Intro: Speaker Cubes
These speakers may look familiar to those who know me and they are!! These are the speakers that were shown on my last Instructable 'The CD Rack'. I have made them from the scrap oak from the CD rack and a speaker system found on the following website. Click here. Sustainable or What!!! They can connect to any Phone/iPod with a 3.5mm Jack plug, they charge Ipods and can be played using battery power and/or a plug. They have adjustable volume and a display LED with an on/off switch.
-Wood or Acrylic( i used the scraps from my previous project)
-high strength polystyrene(A colour of your choice, I used ivory black)
-sticky base pads
The Tools and Equiptment
-hot glue/hot glue gun
Step 1: Design
I have made a simple design that it is a square. the main reason for this shape is because i made them to fit into my CD Rack. Your designs can be varied and customized to suit your needs in anyway you want. this is because this Instructable holds the key production stages of making all speaker systems.
I had to make sure that all of the sound was projected forward from the speakers. the reason for this is because you don't really want the walls dancing!!
To do this you need to design a box like shape, mine was a box.
To get rid of vibrations which create a tinny sound an insulator must be added or the design for the inside to propel the sound forward instead for absorb it.
Step 2: Production
I have begun work on the speakers. I have measured all of the squares 10mm by 10mm( this will soon change as to make it a perfect square) this was a little tricky as I was using the left over pieces from the curves I cut for my CD Rack. This meant that I have not be wasting the wood.
After Measuring all of them out use a saw or band saw, as long as it keeps the Wood Square it is okay to use.
To find the centre of the front face I drew lines using a pencil from corner to corner. The point where the lines crossed was the centre because the front face was a perfect square and this is where I drilled the whole for the speakers to sit in using a hole cutter. Depending on how big your speaker cones are, mine were 66mm in diameter.
The Volume Knob and On/off switch are going to come out of the front, so i had to measure all of the distances between each button and switch. be careful to measure the distance from the top of the base panel to the bottom of the circuit board.
Step 3: Production Continued..
The most important thing to consider about making boxes is that they are square when put together, this will look better but will also save time when joining the pieces. To make sure the boxes were square I used a square block which had perfectly square sides at 90°(measured using a set square, of course). Once two of the sides were in place I clamped them down and used glue as well as the dowel to join them at 90°.
To make the dowel joints simpley cut 3 pieces of dowle to the same lenght( 3 for each side), then drill marked holes into the wood and the adjastent piece, slip the dowle in witha bit of glue and leave to dry. If the dowle desnt go all the way in a malet can be used to give it a tap.
After the first two had glued I continued with the rest, until only the back was left. Before joining the back I removed the block of wood and then did the dowl joint. Putting the back on required placing two clamps awkwardly through the speaker cone hole on the front panel, this made sure it was square.
Step 4: Finishing
Once the Joints have dried.( two days or so) the clamps can be released. The Pressure of the clamps may have caused glue to come out of the sides, but that doesn't matter as it will be sanded of later. Using a chisel with just your hands, knock off the ends of the dowel joints. This then leaves a flattish surface for sanding down.
Sand down using very cause sand paper at first to get rid of all of the big dents or splinters you may have on the faces. make sure to sand down the glue and the areas where dowel is slightly above the surface of the faces. work your way through finer sand papers until you get a smooth finish with no dimples or dips. A Belt sander could be used to speed things up a bit.
Once this is done the protective material can be place over the speakers, using araldite or hot glue, glue the material to the face. I used high impact polystyrene. For the Cube with the buttons/switches you can mark the front where they go, once they have been cut, there will be gaps between the holes be sure to put glue here otherwise there will be a flapping piece of material. which will soon get annoying. it also posses the risk of getting caught and ripping on some thing.
The final finish touches for my speakers where to put sticky base pads on the bottom, this just stopped the speakers from slipping around and keeping the base from scratching faster.
Other things could be done, Like painting the cubes, putting velvet on the base so they move around more easily or changing the colour of the material on the front.
Step 5: Electrics
The Deluxe speaker set was brought from kitronixs.com, the website has loads of other amplifier set, but i think this one was the best. other brands may have better quality sets. I am sure you could look on the internet for some if you wanted.
Soldering the whole thing took about an hour, with the set comes instructions on how to do the whole thing including ways to design the speakers. there are 15 steps all together, most are the same thing just repeated on a different part of the board. Make sure that you look at the ways round each component goes, if the LED is the wrong way around, NOTHING WILL WORK!!!!
After finish the board i was able to glue it in place and slot the switches into the holes i had created on the front of the speaker. i used hot glue so it held all of the board in place. it also created an insulating layer, so if any sparks were to come off the wood would be protected from fire risks.
once it is in place put the speakers in the holes of the front faces and solder the two joints onto the wires. Glue the speakers, with hot glue or araldite and hold them in place.
Then finish the outside.
Step 6: Finished Product!
The speakers were designed to fit onto the CD Rack i designed, and they do with ease. it may have been better to use velvet on the base as it is a little tricky taking them of the shelf.
The second an third Pictures contain two extra speakers which have two speakers on each, i wired these into the circuit board as well, but when using battery power, the power drained in a day of using the speakers, so i have de soldered them and made a separate dock for my iPod instead.