A couple of years ago I needed to come up with a Christmas present for my best friend. He loves music and guitars and the color red, so I combined all of the above and made a guitar amp themed iPod speaker for him.
Step 1: The Box
I built the box out of particle board for price, weight and ease of working. I knew I wanted the front to be two separate chambers, and the back to be easily accessible for cord and iPod storage and for ease of maintenance.
As you can see, I made rails to attach the front and rear panels to. I also rounded over the edges with a router. everything was screwed and glued together and all screw holes were filled with bondo prior to covering.
Step 2: IPod Dock
I wanted this amp to charge his iPod, but also be able to play music from any device with 1/8" output.
I found an iPod dock that was super easy to take apart and repurpose.
I used a piece of aluminum angle that I purchased at the hardware store. I cut the proper sized hole in it by drilling multiple holes and connecting them by filing the opening to the proper shape. I also drilled holes for the volume pot and input jack.
Step 3: Amp/charging/connections
I used a T-amp from Parts Express as the basis for the power. I purchased a set of component speakers that included woofers, tweeters and crossovers. I placed all of the electronics (crossovers, dock connector, charger, transformer for the amp, amp and other wiring) in the rear compartment of the amp.
Step 4: Test Fit
This is the dry run to make sure everything fit together and worked! Yay, success! I made the grill out of expanded metal that I purchased at the hardware store and painted black. I purchased the corners, handle, and feet from Parts Express, although a non-working guitar amp would be an excellent source of parts and possibly the enclosure.
Step 5: Covering the Amp
I covered the amp in regular upholstery vinyl that I purchased at the local fabric store. I attached it with Super 77 spray adhesive. Spray both the box and the vinyl and let dry for a few minutes until they are tacky, then attach. Pretty much only get one chance, because when they stick together, they don't easily come apart.
My neighbor at the time upholstered cars, and he shared with me two tricks that really helped this look more professional.
The first is to paint the box the same color as the vinyl where ever there would be seams. This way if the vinyl was not perfect, it would not be as obvious.
The second was to heat up the vinyl by leaving in the sun for a while and use a hair dryer on the corners so the vinyl would stretch and conform to the corners more easily.
Step 6: Logo
There are many ways that you could do a logo. I happen to be a screen printer, so I cut out a piece of aluminum and screen printed his name on it. I used One Shot sign painters' enamel. There are other types that could work, I have just had good luck with this.
I affixed the logo to the grill with epoxy.
Step 7: Cleaning Up the Rat's Nest
I cleaned up the wiring and removed all the excess. I was just learning about wiring, so I left a lot of covers and excess that I could have removed. I used an extension cord as the power cord so that I could plug the charger and amp adapter into it. There are cleaner ways, I just didn't know how at the time.
Step 8: Finished Product!
Here is the finished product. I also screen printed "volume" and "input" on the dock.
My friend was very happy with his gift. It sounded great and looked great. The amp looks kind of pink, in this light, but it was actually cherry red.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable, I hope it inspires you to make something even cooler!