Intro: $4.50 Bluetooth Speaker
I found this little bluetooth speaker on sale at the store for only $4.50 and couldn't pass it up. I originally bought it just to play some tunes out in the garage while building projects, but after getting it home, I thought I would try and dismantle it and build it a new enclosure. This is my story.
Step 1: Dismantle
This was super simple. There were four small screws in the bottom, then it just twisted right apart. The only components inside were the speaker, a lithium ion battery, and a small board. The board holds the usb port for charging the battery, as well as a headphone jack and the on and off switch.
During my disassembly, I must have pulled one of the wires off that attach the battery to the board. Even though I am the world's worst solderer, it was very simple to just solder one wire back where it was supposed to be.
Step 2: Build the Box
I have a bunch of reclaimed maple that I used for my enclosure. I began by planing it and making sure it was smooth and straight, then I ran it through the table saw with the blade barely raised up to create a slot for a little piece of 1/4 inch plywood to slide in. The plywood serves as the front of the speaker.
With the groove already cut, I cut four pieces for the sides at the miter saw. I set the saw to 45 degrees and cut my sides, making sure that the grooves remained on the inside of the box. Next I used a hole saw to drill a hole for the speaker to go in. I followed that cut with the next size up in my hole saw set to create a little place for the speaker to sit. There was a little lip remaining, that was very easy to pop right off with a chisel.
At this point, I glued these five pieces together with wood glue and let sit overnight. If I was going back to do this again, I would have gone ahead and painted the front blue before the glue up. It just would have been much easier that way, but I'm not the best in the world at planning ahead.
Step 3: Decorative Touches
My plan all along was to do a wood carving on one side and a wood burning on the other side, both of the bluetooth symbol. My lack of experience in carving proved to be quite a road block, and my carving project turned out to be no more than practice. The little lines of the symbol broke off right away, so I moved on to the wood burning, which is much harder to screw up. Pretty straight forward, I just transferred the image and traced it out with a wood burning iron.
Next I painted the front face of the speaker blue. Then I ran all the corners of the box through the table saw in a spline jig, to cut grooves for splines to be added into the mitered corners. This were mainly decorative, but they also added to the strength of the box for sure.
I cut out a bunch of little triangles and glued them into place. I came back later and cut them flush and sanded everything nice and smooth.
Step 4: Final Assembly
I dropped the speaker into the little slot on the front, then ran a bead of hot glue around the outside. I used a Popsicle stick to push the glue into place, and after a bit of patience, I got it just like I wanted.
Both the battery and the board had a little rectangle of foam on the bottom, I guess to cushion the components when they are being jostled around. Just my guess. Anyways, I used the foam to attach these piece with hot glue. I was extra patient, and held them in place until the glue was totally dry and they seem to be holding in place just fine, so far.
For my finish, I just wiped on a couple coats of shellac and went on about my day. Very easy, and it gave it a nice clean look.
That's about all I've got for this one. I'm super happy with the way it turned out. Have a good one.