For my project I chose to design and build a radio to suit a painter and decorator in his working environment. The radio had to be able to withstand paint splatters and be at a suitable height so that the client does not have to bend down in order to operate the design.
I have named my design 'Decoradio' and the next few pages will show exactly how I managed to construct my design.
Step 1: Exploded View and Components Manufacturing List
140 x 110 x 12mm of MDF X5 - Front and back of radio
60 x 60 x 12mm MDF X3 - Very back of radio
80 x 125 x 12mm MDF X2 - Base
50 x 65 x 12mm MDF X 4 - Volume
150 x 80 x 12mm MDF X 3 - Roof (AM/FM switch)
70 x 80 x 10mm MDF X 1 - Very front of radio
60 x 60 x 5mm MDF X 1 - Speaker cover
55 x 55 x 10mm MDF X 1 - Tuning dial
35 x 20 x 12mm MDF X 1 - AM/FM switch holder
x1 Suction Cup (Sat Nav suction cups work extremely well for this project)
x1 ICF - S22 radio
Radius: 1.5mm Length: 20mm steel rod
Radius: 2mm Length: 300mm Aluminium tube
Wood Glue (PVC Glue)
plasti-kote SUPER Gloss paint x2 (colour dependent on base and body you require)
Metal Hand Saw
4 ounce hammer
Selection of wood files
Variety of Sandpapers (80 to 240 grade)
Multi core wire
Here is an exploded view of Decoredio to show the components required.
Step 2: The Circuit
Here are some photo's of my radio at this stage:
Step 3: Step 1: Creating the Front and Back (part 1) Shells of the Radio
The second picture is what the other 3 pieces of MDF should look like. Again I'd remove the bottom legs so the frame can be built more accurately later. Once hollowed out, glue all 3 pieces together. When dried and stuck together, sand the inside so that all 3 pieces line up accurately.
Picture 3 shows the front of the radio when fully shaped. Using the pillar drill drill, a hole with a radius of 27.5mm in the centre of the radio front. Using the 70x80x10mm MDF draw a circle with a radius of 27.5 in the centre and another of 35mm about the same origin. At the top and bottom of the outer circle carefully hand draw the ring shape. When this is done, use the sanding machine to create the outer ring shape. hand sand the whole ring down so that it is very smooth though allow the top of the ring to stick out more than the rest. Glue to the front of the radio.
When dry use the pillar machine to remove the smaller hole. The hole will go through the front face of the radio as well which is where the speaker will be. Ignore the base on the picture as this will be covered in the next step.
The back face of the radio requires a hole with a radius of 15mm in it's centre.
When all these steps are done glue the back of the front to the hollowed parts and the front of the back to the other side of the hollowed parts. The radio should look like picture 5 when finished except without the base.
Step 4: Step 2: Creating the Base
Using one of the 80x125x12mm MDF cut out these two 'L' shapes and place them together to create the rectangle. Now put the radio shell into this rectangle and adjust until there is no clear gap between the radio and the base. Take the radio shell out and glue the two 'L's together onto the other 125x80x12mm. When dry, hand sand the rectangle to create the curved edge right the way around the base.
Glue to radio shell, this should be a tight fit with no gaps showing.
Step 5: Step 3: the Back (part 2) Shell of the Radio
To start, glue two of the 60x60x12mm MDF together then drill a hole with a radius of 15mm right through the centre of this using the pillar drill. Glue this to the other 60x60x12mm. Drill a hole through the top of one of the sides with a radius of 2mm in the sides centre. This will go right through to the hole created by the pillar drill. The aerial will slot into this hole so this side should be facing upwards when attached to the back of the radio.
Sand all corners with the hand sander to create the curved edges.
Using a chisel and the 4 ounce hammer create a slot large enough for the suction cup to fit into place. I'd create the slot slightly larger than the suction cups joining area as the radio will be spray painted later. By doing this the joint will shrink slightly due to the build up of primer and gloss paint making the joint tighter. Stick to the back when done. The suction is detachable so that when it isn't hanging from a window, it can be placed on a shelf with it's back right up against the wall if needed.
Step 6: Step 4: the Roof/shield
Start by gluing the three 150x80x12mm blocks of MDF together on top of one another. Draw the desired curve in pencil on the long side of the block and remove the unwanted MDF using the band saw and the sanding machine. The result of this is the first picture below.
This is the most time consuming part of the radio. Using wood files and a curved sanding machine remove all the unwanted MDF until you are left with the complete curved shape of the roof. Draw on the roof shape and cut out using the band saw.
Sand down all surfaces until you are left with a completely smooth curved roof.
The third picture is the small piece which will hold the AM/FM switch and connect the roof to the radio. The 35x20x12 MDF is needed for this. Simply drill a hole with a radius of 2mm at a slight angle through the small block using a hand drill. Then hand sand the entire block until you have the shape below. A rough sand paper is required for this.
Picture 4 shows the other side. A pocket has to be created for the switch so clamp down the block and carefully chisel just enough MDF away for the AM/FM switch to sit comfortably in.
Step 7: Step 5: the Aerial
I used a glass as my curve to bend the tube. Make sure this is done carefully though and slowly so as to not buckle the aluminium.
Step 8: Step 6: the Volume Dial
Choose one of these two pieces and drill a hole with a radius of 2mm so that the aluminium tube can slot into place.
Step 9: Step 7: the Pins
You need to gain access to the inside of the radio. Cut through the entire radio down it's side as done in the picture below. Drill three small holes for the pins to slot into place so that the front and the back of the radio can piece together.
A hole needs to appear on the top curve of the radio. This is for the roof to slot into place. So, half way down drill a 2mm radius hole for the aluminium tube.
Down the taller side of the back of the radio, cut out a groove as done in the second photograph. This will later be for the tuner dial to slip in place.
Step 10: Step 8: the Speaker Cover and Tuning Dial
Using a very small drill tip, drill through the origin. then equally measure for four more holes to be made vertically and horizontally. For the other two lines only do three holes with equal spacing. Make sure all the holes are of equal size.
For the tuning dial, cut out a circle with a radius of 2.6mm out of the 55x55x10mm MDF.
Step 11: Step 9: Applying the Primer Coat
Spray the front shell, the back shell, the roof, the volume dial, the tuning dial, the AM/FM pocket and the speaker cover with a thin coat of primer. When this is done, turn the pieces over and do the same again. You should wait a minimum of 10 minutes between each coat but I waited 20 before I even touched the pieces just to be sure they were dry.
This should hide any joints that have been created by gluing the wood together to make it look like one whole shape. Apply at least two thin layers and hold the spray a suitable distance away from the radio to prevent creating 'puddles' on the work.
I've assembled the pieces together with blue-tac to see what the final piece will look like.
Step 12: Step 10: Applying the Gloss Finishes
When this is done, cover any parts that you wish to paint another colour with masking tape. Spray any other parts that need to be sprayed with another colour and leave to dry.
This is what the radio shell should look like after the finishes have been applied and pieced together.
Step 13: Step 11: the Wiring
Tip: Colour both ends of each wires or use different coloured wires so that you know which wire is to connect to which part of the circuit. There are five wires that have been fed up the tube aerial so it is important to not get confused which wire is which.
Remove both the original tuning and volume dial. Add the new tuning dial that has been made and glue in place with super glue. Make sure it can still turn easily.
Replace the battery pack with another smaller version so it can fit better inside the radio shell.
Step 14: Step 12: Assembly
Glue the speaker cover in place and make sure there's enough room for the speaker to sit no more than 5mm behind. Glue the circuit board into place though make sure this does not prevent the tuner from turning easily.
Pop the batteries into place and squeeze all the components inside. this will be a very tight squeeze though should all fit in place.
Turn the volume dial to turn on and tune in to your favourite radio channel!