Introduction: Wooden Passive IPhone Speaker!

Hey y’all! It’s Ginny and Ho’ohila back at it again with another instructable! We’re going to be explaining the steps we did to make our wonderful wooden passive speaker. This speaker is designed to hold an iPhone 7, however you can change the measurements to fit your phone. We are just high school students, but no matter, tune in, sit back, and enjoy!

Step 1: Getting Ready: Materials, Tools, Safety

The first step is to get all of the materials, safety gear and power/hand tools ready to go!

Materials: Wood (of your choice, we’re using neem), Ruler, Pen or Pencil, Wood Glue (the brand Titebond is our preference)

Tools: Clamps, Jigsaw, Drill Saw, Belt Saw,Table Saw, Chop Saw, Belt Sander Chisel, Band Saw (If needed)

*When using any power tools, make sure no one is near without safety.

Safety: Dust Mask, Goggles, Ear Protection, Hair Tie (keep hair out of your face), Close toed shoes, Roll up any long sleeves, Face Shield (optional)

Step 2: Trim the Wood

1. Once you have your desired type of wood make a general cut to to rid the excess part of your piece of wood. Only do this sub step if you have a large piece of wood (like ours).

2. Next measure a section of the wood that you have to 22 centimeters in length, 10 cm in height, and 6 cm wide. Use the chop saw to cut your wood to this size. Keep in mind that flat surfaces are better to glue together rather slanted.

3. Chop Saw Operation:

  1. Find a suitable location for your saw (for best results a elevated cleared surface).
  2. Plug in the table saw, grab your first piece of wood and line it up lengthwise against the fence of the table saw. Use one hand to press it firmly against the fence and the other on the chop saws handle.
  3. Bring the saw down in order to check the lineup of the saw with the penciled line without turning it on. (This is just to check where you’re cutting).
  4. Press down on the handle’s button and power the saw on.
  5. Bring the handle down and cut all the way through the wood and lift the saw backup releasing the handle.
  6. Put the safety lock back on the tool.

Step 3: Dividing Wood Into Three

  1. Divide your speaker into three parts (using a pencil and ruler), the back/support, middle, and front. The back should be 3.5 cm wide, the middle should be 1.7 cm, and the front will be 1/2 cm wide. The length of each piece should be 22 cm (draw the lines on the side of your speaker.
  2. Use a table saw to cut your wood into the three different sections (the back/support, the middle, and the front).
  3. Proceed to the table saw and measure from the blade to the fence for a 1/2 cm.
  4. Loosen the fence by pushing up the locking handle located on the end of the fence.
  5. Once you have measured the space between the fence and blade at one centimeter, push the locking handle back downward to secure.
  6. Next (after you make the first cut), measure the fence again to 3.5 centimeters and push the locking handle downwards.

Table Saw Operation:

  1. Raise your blade to half way through the speaker, place your piece of wood an inch away from the end of the blade (using the blade adjusting handle).
  2. Grasp the piece of wood at the end and on the outer edge halfway up the wood.
  3. Flip the power switch located under the table saw on the side nearest and gently push the piece of wood forward through the blade while making sure the wood is firmly up against the fence (to ensure straightness).
  4. Once the wood has been cut about halfway through, use a piece of wood to push it the rest of the way through (to ensure you do not cut your hands).
  5. When you reach to turn off the saw make sure you or someone else are still holding both pieces of wood to avoid the kickback of the saw. (The kickback will shoot the piece of wood back at you and could cause injury).

Step 4: Trace Design to Middle Piece

Using a pencil, draw this design on the middle piece using the following dimensions in the picture.

For the circle part of the speaker we used the bottom of a glue bottle because it fit in the space perfectly. You can use your own stencil, just make sure it lines up in the middle of the end of the sound canal. Whatever size you choose, make sure you have the drill saw bit size.

Step 5: Carve Out Stencil

Now you must carve out your design using the middle piece of wood.

  1. Use one or two clamps and make sure the wood is tightly secured to a flat space. Also, put a scrap piece of wood under the speaker piece so that you won’t drill through your table.
  2. Choose a drill bit that is smaller than or about the same size the passageways in the design.
  3. Drill holes throughout the passage way in order to be able to get the jigsaws saw into it (to make the longer cuts). Use a chisel to make the holes created by the drill straighter (if needed).
  4. Use the jigsaw to straighten the passageways out.
  5. Do not cut the speaker holes with the drill, jigsaw or band saw yet (that is the next step).

*If your wood is more on the delicate side and breaks during this process, you can use the band saw to carve out the canal. (Ours broke too and that's okay, as you can see in step 7).

Step 6: The Speaker Holes

Use a drill saw to cut out the holes in the front and middle sections of wood (the places where the sound is able to exit the speaker):

  1. Clamp the piece of wood on top of another scrap piece of wood in order to not drill through the surface you are working on.
  2. Place the proper sized attachment/saw size lined up with the stenciled hole and place on hand on the back of the drill and one of the handle.
  3. Make sure that your drill is going the right way before you start it up (in and not out) by pressing the button right on the inside of the handle.
  4. Press down on the button right beneath the handle and apply pressure downward from the back of the drill.
  5. Once you are sure that you have gotten all the way through the wood change the direction and pull the drill out.
  6. Repeat this step with the other three holes (2 on the front piece and 2 in the middle piece).

Step 7: Gluing the Speaker!

  1. Buy your preferred bottle of wood glue (we’re using Titebond).
  2. Glue together your speaker by gluing the middle between the front and back sections of the speaker.
  3. Clamp the three pieces together and let is dry for at least a day.
  4. *Optional - If the middle section of your speaker broke at all during the use of the jigsaw or other power tools then glue the middle parts back together, wait a day, and then glue the middle to the front and back sections.

Step 8: Sanding and Varnishing (Optional)

If you want your speaker to be super smooth, you could sand it (which is why random orbit sander is in the tool list). If you want your speaker to be super slick, you could also varnish it, however we don’t know how that would affect the sound (if the varnish is in the speaker hole). This is optional, but the wood might be a little rough on the hands if you plan on moving it a lot. Your call, it will be great anyway.

Step 9: Cleaning Up

Clean up all of your tools and workspace. Sweep and vacuum all the saw dust and wipe off your machines. Cleaning will not only get rid of the dust everywhere, but it keeps your blades in shape for your next project.


Thank you so much for taking time to view this instructable. We really hope this turns out well for you and that our steps were easy to follow. This passive speaker is an easy way to make your favorite tunes louder and impress friends.

Thanks again you amazing person!

Peace out,

Ginny and Ho'ohila