Introduction: Gas Can Speakers

Picture of Gas Can Speakers

Some novel garage speakers using plastic gas cans and a 2-way speaker kit. Standard 5L/1.25gal gas cans fit a 2-way 6.5" woofer/tweeter kit perfectly. As an added bonus, the pour spout serves to release pressure in the speaker can. You can get everything you need for ~$69 from Amazon and/or Home Depot.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  1. Pyle 6.5" 400-watt 2-way custom component system kit (
  2. 2x Scepter 5L/1.25G red gas can (I found these at Home Depot ~$11/ea)
  3. 2x Speaker terminal set (

Total: $69

If you don't have anything to plug the speakers into, here's my approximate setup:

  1. Any 2+-way amp, I used a Pyle PFA400U ( I don't necessarily recommend it as it doesn't have a standard AUX port or an FM tuner, but it does put out plenty of power to drive both speakers.
  2. Speaker wire (I used 12-guage,
  3. Banana plugs OPTIONAL (

Additional: ~$70

Step 2: Electrical Dry-Run

Picture of Electrical Dry-Run

I wired up the speaker kit components before delving into the enclosure. You might want to do the same to see how everything will fit together. The Pyle kit comes with everything you'll need except the terminals, including the +/- wire. Just wire the woofer, tweeter, and terminals to the corresponding +/- pins on the crossover. Test it out with the amp/stereo you'll be using. You may initially feel that the speaker isn't loud enough, depending on your amp of choice, but I promise when you get everything in the can and two of them side-by-side, it will be more than satisfactory.

Step 3: Cut Holes

Picture of Cut Holes

We need to cut holes in the can for the woofer and tweeter. The Pyle kit comes with a template for the woofer cutout which I found to be completely inaccurate. What I recommend is to cut out the template circle, place it centered on the flat side of the gas can, and draw a circle about a 1/2 cm outside the circle so that your final diameter is a full centimeter wider than the template.

For the tweeter hole, place the tweeter's flush-mount rim on the corner notch and trace a rough circle. The Pyle kit's tweeters break into three pieces (and a spring). They can sometimes be stubborn, but just go ahead and yank it apart.

For both circles, I drilled a couple adjacent holes on the inside of the circle to give me enough space to get the saw in and cut all the way around. I used a cheap metal hack saw which worked rather well. If you have a reciprocating saw or a jigsaw, kudos to you - you may get this done faster. The woofer hole should be the right size and will need little extra attention. For the tweeter hole you'll probably want to test-fit the flush-mount flange repeatedly as you refine the hole, cutting it wider as needed.

Step 4: Terminal Ports and Installation

Picture of Terminal Ports and Installation

You can have the terminal ports stick off in any direction you like. You can really just have the +/- wires hang out the pour spout, but I think it looks really nice with the terminal pins on the side. On the first speaker I just drilled adjacent holes and stuck the terminal pins through. Attach the nut and locking washers to the other side, sandwiching the +/- wires between the locking washers on the corresponding terminal.

About now we can start sticking components in the can. Stick the crossover toward the back of the bottom of the can using one of the round double-sided sticky pads that came with the kit. Snap the tweeter and backing (with spring) into the flush-mount rim from the back. Sometimes the tweeter may tend to pop in or the rim out of the hole we drilled, so it won't hurt anything to duct-tape it to the inside of the can.

Lastly, we cram all of the loose/extra wire into the can and mount the woofer. For the woofer attachment holes, place the speaker and black rim where you want them, then poke an awl or drill bit through the holes to mark them on the can. You may drill them out if you like but I found I could just hand-screw the speaker on without pilot holes. The can's plastic is sturdy enough that you don't need anything to back the screws, but you may try the metal clips that come in the Pyle kit if you feel so inclined.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

Pop on the speaker grill and plug it in! If you didn't have an audio system to use the speakers with beforehand, setting up the amp and speaker wire (and banana plugs) should be self-explanatory. Definitely Google how to straight-mount the banana plugs on the speaker wire.

Repeat for the second speaker. I used the other side of the gas can so that they make a nice symmetrical set. For the second speaker, I tried to use the little black mounting plates that came with the terminals to make them a little sturdier. I recommend it, just make sure the pilot holes are perfectly straight or the front and back plates will not line up.

Now don't expect incredible audiophile sound out of these, but for the untrained ear like mine, they produce great sound. If you hear any rattling, just double-check that everything is securely attached. The terminal plugs will rattle a bit if not screwed all the way down. You can also optionally stuff the can with normal polyfill through the pour spout to round out the sound a bit.


Fungyatding (author)2015-08-28

look nice in red and really like the handle

kennethharris (author)2015-05-11

Brilliant Work.. well done

stevenelson55 (author)2015-05-07

OSUMM keep it up .. great work

adamrussell (author)2015-05-04

Great work

denniscook (author)2015-05-02

This is great

mmo8we (author)2014-05-20

How loud are these?

HannibalRex made it! (author)2014-05-09

Nice project, great job on the instructions. I ended up building this, and only have two suggestions or notes. 1) You can use the cardboard the speakers come in as templates for cutting your holes (woofer) instead of the provided template and extending, etc. Hey, I'm lazy so I found what seemed a quicker and easier method for me. I happened to notice how well the drivers shipped and so just cut out the cardboard holding them in the box. 2) Baffling - I'm giving away my secret here, but for about $15 you can get some nice, thick, egg-crate foam for beds from Target. The twin size is the cheapest and will do two LARGE floor speakers with plenty of left over. I just putty knife on some liquid nails and tack it all around the inside of the speaker enclosure. Usually this is one of the last steps so I can work around the crossover and wires. Oh, not needed for this build, but often in two-way speakers I build I'll cut the top rim off a round Tupperware, and coat it with textured ceiling spray or egg-crate foam on the inside, then using adhesive glue it to the back of the tweeter on the inside of the enclosure; help separate the bass and highs from being mixed, and forces more of the driver's sound to go out the front and not reverb in the back in the box. A little trick I learned from an old audiophile who used to build his enclosures out of marble! RIP Rollie DuChesne. Anyway, the only other thing I could say is I could probably use a bigger amp than the 100 watt mentioned in this article, no doubt these little speakers can take it. Nice amp though, I had to get it just to check it out, was a great suggestion, and I liked the features plus the remote. Oh, and use the spout (removed) for your bass port. You can tweak it as you wish/need to get the best bass "movement" of the air, I found I didn't need a tube for the port, just use the spout as if it were a real gas can. What I mean is assemble the spout as you would if you were actually going to pour gas. It's got a perfect "travel" length, and for most of what I was playing using an iPod it was right on with bass response/porting. Thanks again for this Instructable, was fun, easy, quick, and cheap. My friends didn't believe me when I told them my new "summer" stereo was going to be plastic gas cans! I did spend a little more on it, because I wanted to stock up on some of the banana plugs and enclosure plug/plates. The pictures are from my show and tell at work, and my Cattle Dog (Red Heeler) Texicali - don't worry about it being too loud for him, he's old and deaf :) Kinda like I'm getting to be! Had a lot of fun with this one, and having a lot of fun showing it off!

txje (author)HannibalRex2014-05-09

Thanks for the feedback! Your set looks great. It's nice to know that someone more knowledgable than myself can comment on the acoustic qualities, particularly w/regard to the baffling and bass port.

fonguler (author)2014-05-06

adding ice/water shield adhesive backed roofing membrane to the inner surfaces will add mass, stiffness and damping---,I have used it to great effect on various speaker.quick and easy and very dense.

askthecableguy (author)2014-04-20

great idea. Do you have any vibration issues with using gas cans. what else you use if the gas cans didn't come to you?

Vinsu (author)2014-04-09

Great idea! Maybe you could add bass response and general sturdiness by laminating some fiberglass inside the boxes. That would also decrease the plastic-kind-of-sound you may be experiencing without adding too much weight.

Here's an excellent instructable about fiberglass that could make your great speakers even more awesome!

josefski (author)Vinsu2014-04-19

I was thinking the same thing! They'd sound super duper awesome with something to dampen the insides and make the acoustic chamber more rigid.

captainserious (author)2014-04-18

These are great looking. Add a battery in one and the amp in the other and go mobile!

iamunique127 (author)2014-04-10

Great idea. These will make great portable speakers. I'm thinking if I include an amp with an AUX plug I can then plug my iPod into it.


longp2000 (author)2014-04-09

Genius, Genius, Genius

muddog15 (author)2014-04-09

Gonna make one for bass guitar.

sedmonds (author)2014-04-09

So how do you power the amp?

Dr. Science (author)2014-04-08

I tried the same trick with some styrofoam "cooler" boxes, the kind they ship meds that needs to stay cold via FedEx and they worked pretty good too.

Tex Arcana (author)Dr. Science2014-04-08

My neighbor across the street builds these for fun, full-featured, and AC/DC power.

rnalawansa (author)2014-04-07

Cool project. How do they sound? Plastic usually isn't the best for speaker housings

Tex Arcana (author)rnalawansa2014-04-08

Could spray on some cyanoacrilate foam inside to stiffen the plastic and insulate the enclosures.

kbc2 (author)2014-04-08

Realy dig the idea, my attempt a pair of my own. One suggestion, for the mounting holes of the woofer, use the clip on nuts that are used in cars , also found at home depot.

vladivastok (author)2014-04-08


thankyousam (author)2014-04-08

I don't usually feel the need to leave a comment, but I had to for this as I really like the idea and the execution. I just wish I had a need to make some for myself :)

Kenno79 (author)thankyousam2014-04-08

I feel the same way. The looks of these speakers caught my attention. The look awesome and the handle makes them so practical. I really wish I had the need to make a set myself. Well someday in the future when I own a house with a cool garage. But thumbs up for a cool project :)

kzint (author)2014-04-08

Dude, bottom line: this is such a neat idea! My hat is off to ya. I love the way the tweeters sit on that angular part of the can. And as far as the "audiophiles" are concerned, they are gas cans! If it is about trying to achieve perfect tonal quality, I would recommend another medium! Rock on!

trcky1 (author)2014-04-08

Good idea! I wonder if a little spray foam inside would deaden the rattle that that thin wall plastic is going to produce?

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-04-08

Wow...that is a powerhouse project :)

bob3030 (author)2014-04-07

Very cool. Great look for a garage audio system. Thanks for posting.

Mrballeng (author)2014-04-07

High octane awesome.

You213 (author)2014-04-07

very creative but probably not the best sounding(:

CraigRJess (author)2014-04-07


Dont forget the speaker grill to protect it.

Misac-kun (author)2014-04-07

Gonna make a piar of these for my future shows

M3G (author)2014-04-07

Very cool!

emilkaram (author)2014-04-07


Nice, I like that the handles on the gas cans makes them easy to carry!

skepticaljay (author)2014-04-07

Very nice!

alpinedelta (author)2014-04-07


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