I decided that I wanted a new stereo for my garage, so I made one! I'm not an audiophile, so it might have terrible sound, but it doesn't really bother me at all. I just like that it plays music.
I had some amazon giftcard dollars from doing Mechanical Turk tasks, so this build didn't really cost me all that much, but here is a list of products that I bought. The total bill was just about $100 Canadian from Amazon and about $25 in misc items.
List of Parts purchased:
- Metal tool box - $5 on Kijiji
- Mini Amplifier $36 USD on Amazon
- Bluetooth audio adapter $22 USD on Amazon
- 90 degree RCA Cable adapters $8 from local electronics supplier
- 4-in-1 charging cable $13 from amazon (not delivered or installed yet)
List of parts I had lying around that would add to build cost:
- Extension cord
- Speaker covers
Step 1: Accumulating Parts and Starting Out
I saw this box on Kijiji for $5 and immediately had the idea to turn it into a stereo. I bought it a few months ago and it sat in my garage until this week.
The second picture is one of the speakers I purchased from Value Village. I popped the face off and harvested the speaker from inside. Behind it you can see the amplifier. Screwdriver for scale.
Step 2: Let's Make Some Holes!
The next step was to drill the holes to mount the amplifier. Drill press came in handy for this but I probably could have done as good a job with a hand drill.
Next I used my Dremel to cut out the opening for the amplifier to slip through. There isn't much room for error here. If you make the hole too big, the amplifier faceplate will not cover the hole ant it'll look bushleague. I cut the rough size, then used a file to fine tune the opening. In the end, everything fit like a glove.
Step 3: Make Sure the Amplifier Fits...
Here you can see the amplifier case attached to the lid of the box. And here you can see the other side where the faceplate is attached to the lid of the box. I'm happy with how this turned out.
Step 4: More Holes
Next, I used my jigsaw to cut the holes for the speakers. These don't need to be perfect, as they will be covered up. they just need enough metal out of the way so the sound isn't impeded.
Here you can see the speakers installed. It's starting to come along.
I had these rounded-corner square cut-offs from a different project, so I decided to use them as speaker covers. I used my Dremel and a circle jig to rough out the inside hole shape, then cleaned it up with a sanding drum on my drill press. Again, no need for perfection as these will be covered.
Here you can see the speaker covers attached. I didn't really know what I was doing here, so I took some old, black dress socks, and stretched them over the wood pieces. Then stapled the sock to the inside of the wood piece. If I did this again, I would get/borrow a more heavy duty stapler. The one I used is rated for about maximum 5 sheets of paper... it wasn't pretty. On the right hand speaker cover, you can see some wood next to the bottom screw.. oh well. It's not a show piece...
Step 6: Should Have Measured...
Now, one thing I failed to check before I started was whether or not the box would close with the cords and cables coming out of the back of the amplifier. SPOILER ALERT: The box wouldn't close. I tried to trim the cable ends so they could bend but I didn't feel comfortable with how they turned out and the amount of pressure on the RCA cables, so I bought a couple of these things. The problem with these things is that they're pretty much the exact same depth as the original cables. so I tool my hammer and smacked the back of the box from the inside until it closed comfortably. There may or may not be a bubble on the back of the box to accommodate the cables. Again, not a show piece..
Step 7: All Done!
If you look closely at the top of the box, basically under the handle, you can see a square hole. That is where the bluetooth module sticks, out. There is a button on top of it to connect your device so I wanted to have easy access to that. I cut the hole with a Dremel. It is held tight to the top of the box by a nylon strap riveted in place.
I don't have a picture of the interior wiring, but basically, the amplifier and the bluetooth module are powered by wall wart adapters So I cut the 'plug-into-the-wall' end off of an extension cord and fed it through the box so that the 'plug-stuff-into-me' end was inside the box. I reattached the plug end so I can plug it directly into the wall. Now inside, I have 3 receptacles. 1 for the amplifier, 1 for the bluetooth module, and a 3rd will have a wall-to-usb plug, like an iphone charging block. I will be plugging in the 4-in-1 charging cable to that so I can charge my devices as they're playing music. I needed the 4-in-1 because I have an old ipod touch as well as a new iphone.
I had a lot of fun building this. Hopefully It can inspire someone else to do something similar.
Step 8: Here's Gus for Good Measure
My helper, Gus!