I wanted to make a radio that payed homage to the beautiful radios from the 1930's era from manufacturers like Philco and GE but has the functionality of a modern MP3 player. I could have found one of those old radios and did the conversion to MP3 but decided instead to build one from scratch from solid wood to retain a decent sound quality.
This was scratch built from 1" Pine, 1/8" Oak plywood, and 1/8" Birch plywood.
The MP3 module that I used for this particular radio was salvaged from a small player that I bought, but the same module is available commercially online from many e-retailers.
EDIT: The donor MP3 player shown was purchased from ebay, but the basic MP3 modules are also available on ebay or dx.com.
The grill cloth was bought from a vintage radio parts supplier as reproduction fabric. If anyone would like the information where to get it, just send me a line.
On to the instructions.
Step 1: Choose your Shape.
The shape I used for this particular radio is known as a cathedral style.
So first you will want to decide how big to make it.
I decided to make this one 10" wide by 14" high and 8" deep. But it is up to you, there was more than enough room inside to house the few electronic pieces required.
EDIT: I used a Google Sketchup model to get the dimensions figured out, and then printed it with a large format printer and used that to trace the design onto the wood.
Once you get a template drawn on bristle board, you can use that to trace your pattern onto the wood.
Then using a jigsaw or scroll saw, cut out the shape as well as the inside portion where the grill will be mounted.
You will also want to cut out a piece to use as the base of the radio where the front and back of the unit will be mounted. The size of this piece will be 1" larger that the radio itself so there will be 1/2" offset on each side.