Introduction: UpCyled Bookshelf Speakers

About: Designer, Maker, CNC Enthusiast, Audio Lover

These speakers were based on a very old fashioned set of metal enclosure speakers that sounded pretty poor but actually had good quality drivers inside so I decided to upgrade them!

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Step 1: Salvaging the Drivers

Naturally the first step in this build was to salvage the components needed for the rebuild from old set of speakers. They were held in with some screws and glue so the disassembly was not too challenging at all.

Step 2: Designing and CAM

Next I designed the enclosure for the speakers based on the measurements of the drivers found within the old pair.

The design was simple and classic with a woofer, mid and tweeter. I couldn't find the specs for the drivers so I estimated the volume. I designed them in fusion 360 and also did the cam for the parts including the mitred joints.

Step 3: Machining and Cleanup

The machining was very straight forward and was quite quick. The miters were cut with an endmill so the steps needed to be sanded to produce a clean miter. The rest of the pieces were straight forward 2.5D parts that were cut out easily.

Step 4: Assembly Pt1

Chamfers were added to the front panels. The parts that make up the rest of the enclosure were aligned and then masking taped up. Glue was put in the miters and the box was taped up. I used a band clamp to aid the tape in holding the box together. I wanted a darker aesthetic for the enclosure that would contrast the plain white oak front. I used black paint which I rubbed into the grain and then wiped off the excess. Once it was dry I sanded the whole enclosure to remove any more excess.

Step 5: Adding Mesh

To protect the paper cones of the drivers I added some very porous cloth in front of each driver.

Step 6: Varnishing

I added the back panel and then used a glossy varnish to cover the whole enclosure. I find yacht varnish gives a very nice finish and protects the body of the speaker well.

Step 7: Front Panel Glue Up

Next, the front panel could be glue on to the body and all the wiring done including the crossovers. The panels are slightly inset to to add more clamping pressure I used a block of wood and some tape to push down on the front.

Step 8: Back Panel

Sound dampening material was added to the enclosure and the back panel was attached with double sided foam tape which not only seals the enclosure but also means the panel can be easily removed for maintenance. The binding posts were added and screwed down.

Step 9: Finished!

This was a simple and fun little project to get a little bit more life out of a pair of old speakers. They sounded better than the originals and look much much nicer so I think the up cycle was a success!

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