Introduction: Amplify My Life Speaker Project
For this project, you will be creating a wooden speaker with electrical components.
Step 1: Creating Your Design
To make sure that your standardised components (woofer, chip and button) fit into your speaker, its size needs to be based on those components.To do this, measure your woofer, chip and button.
After a few sketches, draw a scale drawing of the music note, make sure the proportions are correct.
Step 2: Creating Your CAD Files
To create your designs on 2D design, you will be using the to-scale drawing of your design.
I was going to use an online picture of a music note and then vectorize it, but I didn't find the perfect musical note, do drew it myself.
Scan your drawing, insert it into the 2D design and trace it.
The reason why I made it hollow on the inside of the arm, is because the chip will go inside there. The curvy bit that branches off of the arm will also be hollow to balance out the weight, or else the music note won't stand as it would be unstable.
You should have different layers to make your music note thicker. Depending on the size of your speaker and chip, your dimensions need to be altered. The total thickness of my note was 5.4cm, as my chip was 4mm in height. The parts on the picture of the CAD file aren't all my parts, I added are four extra 0.6mm pieces (two were the same as A, and the other two were the same as D) and two extra 0.3 pieces (both were the same as A) .
Step 3: Organising Your CAD Files
In order to laser cut them whilst wasting the least material as possible, try tessellating each piece.
Step 4: Laser Cutting
Now it's time to send all your tessellated documents to the laser cutter. Remember to put the right setting on your laser cutter so that is cuts through thick wood!
Step 5: Making the Chip
What I did next is, I created the PCB chip by soldering each part to the motherboard. You should buy a set which has all the parts. All you need to do is follow the instruction manual which comes with the set. Each part is numbered and has a matching number on the chip.
To solder, you will need a soldering iron, a fan machine that will eliminate the harmful fumes produced, helping hands can be useful with stabilising your chip, and the solder. I recommend wrapping the solder into a sort of coil (shown in the picture above), as that makes it easier to hold and use.
Remember your safety goggles! If you're a beginner, watching this tutorial video could be helpful:
Step 6: Soldering the Woofer
To solder your woofer to your chip, wrap the red (positive) wire around the positive end and the black (negative) wire around the negative end of the woofer and the chip. Do the same but to your chip. Then all you need to do is to solder them in place.
Step 7: Soldering the Button
Before soldering it, make sure you insert the button into the note, as you will not be able to do this afterwards. Then, to solder it, it's just like you did for the woofer to the chip. Because it's not the standard button that's soldered directly onto the chip, you need to attach and solder two wires (one red and one black) to the end of the chip and the button. It doesn't really matter where the positive and negative wires go. Remember to strip the wires before soldering. You can also use the nose pliers to help with the bending.
Step 8: Creating Your Power Supply
Take an old power brick or power adapter, this can be a computer charger, a razor plug, anything with a plug and a wire. The only constraint is the number of Volts and Amps. Then using the side cutters, cut off the end connecting part of the power supply. Then split the two wires and then strip them so you can see the metal inside. Now twist the tiny metal wires/strings, and solder a thin layer on top of it just to make it neater. You can use a multimeter to check if it works. Then thread the red or white stripped wire through the positive hole of the chip (battery part) and the black wire through the negative hole. Then solder them into place.
Step 9: Testing Your Speaker
Before testing the electronics of your speaker, make sure you have your on/off button, and power or battery supply soldered. Plug in one side of the cable into your chip and the other to the earphone jack of your phone or computer. Then just play a song, and make sure everything is on and plugged in.
Step 10: Positioning Your Chip
Next, put the chip inside the "arm" of the note. Make sure all your wires are well positioned and connected.
Step 11: Screwing in the Speaker
Start by placing the woofer where it needs to be on the wood. Next, using pencil, circle in the small holes where the screw goes. Now make a small indent in each using traced circle with a milling machine.
Take a mill according to what size your holes will be, I used the 5 mill,l but you can use whichever one suits your woofer. Once decided the mill size, put the mill into the milling machine.
Once you have the indent, using a drilling machine, drill the screw into the hole. I used a 1cm long screw, but the size can vary depending on your woofer. Also, if your screw is too small for the drilling machine, you can try with a screwdriver.
Remember, safety comes first, so be careful and do not put your fingers close to the mill, and wear safety goggles.
Step 12: Gluing the Layers
To glue all the layers use make sure to use wood glue and a small brush. I found it helpful to write the number on each of my layers, so I didn't get the order mixed up.
What you want is to have the first layer which is the front layer, then a layer with a big hole to leave room for the screws, then a layer with a small hole to hold the woofer in place, and then the rest of the layers with big holes and a cut/pathway that leads to the arm of the note for the cables to in.
Don't glue your last layer, as you will velcro it. This is so that if there are any problems with the electronics, you can easily open the music note and fix it.
Step 13: Adding Velcro to the Last Layer
Cut up small strips of velcro and stick the different sides. Put the fluffy part on the last layer and the other spiky part on the glued together layers.
Step 14: Sanding
Start by using different shaped sanding tools to sand every bit of the music not.
To give it that extra smooth finish, I used sanding paper, but that's optional.
The reason why it should smooth is for safety reasons, so there are no sharp bits.
Step 15: Painting
Painting is optional, but I think it adds a lot to the aesthetic. The colour you choose is completely up to you, I chose black since classical music notes are black and I wanted it to look like it's a note taken out of a written song.
If you are going to paint it make sure to use the right wood paint and brush. I recommend doing three layers, as it gives the note a fuller more vivid colour. That's it, you're done! :)