If you have created or purchased a small MP3 amplifier and need a sweet enclosure for it, a repurposed tin might be just the thing. Follow this instruction to make one of your own.
Step 1: Find the Perfect Tin
A perfect tin may have come with cookies or kerosene in it. You may find one on eBay or in an antique shop. I got mine in the local thrift shop.
Step 2: Select a Speaker and Create a Template
Once a speaker is selected that will fit in the tin, create a template of the speaker to transfer onto the tin. Trace around the speaker and then cut the template out. Cut the center out to Size the hole size.
Step 3: Locate the Template and Transfer the Marks
Measure and mark the tin as needed to locate the template, then tape the template in place. Use a marker to trace the cut location on the tin
Step 4: Drill and Cut an Opening
Use a drill to place a hole at each corner. Next use a large kitchen knife in one of the holes to drive down and cut the tin. Use the knife in this way twice to carve out a wedge to allow shears in to finish the job. Use tin snips or heavy scissors to finish the job. A note of caution!!! Cut tin is razor sharp, use care and protective gloves as needed to prevent a nasty cut!!
Step 5: Clean Up the Cut and Drill Speaker Mounting Screw Holes
Use a file to clean up the burrs left over from the cutting. This will remove loose material, but the edge will remain razor sharp. Line the speaker up to the hole and ensure that the cutout is good, some recutting may be needed to tweak it into shape. While the speaker is lined up, mark mounting screw holes and then drill them out!!
Step 6: Cover the Sharp Edge
Get some clear tubing such as is used on oxygen masks. Cut just enough to go around the hole. Mark a straight line on the tubing and then slit it open. Use a hot glue gun to affix the tubing over the sharp cutout. When done, the tin will be less dangerous.
Step 7: Prepare Mesh Wire for a Custom Grille
Locate some mesh wire that is suitable for a speaker grille. Cut out a piece that overlaps the hole on all sides then bend all loose ends 90 degrees so it can stand over the speaker opening on the wire legs. Use a marker to locate where each wire end will need a hole to go into. Drill all the holes.
Step 8: Attach the Grille
Carefully place the mesh into the pre drilled holes, start at one end and work around. Whenever an area is seated nicely, bend the wires over on the inside. Continue around until the grille is seated properly and all the wires are bent over. Take care to ensure that the wires are bent sufficiently that they cannot come out later. Caution!!! Use protective gloves and a metal tool as needed to bend the wires over!!! One unprotected slip of the hand could bece an emergency room visit!!
Step 9: Mount the Speaker
Once the desires fasteners are collected, mount the speaker. One trick to get it done more easily is to tape the nuts onto the speaker. There is no room in the tin for a hand and speaker together!! Line the speaker up and tighten the screws until snug.
Step 10: Sound Dampen the Enclosure Bottom Half
Loosely stuff batting in behind the speaker to dampen the sound waves inside the box. This will have a significant impact on sound quality.
Step 11: Add a Battery Holder and Amp
Almost any good idea will suffice, I cut the top off a square medicine bottle that can hold two 9 volts (one spare). I used double back tape to affix it inside the tin. I also used double back tape to affix the amp and speaker jack. I opted to not drill a hole for the jack, but may add it later. I did cut a small "V" to allow the input cord to hang out with the lid closed. I also finished adding batting to the top.
Step 12: Test the New Project!!
Once the amp is wired to the speaker and plugged into the power source, plug in the MP3 player and close the lid. The result should sound great!! I have completed two, the one we did here and one that also has an external jack and on/ off switch. This project is a "high demand" item in my family!! They are a perfect gift for yourself, or for someone you love!! Good luck!!