Introduction: Vintage Train Case Bluetooth Boombox Luggage
I love this idea of turning a vintage suitcase or luggage into a speaker! It just gives off such a cool fun vibe that I like having in my apartment as opposed to a boring black box.
I've made a few luggage speakers in the past but wanted to try doing a battery powered boomcase in a smaller vintage train vanity. So let's do it together!
I'm not an audiophile, I just wanted a decent sounding boombox with bluetooth connectivity that was also battery powered. You can spend a lot of time searching for all the different components to make that happen in a case this size or you can use a kit from Parts Express. Because I'm not an expert, and to save a bit of money, I chose the latter!
That kit actually makes this a fairly simple build. You don't need a deep understanding of audio electronics to make a great sounding vanity case boombox!
I also wanted to hide the electronics and control panel with the volume knob, aux plug, etc inside the train case to keep things looking very clean on the outside.
So let's get to building...
- A train case, vanity case, make up case, or whatever you'd like.
- A case with hard-sided walls is what you want, something sturdy to mount the speakers that won't vibrate too bad. I found mine on eBay.
- Small Portable Bluetooth Ammo Box Speaker Kit from Parts Express
- They also have a Large kit that might work for you but I used the small one
- ~3/4" thick wood sheet to use on the inside to mount the control panel
- ~2' 1"x2" for use as an interior support
- Optional: Bass Port(s)
- Use this bass port length calculator to find a size and shape that works for the dimensions of your vanity case.
Step 1: Drill the Speaker Holes
This was the most tedious part of the entire process for me. It probably took me about an hour to drill these 2 holes!
Make sure you go slow and stay relaxed, you don't want to crack your vanity case or mess up the finish somehow.
I suggest drilling some pilot holes in the middle and then using an appropriately sized hole saw to drill the correct size hole to fit the speakers you use. Just go to the store and buy the right size hole saw drill bit, it'll be worth it!
Step 2: Drill Holes for the Bass Port(s)
If you're going to use some bass ports, this is when you'll want to drill the holes for those too.
Again, go slow and make sure you have the right tool to make cutting or drilling the holes easy and clean.
I also had to cut the bass ports to the appropriate length for the interior volume of my vanity case. Again, you can use this bass port length calculator to find a size and shape that works for the dimensions of your vanity case.
Step 3: Cut Out the Interior Components
Next you'll want to cut out the flat sheet of wood to house the control panel inside of the vanity case when you open it up.
Trace it out to the right size and cut it out with a jigsaw.
You'll also need to cut out the rectangle to mount the control panel in the middle of that.
Then you'll want to cut three 1"x2"s to support and hold the wooden sheet and control panel.
I also drilled out a couple holes in the back so the charging wire could be run out the back while the lid is closed.
Step 4: Glue the Interior Components
I used hot glue to attach the bass ports and Elmer's glue to attach the interior supports.
Step 5: Assemble the Electronic Components & Mount the Speakers
This takes a bit of time but it's really pretty easy. Parts Express supplies complete instructions to wire up your boombox if you bought the kit so I'll let them take the lead on that: https://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/manuals/300-...
Then drill the holes and mount your speakers to the front of the vanity case too.
I designed this so the top wood piece with the control panel sits and fits snuggly into the vanity case. You can screw it down if you wish but I preferred not to. You can also paint that top wood piece if you'd like too.
Step 6: Enjoy the Tunes!
Flip that switch on and crank the music!
Please let me know your thoughts on this project, if you try it yourself, along with any ways to improve this design.
Oh and I'd be so grateful if you voted for me in this Instructable contest if you feel I deserve it.
P.S. I also host a podcast called Curiosityness! Every week I conduct a podcast interview with an expert about the most fascinating history, things, & people of our world. If that interests you, I encourage you to check out the Curiosityness podcast available for free at https://www.curiosityness.com/
And find me on Instagram @travderose: https://www.instagram.com/travderose
Second Prize in the
Home Decor Challenge