I really like the design of Bang & Olufsen's Beolit 12 portable speaker. Unfortunately the price is a bit steep compared to other speakers on the market. I decided to build a portable system based on B&O's design mixed with some elements of my own. I ended up with covering the speaker with grey wool as I find the combination of wool and leather really good looking.
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Step 1: Parts
MDF - 12mm
2 pcs. 240 x 145 mm (Top/Bottom)
2 pcs. 230 x 165 mm (Front/Back)
4 pcs. 110 x 165 mm (Sides/Mid)
Audio Amplifier Board 2 X 15Watt Class D - TA2024, Sure Electronics 12$
Rechargeable Li-ion battery 12V DC 6800mah, Ebay 18$
2 pcs. Peerless 3" Fullrange P830986, Ebay 27$
3.5mm stereo socket, Ebay 4$
2.1mm DC power socket, Ebay 2$
Mini SPST powerswitch, Ebay 2$
Leather for handle and input plate (I had some scrap leather lying around)
Wool felt fabric 3mm thick 0,3 x 1 m, Local hobby store 15$
Wire Mesh 300 x 600 mm, local hardware store 10$
Various screws and nuts, local hardware store 10$
Spray Can White Matte, 14$
Wood glue and superglue
Sandpaper with various grits
Step 2: Gluing & Sanding
Glue the front, back and side pieces together. Sand the edges down to get a smooth curve. Be careful not to sand too much, as the walls get thinner in the corners.
Form the top and bottom parts so they match the curve. They should be 3mm bigger in every direction so that the wool felt will align with the top and bottom.
Step 3: Cutting Holes
Cut holes for the speakers in the front piece. Don't make them too big! The speakers will be mounted from the inside, so you should make a 45 degree angle around the hole with a wood router (I used a dremel).
Step 4: Speakers & Middle Pieces
Attach the speakers from the inside of the box. This can be a bit tricky. Remember to use rubber foam around the edge to seal it.
Glue the middle pieces in the box. The room between the middle pieces will house the electronics. I made a sliding mechanism so that I could place all the electronics on a plastic board and just slide it in. There's no way you could solder and work in such a tight space. I used some thin metal rods for this.
Step 5: Top & Wire Mesh
Now it's time to glue on the top piece.
The wire mesh isn't really necessary, but I wanted to keep the speakers protected and thought that the wire mesh would be covered by wool anyway. I glued the wire mesh to the box with hot glue and sanded down the glue marks afterwords.
Step 6: Painting
After sanding the bottom and top, it was time to start painting. I used a primer, and then around 6 coats of the matte white spray paint with sanding between each coat. This took some time, but the finish was worth it. I made a "MacBook Pro profile" on the bottom piece as you can see on the picture.
Step 7: Input Panel
Cut holes for input sockets on the back. I made a leather piece to attach all the sockets on. The holes on the top is for the screws for the handle.
Step 8: Wool Felt
Cut the wool felt so it can be wrapped around the box, not covering the top and bottom. Sew the ends together. You now have a holster that you can put around the box. It is important to make the holster a little bit too small so that the wool fits tightly around the box. Use a THIN layer of glue on the top to attach the felt. The bottom is attached to the bottom of the box with staples.
Step 9: Electronics
Attach the electronics to the plastic board that fits the sliding mechanism. I used a Xbox cover for the plastic board. Solder wire to the speakers and between all the sockets/switches. If everything is working, you can slide the board into the middle room. The wires go out to each chamber through holes in the middle mdf pieces.
Step 10: Leather Handle
Cut a strip of leather and wax it with some brown shoe polish. I guess you could also use a leather belt. Cut a hole one each side.
The screws were made round by a grinding machine and the sanded while attached to a drill for a mirror finish.
Attach the leather handle to the box with the screws and glue a nut around the screws from the inside.
Step 11: Closing the Box
The bottom piece is attached to the box with 4 screws with nuts attached to 90 degree metal pieces on the inside. The nuts were attached with metal epoxy. I covered the holes on the bottom with some rubber feet.
And finally it was finished!