We all love musical clocks. The sound make us dream an its a good feeling to wind it up and let it play some nice sounds.
There is a website with a lot of these mechanical wonders that let me dream.
But musical clocks are expensive and not very flexible. If you do not need the tune anymore you have to exchange the whole clockwork.
Do you like to build your own? A musical clock where you can exchange the tune at any time?
OK, than follow me around the corner. There is the entrance to my workshop....
Lets build such a clock together.
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Step 1: Materials
What do you need?
- A wooden box (eBay)
- A speaker or similar (any small speaker will do)
- A on / off switch
- Two push buttons
- A batteries holder 3 x AAA
- A stiff wire (brass or steel, copper plaited)
- A cover for the speaker (eBay)
- This >> MP3 Player module.
- A micro SD - card up to 16 GByte
The player is the heart of the whole musical clock. I recommend this player type because it has some special features:
- On Board mono amp up to 3W (depends on the power source)
- Memory function for the last track
- Memory function for the amplitude
- Works from 3V to 5V
You will find it here: KLICK
Search around a bit sometimes you can fin 5 pieces for around 6 Dollars
With some few modifications it is perfect for this project.
Back from the shopping tour?
Then lets start...
Step 2: The Box, Drilling the Holes
This a delicious part. Be careful. Drill with high speed but very smooth and with less force.
It takes some time but it makes the finish easier.
Drill only half way from each side this makes good holes and the mounting of the parts easier.
Step 3: The Box, the Stain
Paint the box with the water based stain.
Let it dry and use the stain a second time.
Let dry again.
After this you have to use an acrylic transparent paint to harden the surface for sanding.
Due to the water in the stain the wood will become rough.
So paint with the acrylic transparent paint and let it dry over night. Better two days.
Step 4: The Electronics....
While the box is drying we can prepare the electronics.
Soldering all wires and switches and the batteries case.
At this point we can do the first test. Insert the micro - SD card and the batteries and switch the power switch to on.
A red LED will light and flash and the player is making some music or noise :-)
To adjust the volume please press the button longer than 2 seconds.
To store the volume level press the next button short one time. The player ist storing the volume level in his internal flash memory.
Step 5: The Box, Finishing the Surface
Use glaze to paint the surface again. I used mahogany glaze and painted the box two times. Let it dry. Than I used black glaze to make the surface look a bit older.
Step 6: The Bx, Putting Everything Together
Glue the speaker in place.
Screw the legs in place an mount the buttons.
Glue the power switch into the corner like it is shown in the picture above.
Glue the MP3 player in place. I used two component glue.
Please mention the off position of the switch. This important!
Step 7: The Switch...
To make the box look like a real musical clock I attached a small brass bowl that switches the the box on if you pull it.
Follow the pictures to build such a switch. You can build you own mechanics if you like.
Step 8: The Finish...
To give the box an "old style" finish paint the box two times with
You have a musical clock :-)