Wooden "gramophone" Phone Speaker

Introduction: Wooden "gramophone" Phone Speaker

Alright, so I created this project with my iPhone 6 in mind. I'll show you exactly how I made it, but this is by no means the way it has to be; feel free to customize and share your results with me!

I originally made a simpler wood speaker as a present for my brother, based off the "DOCK Box" design which can be found at Geeky Gadgets online. But it ended up being slightly too mundane for my tastes and so got me thinking: there's gotta be a cooler way. Welcome to my wooden "gramophone" project!

**aesthetics are the main appeal here, although the sound level is improved/amplified as well.

Step 1: Preparation

Okay, so step one is gathering materials and tools.

Materials I used:

  • 3 pieces of oak (3/4 x 3 x 9)
  • Glue (wood and super)
  • Old reading lamp

Tools I used:

  • Saw (radial, hack, and saber)
  • Drill (9/16'' bit)
  • Clamps
  • Sand paper

Step 2: Getting Started

This speaker is comprised of three pieces of oak board glued together. I found a 30'' board laying around that worked out perfectly, as I had ample material to cut out three 9 inch pieces with the radial arm saw. Two of these I left untouched; these are the "bread" of the sandwich. The middle piece is what I cut a sound channel into with the saber saw.

I traced where I would cut first with a pencil, first drawing a cutout for my phone (deep enough that it wouldn't move/tip but not so deep that the screen is covered) and from the right side of that groove, under the speaker, a channel running in an arc to the other side of the piece (but not all the way! Stop about an inch before you cut through!).

Lastly, sand down the inside of the groove so it's not bumpy.

Step 3: The Lamp Part

I took apart an old bedside reading lamp because I wanted to give my speaker a nice cone for the sound to come out of, like an old gramophone would have. I stripped everything out of the lamp except for the lamp shade and the flexible stainless tubing. Reusing this was super nice because it allows the head of the speaker to flex and bend in order to direct sound wherever you want!

The tubing originally went through a hole in the side of the shade, but I took it out and drilled a hole in the back of the shade big enough to put it through that way. I think the sound is better originating from the back instead of the side.

The tubing I cut to about a 4'' length with the hack saw. I didn't need the whole thing. That's it for the lamp part!

Step 4: Drilling the Hole

First off, I clamped the pieces together just in case I accidentally cut through the middle piece and separated it completely. With a 9/16'' hole to drill and a 3/4'' piece of wood, there's not much room for error. However, with all pieces being glued together in the end, if you do separate the middle piece it's no big deal.

Okay so I needed to drill a hole from the top of the middle piece down into the groove I cut out. Through this hole I would insert the tube. Remember, this hole should be drilled through the remaining inch or so of wood you DIDN'T cut through when you were making your groove.

Step 5: Attaching Stuff

Now everything is pretty much done--it just has to be put together. I glued the tub into the hole, the back piece onto the middle, and lastly the front piece. I did it in steps so that I could wipe away any glue that squeezed into the groove in the wood. I'm no expert, but I think that the smoother that channel is inside, the better the sound will be.

When everything was dry, I screwed on the lamp shade and voila!

Step 6: Finishing Touches

...almost. The sound quality wasn't what I wanted it to be and that's because the 3/4'' board was too thick for my phone, which is maybe half that. Sound was escaping out the hole by the speaker and not all going down the groove. So I made a little piece to thicken up the hole, and glued felt onto it. This really plugged it up and directed all the sound where I wanted it to go.

Ahh, much better.

Last but not least, I sanded the sides and applied some varnish. The wood was already finished, but the cut end pieces looked ugly. Okay, now I think we can say voila!

Step 7: Test It!

I'll upload a video of this thing in action as soon as I can find a second recording device--my phone can't record AND play music! Now this speaker definitely can't compete with its electronic counterparts in terms of sound amplification, but the look is what I was really going for. And it really does make the sound both louder and deeper, removing especially the "tinny" aspect of my phone speakers.

This was my first ever instructable, so please: constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated! If you decide to make something similar, share a picture with us!

Hope you enjoyed.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    that is a really nice cool product using basically scrap items... great job!


    4 years ago

    This turned out looking great!


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you tomatoskins!