This custom Bluetooth Speaker was a fun project and it can inspire people of all ages to get into woodworking and electronics, since everyone is all about their phones these days. It's made from 1/2" walnut and maple with a kit from Parts Express. Watch my video, download my plans, and follow this Instructable to make your own. Even better...design your own speaker enclosure!
1/2" Lumber or Plywood
Two Port Hole Tubes (Optional)
Fancy Knob (Optional)
Ten 1/2" Wood Screws
Four 1-1/4" Screws for Rubber Pads
3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive
Tools: Table Saw, Scroll Saw, Drill Press, Drill, Soldering Iron, Drill, Screwdriver, Clamps
Step 1: Order Parts and Download Plans
I got the Bluetooth Speaker Kit from PartsExpress.com. They have several kits available, but the one I used was the $59 kit and it matches my plans. They even have kits with rechargeable battery packs if you want to make your speaker portable. If you use a different kit, you may need to adjust my plans for the parts to fit. Below are links to everything.
Fancy Knob (Optional) - The kit comes with a knob, but this one looks cooler.
There is a link to download my plans in my website article for this project.
Step 2: Cut the Sides and Test Fit
Cut the four sides, top, and bottom from 1/2" lumber. Cut the box joints on the four sides and test the fit. Don't glue them together yet!
Step 3: Cut and Drill the Holes
I used a scroll saw to cut out the speaker and port hole openings. The electronic parts have different shaft diameters. The diameters are listed on my plans. Use calipers to check your parts to make sure they are the same, especially if you use a different kit. Drill the holes using the closest size drill bit you have, then use a round file to enlarge the holes so the parts fit.
The shafts on the electronic parts are not long enough to fit through 1/2" lumber, so you will need to drill counter-bore holes on the inside surfaces of the sides without drilling all the way through the board. A drill press with a depth stop and Forstner bits are good for this. I drilled .75" counter-bores for most of the parts. The volume control has a small circuit board on it, so I drilled a 1.25" counter-bore for that one.
Don't forget to drill holes for mounting the speakers and circuit board mounting plate.
DRILL ALL HOLES NOW because it will be hard to get a drill into the enclosure once it's glued together!
Step 4: Glue, Sand, Finish
After all holes are drilled, glue the sides together. Use clamps and check it for square. When dry, sand the joints smooth. Also sand the top and bottom pieces. Glue on the top, but set the bottom piece aside. This is a good time to apply the finish of your choice. I used Deft Clear Wood Finish spray lacquer.
Step 5: Wire It Up
Follow the diagram included with the speaker kit to wire up the electronics. Everything plugs into sockets on the circuit board, but you will have to solder the speaker terminal connections and the power jack.
After you have checked all connections, you can plug it in and test that your phone can connect and music will play through the speakers.
Warning! Be careful when working with electronics and keep the power unplugged until after you have triple-checked all connections. Do not touch the circuit board or any wires while testing. You could damage the components or yourself!
Step 6: Mount All Parts
Mount all of the switchs, jacks, and knobs onto the enclosure. Be careful not to scratch your nice finish.
Step 7: Attach Bottom and Rubber Pads
Drill pilot holes to attach the bottom piece to the enclosure. I used 1.25" mounting screws to also attach the rubber pads with the mounting screw, instead of using the short screws that came with the pads.
Step 8: Connect and Rock Out!
Plug in the speaker and turn on the switch. It takes a few seconds for the Bluetooth light to start blinking. Go to your phone's Bluetooth device list and select the speaker. It make have an odd name, but you can rename it if you like in the app. Once you connect, turn up the volume knob and play your favorite tune and rock out!
Oh, and you can watch all my videos on my YouTube channel The Carmichael Workshop and the sound will come out of your new Bluetooth Speaker. :)
Thanks for checking out my Instructable! I hope this project inspires someone out there to try something new and make a speaker. Happy woodworking! - Steve...