Building a bluetooth speaker is not a very complicated project, and you can get really creative with the design and use any material you have on hand. I decided to use walnut and cherry for the box, however any wood would work.
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Step 1: Speaker
You can find speakers online, however I got mine by walking into my local car stereo store. I just asked if they had any single speakers laying around, where the second one broke, which they did. And they actually gave it to me for free which was really kind. So just a little tip, of you want to build one too.
Step 2: The Wood
I began with planning out the wood, and taking grain direction into account for a finished clean look. I built the box based on the size of the speaker I had, however you can make it any size you'd like.
First I cut the wood to size, and I'm going for a box with mitered corners, where the front and back face sit inset into the box 1/4 of an inch.
Step 3: Dados & Miters
To keep the front and the back cherry piece in place, I decided to go with dados in the walnut, so two dados in each piece, one for the front and one for the back. And it's a lot easier to add the dados before cutting the wood to size.
Then cutting the miters, and to be honest with you, miters are not my favorite, they're kind of tricky to get right and perfect, although they do provide a really nice and clean look.
Step 4: Hole for Speaker
So planning it all out once the wood was cut to size - where to fit the speaker, where to place the switch. And I decided to go with a blue LED light to indicate whether the speaker is on or off.
I marked out where the speaker would go, and then I used a coping saw to cut out the interior. I know a lot of people like jig saws, I have never really been a huge fan, and one of the reasons for that is I prefer to do this kind work inside the shop, and doing it by hand is a lot quieter and produces a lot less dust. Plus it's kind of a relaxing exercise in precision work.
Step 5: Speaker Grille
Then I figured it might be nice with a speaker grill, so I started working with a piece of MDF, marking out the size, and drilling a variety of holes. First I meant for this one to just be a prototype, and I was going to make the final one in plastic, but once I was done with this one, I thought it worked really nicely, so I just went with it.
I also drilled shallow holes for small magnets which I added in the corner, and these magnets will ensure that the grille attaches to the speaker.
I picked up some speaker fabric in my local fabric store, and just stretched it around, however you could probably use any fabric you like. The whole grille fits great on the speaker and simply snaps in place with the magnets.
Step 6: Gluing
I still need some more holes for a power cord in the back, as well as holes for the switch and the LED light in the front for the cherry parts, so taking care of that on the drill press.
Note that I don't recommend gluing the cherry parts in. I can do that here because of my local environment, there are less seasonal changes here than in other areas, but in general, it's better to just glue the mitered corners together and let the panels float freely.
To get the speaker off the ground, I cut up small squares of cherry and then I just chamfering the edges. Then gluing on.
Step 7: Finishing
For a finish, I went with three coats of shellac, and once that was dried I added some of my tung oil wax polish with steel wool for that super smooth feel.
Step 8: Electronics
Then finally, the electronics. I'm using a bluetooth amplifier, and I've got a rather handsome switch.
It's all pretty simple, power coming in to the switch, which splits off, and one wire goes to the blue LED connected to a resistor, and the other wire goes directly to the amplifier. Then the amplifier of course connects to the speaker.
I got little feet I'm putting on the amp, to get it off the ground, and then I'm doing the soldering work.
Putting in the speaker wires, and of course checking so it works.
Step 9: Adding the Speaker
Then to secure the power plug in the back, I'm simply using hot glue. And I will use a simple 12 volt power block to power this unit. Also gluing in the light. And I spray painted the screws I'm using to attach the speaker to the wood black, so they would blend in better. And then of course adding the grille.
Step 10: Bluetooth
So this unit is completely controlled through bluetooth, which of course you can use through your phone or computer. And that's also where you control the volume.
I think this speaker turned out really great. It has a nice finished look, and it will be great for listening to music and podcasts!.What I love about this project is how you can change it endlessly with different types of wood, or you could use plywood and paint, there are just so many different options.
Step 11: Watch the Video!
For a much more in-depth look of all the steps, make sure to check out the video.