Yay, my first Instructable! A little background: I don't have much in the way of resources, other than the tools and various types of scrap I've managed to gather over the years, so I've become a bit of an expert at making useable art with, well... junk. Anyway, since my job allow me to listen to music while I'm sitting around waiting for people to call, and I've been on a bit of a steampunk kick for a while now (what can I say, all that brass and Victorian design is just plain neat), I decided to make a steampunk "aural enhancer" to stick on my desk and play my media through.
Most of the parts used in this project were things I had laying around the house, but I did purchase a few things:
2 - Sweet lighting sconces, $3 a piece @ the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Best. Home improvement. Store. EVER.)
1 - single pole, single throw switch - $4 from O'Reilly Auto Parts
1 - tube of JB Stick, probably $2-3
The donor for this project was a cheap $5 USB powered mp3 player amp I got as a last minute gift for my then-girlfriend-now-wife a few years back (sorry honey... Love Ya!)
Now, obviously it would be next to impossible to make the exact same piece, and besides, who would want to? The purpose of this Instructable is to show others that you can make useful art out of just about nothing, and hopefully inspire someone to try their hand at scrapyard folk art.
OK, I think I covered all my bases, so let's get rolling with the build.
Step 1: Fixture Disassembly and Re-wiring
The lamps are connected to the fixture with a screw-mount that is riveted to the bottom of the lamp. Make sure you save them if you want whatever you re-mount in the fixture to be removable; a finishing nail and ball peen hammer work well for removing the rivet.
Step 2: Prep Speakers and Base
While the speakers were curing, I set to preparing the base. Originally, the brass plate on top of the base only had 2 holes, 1 for the sconce and 1 for the wall mount. Fortunately, the wooden base underneath had a third hole (giggity) at the far end, so all I needed to drill was the plate.
To mark the drilling location, I took the brass plate from the base I wasn't using, flipped it 180 degrees, and wouldn't you know it, the holes lined up perfectly. Once I had it marked, I used a finishing nail to center punch and a stepped drill bit to work the hole to the appropriate size. Basically, I drilled a step, then test fit, then drilled another step until the fixture slid in easily.
Once the fixtures were mounted, it was time to move on to wiring...
Step 3: Wiring the Speakers and Amp
It's about the simplest circuit to wire, but I went ahead and included a circuit diagram anyway for reference.
Since I wanted to use 'The Device' at work, I wanted to add a cut switch for the speakers, I drilled a mounting hole in the front of the base and connected the killswitch to the negative wires coming from the speakers (see circuit diagram).
Using weatherstrip glue, I attached a piece of cardboard to the bottom of the base so the mp3 amp wouldn't short against the metal.
After running the input cable through the center hole in the base, I carefully resoldered the speaker and input connections to the circuitboard, then glued it to the cardboard under the base. Electrical tape helps hold all the wiring out of view.
Initially, the caps on the amplifier touched the desktop, so I dug some brass mounts out of the parts bin (I think they came from a WD external HDD) and glued them to the corners of the base. The notches on the top of the mount fit the lip of the base perfectly.
Step 4: Enjoy Some Tunes!
The finished product! I probably could have done more to make it look antique, but I was more concerned about the utilitarian aspect of the device. Since my computer is under the desk, I used a bit of spare USB wire to extend the power cable.
The black plastic tray mounted to the front used to be the base of the mp3 amp. I notched the sides so my Droid X and Sansa would fit.