14

There are links to the various parts in the description of the video.

gm280 (author)2016-07-14

Not sure how it sounds because the computer doesn't give it any justice. But if you are wanting a more rich sound, install some speaker sound padding inside and it will make it more rich mellower sound. Nice build by the way.

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Bio: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check ... More »
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