DIY: How to Make VERY Simple Speakers, Part 3

DIY: How to Make VERY Simple Speakers, Part 3

Apr 22, 2008

Hello again, are we ready to finish up? Last time we assembled the boxes and filled in screw holes. Now we will wrap it all up- really easy to do, just follow along. Since we basically have two sealed boxes all glued together, it is time to cut the holes. A jigsaw will make short work of cutting a couple of circles out of the wood...

Just drill a hole in the area that will be cut out (in the middle of the circle) with a drill bit that is bigger than the cutting blade of the jigsaw. That way the blade will fit right in and you can start cutting. Since this part of the wood is being removed, you can drill anywhere you like.
In the pic above, you can see the hole cut out, as well as the filled in screw holes and damaged MDF. Messy, but that will all change. The black on the inside of the box is an optional coat of sound deadening from Pep Boys- It's called "Paint on truck bed lining". You dont need it, we are just into details.

On the bottom of the speaker is a port (see above). A port is basically a hole that helps the speaker perform better at the lower end of the audible spectrum- the bass frequencies- actual size is included with the plans. We used a plastic insert for aesthetic purposes, but it is not essential for this design. By the way, the port is not as long as in the image.

After cutting the holes, we need to stuff the box with some carpet padding to soften the sound a bit. The image above shows how we patterned the [free] padding. Fold along the red lines- we didn't even glue this, it is tailored for the area and therefore very tight.

Now is a good time to prime, if you are going to paint your speakers. Primer is basically paint that you use for your first coat- it's formulated to stick to all kinds of materials. See primed boxes below:

Now on to the look...
Some ideas for finishing the speakers off:

  • Paint, like we did. Actually, leftover paint from the living room walls!
  • Glue on some newspaper, like on the inside of the Chinese box above.
  • Burn the MDF to get whatever pattern you like, like on the gourd above.
  • Create a fake cardboard box effect with writing on it that says 'fragile'(Italian).
  • Encrust with Swarovski crystals- like the Wii above.
  • Cover with leather, like the bag above. Glue it, sew it, whatever.
  • Camo print...

After you have finished the boxes and made them all purty, you need to wire them together. Really easy, do not worry. There are only 4 connections per speaker. A wire goes to the driver and splits to connect to the tabs there and the same wire then connect to the terminals (connects to the receiver.). See above. Bear in mind that we used computer/telephone wire (CAT5) so that is why you see so many wires here but they are just divided in half so it is really just one wire per side. CAT5 has received a lot of great reviews online for being great speaker wire... no idea whether that is just internet mythology, but it is very cheap and comes in a lot of colors. We chose blue cuz the paint on the speakers is an extremely light blue/gray.

After you have wired everything up, screw the drivers in, then the terminals and plug them in! (Then play music.) If you used these drivers, they will take maybe 100 hours of listening to loosen up and reach their most bestest performance. By the way, these drivers only need about 4 watts (they will take a lot more) to get great, room filling sound. We have 8 watts per channel on ours and oh!- so nice.

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