For my next instructable, I plan on giving a book a voice. When I say voice, what I really mean is a set of speakers and a place to hold the iPod.
The finished pictures look similar to the before pictures. That is how I hoped it would look like. The unimpressive facade of the book throws off many unsuspecting individuals.
For this instructable I plan on using many pictures, but keep the steps down to a minimum to avoid any confusion. Don't worry, I will give you detailed instructions in the text and pictures, you do not need 40 steps to know how to cut into a book. If you are planning on attempting something similar to this project, I will advise you to look at all of the pictures along with their captions.
*as for the "world's loudest" claim, my research has not been completed, but by the looks of it, this is the worlds loudest (portable) book.... as of now.
Step 1: Materials
OK, for the materials, well... there are quite a few.
Main materials needed:
-Book - this is what you are going to be cutting into my books dimensions were 6"x9"x1.5"
-Box Cutter/X-acto knife - for cutting the books pages up
-Speakers - I purchased a $10 pair of universal speakers from Wal-Mart (probably has lead in it)
-Clamps - Hold the book's pages together so you do not mess up the pages while cutting
-Safty Glasses - For use when using the Dremel Drill to cut at the speakers
-Dremel Drill - Use to cut the speakers
-Ruler - Nice straight lines for cutting
-Pencil - For outlining and planning the cuts
Materials I had to find once I started
-Tape - hold things in place while i took measurements
-Hot Glue Gun - Hold speakers to cover
-Soldering iron / solder - Re-attach wires after they broke off speakers
-Post-it Notes - Helped determine where the holes for the speakers would go on the cover
-Patience - Can't have enough for cutting into a book hours on end
-iPod - Considering this revolves around one, you might want to get one (or an mp3 player)
-Elmer's Glue - Painting the speaker's chambers to make it a solid wall
-Paint brush - Painting the speaker's chambers with the glue
-Patience - Did I mention you need this?
Step 2: Preperation
For this step, you must plan in advance what you are going to do. If you do not plan, you will end up with a mess and quite a bit of cleaning to do. If you plan ahead, then the little bumps in the road that you haven't accounted for will be the only thing concerning you as you make your way through the project.
First you need to remove any excess materials from the speakers, I chose to leave a little bit of excess plastic on the sides of the speakers so I would have some space to hot glue them to the book. For this step, I used a Dremel drill once I had removed the backings from the speakers. -Reminder- Wear safety glasses when using a Dremel drill because bits of plastic will fly up and hit you in the eye, when I was finished cutting, I was covered in plastic scrap. Remember to keep the large cuts of plastic that you have extra, you never know what use you will find for them on the creation of this project (I managed to use a few pieces).
Next you will need to figure out the placement of the speakers at the back of the book. Once you have found a satisfactory spot for the speakers, mark them with a pencil and prepare to start cutting. Now before you start cutting, it is important to clamp the books pages down so that a shift in the paper doesn't leave you with a crooked chamber in the book.
Step 3: Cutting the Speaker Chambers
For this, you will need your trusty box cutter/ X-acto knife to hack and slash at the book until there are holes big enough for your speakers. I prefer a box cutter because the blade is longer, and when you get deep inside the book, the walls of the book do not cause the blade to change its angle causing uneven cuts and lots of lost time fixing your mistake.
Now when you cut the chambers, you need to realize that it will not be fast, and may take quite some time depending on the intricacy of the shape you are cutting. The most difficult part of cutting a book is the corners, what you need to do to decrease sloppiness is to start at the corners and push down hard and bring it to the middle or 3/4 of the way to the other side. Then start another cut from the side you almost cut all of the way to and bring the knife from that corner to the middle of the book or 3/4 of the way to the first corner. Do this for all 4 corners and the pages will fall out of the book.
For my design for the speaker's chambers, I cut a larger box to hold the entire speaker, then after around 40 or 50 pages I cut a smaller box for the speaker's magnet and to create a resonance chamber to increase the bass of the speaker.
Step 4: Routing the Wires
Some of you may be wondering, "where will he place his iPod? No way can it fit in the back of the book with the speakers!" OK so maybe you weren't wondering that, but I can only assume you were. I plan on situating the iPod right in the middle of the front page, yes the front page. Now you know why wiring the speakers is a little tougher than you originally thought.
Since the book I am using is bound in a way that the cardboard covers are attached at two points to the hundreds of pages of paper, I am going to make a cut at these points and pull my wire behind the spine of the book, and behind the cardboard cover. This is a little difficult to explain, so I will write detailed notes on the pictures to show you what I mean. For those of you who understand my gibberish, I will also explain in detail what I am doing.
I made the slit with the box cutter so that I could feed the wire from the back, to the front, this was harder than it seems. I had to lift the book up by both the front and back covers to where they touched each other behind the pages. This opened up the cavity behind the pages and behind the cover. I then attached a loop of the wire around a coat hanger and pulled it through the front page. Now before you go hacking and slashing away at the paper because the wire will not fit, make sure to encourage it through the slit instead of cutting the paper too much. You don't want to have to fix that, it takes too long and looks messy.
Step 5: IPod Holder
Now to create the holding area for the iPod.
This part of the project is the easiest. All you need to do is trace your iPod/MP3 player and start cutting. Now if you know how to cut a hole for the iPod, then skip ahead, but if you are unsure about cutting into the front of the book, keep on reading.
Since this is the front of the book, this will be the most looked at part of your "audio-book". This means you need to take your time, and use your new-found book cutting skills to make this area look flawless. This just means you cut carefully and you make sure that you are cutting perpendicular to the books pages. Before you start, you want to clamp the pages like before and check the depth you have available to you (remember, there are speakers down there now!). You want to give a good 40-50 pages of un-cut paper between your iPod and the speaker's chambers to make sure the sound quality isn't changed because of wall thickness.
Remember while cutting it is best to start at the corners and go in toward the middle, then go to the corner you were cutting to and do the same, from corner to middle. Do this for all the corners and you shouldn't have a problem with the pages until your blade becomes dull or it doesn't have the reach you need. When taking out the pages, make sure that they are not uncut in the corners, this will leave a tear in the corners which is difficult to make it look decent.
If your blade isn't reaching as far as you need, stop cutting and get ready to clamp again. You will need to open up the book (which is why I never glue the outside of the book like some people) and re-clamp a few pages before your cuts end. Make sure that the pages are not shifting when you clamp this, what I do is leave the book in a nearly shut position, and then clamp the pages you need before opening it up. You may also need to clamp the previous pages to the cover just to get them out of your way while you start cutting again.
Step 6: Optional Step: Gluing the Chambers
What I mean by "Gluing the Chambers" is that you may want to coat the inside of the sound chambers (where the speakers sit) with glue. I do not know if this improves or hinders sound quality, but I glued mine because I thought that a solid wall would sound better than multiple pages.
To glue the pages properly, you will need a paintbrush, a container, some white glue, and water. In addition to the materials you need to actually glue the pages together, you will also need some weights to compress the pages.
The mixture of glue to water is about 1:1 maybe a little more glue than water so that the mixture still gets soaked into the pages, but it isn't so diluted that all you are doing is getting the pages wet with water and compressing them. Once the mixture is created, just apply to the inside walls of the chambers and get a weight (I used 2x 10lbs weights) to compress overnight. If you are going to use a weight to compress, but use the cover as a flat surface to compress the pages, be sure to put down a layer of wax paper between the pages and the cover so that you do not glue the pages and cover together.
Step 7: The Speaker's Cover Holes
For this step in the instructable, you need to figure out where to cut out the holes for the speakers in the cover. The way I did this was to grab a Post-It note and place it on top of one of the speakers. Then rub a pencil on the paper to find the size of the speakers grill. Once you know the shape and size of the grill, you need to cut out the post it to that shape. From here I rolled up some tape and put the rolled up tape on both sides of the Post-It. I then placed the Post-It on the grill and the speaker into the speakers chamber. Once the book's cover is closed over the speakers, the tape will stick to the cover where the grill is. If it is having difficulty sticking to the cover, just break the contact with the speaker by sliding a pencil under the paper between the speaker and Post-It note.
Once the Post-It note is stuck to the cardboard cover, trace around it with a pencil to find the placement and shape of the speaker hole. Repeat this process for the other speaker.
To cut out the holes in the cover, what you need to do is remove the plastic/paper sleeve from the book (if it has one) and cut along the traced line like what you did for the other parts of the book, except the cardboard is one tough material. You may need to place extra force onto the cover. Once the cover is cut up, you may want to go around the edges with the Dremel drill so smooth it out.
Step 8: Finishing Up Your Audio-Book
OK, the last step (technically) is to glue your speakers to the cover of the book. To prep the speakers for the glue, I roughed up the plastic where the hot glue will go so that it has something to adhere to. I placed the speakers into their chambers one at a time (glued them one at a time so I wasn't rushing myself).
Once one of the speakers is in place, I put generous amounts of hot glue on each of the corners, closed the cover on top of them. I then flipped my book completely upside down so that the weight of the speakers was pushing on the cover, opened up my book and pressed down on the speakers while the glue was still hot. You need to do this quickly while the glue is still hot. Once the first speaker is cooled off, I did the same process on the second speaker.
Step 9: Tips on Building
This section is on the tips I will give you. These tips were taught to me by the mistakes I had made during the 2 build days. I am telling you this information so that you do not make the same mistakes I did.
-Tip #1 - Glue a little bit of the wire to the speaker so that you do not accidentally break the wire off of the speaker like I did while messing with them.
-Tip #2 - Wear safety glasses while using the Dremel, as you can see, there are quite a few pieces of plastic littering the table where I am working. I know that I have said this before in the instructable, but I can tell you that a chunk of plastic in the eye is no fun.
-Tip #3 - Try to keep a clean workspace. This picture is my workspace right after I had finished my book. I couldn't find so many things, so let that be a lesson to you. Clean your workspace once every hour or two. If you do not clean it, at least separate the trash from the tools.