Modern Bluetooth Speaker with Wooden Charging Stand
This is how I made a Bluetooth speaker. Bluetooth technology has evolved over the years to the point where anything could have bluetooth capabilities. The smart phone obviously is the first thing that comes to mind, but playing music from a smart phone to a wireless speaker has got to rank high up on the list of bluetooth uses simply for convenience.
So, recently I had the chance to use a bluetooth speaker kit from Rockler to make my own, but I wanted to take a different approach than to just make a box. I wanted a full functioning speaker with a phone stand, but I also wanted it to look like a piece of art. Other than the speaker kit itself, I only used a couple of pieces of scrap wood.
During the original thought process of the speaker design, I thought about using dovetails as a way of adding some visual interest. I also thought about incorporating cut outs for the phone to fit into and having a charging cable routed through to create a charging dock. These two ideas were doable and probably would have been great, but there were a couple of problems with both. A few projects prior to this one I used a slab of Osage Orange and added several dovetails as visual interest as well as functionality, so I didn’t want to recreate that scene again. Here’s that project…
The problem with having a slot or groove routed into the block of wood for the phone to stand up is that the size of the smart phones are constantly changing, and I didn’t want a useless phone dock after a few months. Same thing with the charging cable idea… I didn’t want to customize the dock to a specific charging cable if it could possibly change after a while. Ultimately, I decided to design the speaker and phone stand in a way that would work for different devices. The piece of wood I chose to use already had an odd shape, which worked well for wanting something a little different with an artsy feel. Using a piece of Sapele for the phone stand added a bit of contrast with functionality.
Bluetooth Speaker Housing
Connecting the speaker components was self explanatory (color coded) and the steps to connect a bluetooth enabled device were very easy. The construction of the speaker housing or box of sorts is left up to you, the creator. There’s no doubt a thousand ways to create a way to house the Bluetooth speaker. That is what’s fun in this project, being creative.
I started out by choosing to use an abstract cut-off piece of Osage Orange that I had laying around. There wasn’t much I had to do to this cut-off as it already looked “artsy” and the color was awesome. So, basically all I had to do was drill two holes and figure out a way to create a phone stand. I started by drilling a couple of holes with a forstner bit at the drill press.
One hole would be offset on the front for the speaker and one hole on the back in the center.
These two holes needed to be close enough in proximity to one another so that I could use a drill bit to connect the two. The reason for the connecting hole is so that the wires from the speaker can connect to the main control.
Before I mounted the phone stand or did any finishing, I sanded everything down and rounded the corners.
To mount the phone stand, I used finishing nails to act like dowel rods for support. The first thing I did was measure where the stand would be placed and make marks for drilling holes.
Once I had the holes drilled, I could clip the heads off the finishing nails to allow them to fit into the holes much easier.
Next, I applied glue to each nail and inserted them into the holes. I could’ve gotten away with just a couple, but I used four just to be sure. Adding the stand was all that was left to do, and that was simple enough. I also applied glue to the stand and installed it onto the nails.
Now I could add the speaker components. Once the wires were fed through the hole and connected to the control I pushed the Bluetooth speaker and control into place, and that was it. This project was complete.
If the hole you drilled for the speaker and control board are too big, there are ways to fix it. You can either use super glue in a few spots around the edge on the underside, or wrap tape around the inside edge of each component. Keep in mind, there might be a need to access the controls and battery in the future for whatever reason.
I actually applied the finish before adding in the components, so I wouldn’t get finish on the speaker components. For the finish itself, I used a water based Polycrylic for a couple of reasons. Number one, I love this stuff. It shows the natural grain, but brings it to life. I would use it on every project if I could. It is so easy to apply, and the clean up is super easy.
Rinsing the brushes out with water is all it takes for the clean up. The second reason I use it is because of the dry time. I can apply a few coats and be completely done in a couple of hours. This isn’t a sponsored post for them, it’s just my go to finish for almost every project.
What I Learned
I learned a few things in this project. As a matter of fact, this project taught me to “color outside the lines” in a way. I was always that kid that didn’t want anything out of order and tried to keep my things in a straight line, but in this project I allowed myself to go against that and it felt good.
At first I wasn’t sure of the artsy look because of the odd shaped wood and offset phone stand, but I committed to it and was really happy with the results. I’d like to challenge myself more in the creative area of my projects. Committing to a project that is challenging in any way is good for developing your skill set, but also for broadening your creative thought process. Here’s to a new and challenging year!
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Tools Used In This Project
Bluetooth Speaker Kit: http://shrsl.com/qjh5
• Shop apron/vest, Atlas 46: http://bit.ly/atlas46
• Hats/shirts: http://www.stoneandsons.net/product-category/apparel/
Marking and Drilling:
• Center line tool: http://shrsl.com/qjhl
• Drill and impact 18v, Ridgid: http://amzn.to/2DhYHbA
• Drill and drive bit set, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2stIbf6
• Drill press, Wen: http://amzn.to/2jbR4ry
• Forstner bit: http://amzn.to/2EMZnCK
Gluing, Finishing and Accessories:
• Glu-bot: http://amzn.to/2s9rpm8
• Wood glue, Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2u6CEgo
• Polycrylic, Minwax: http://amzn.to/2DjvJI9
• Safety glasses, 3M: http://amzn.to/2txHtT7
• Fire extinguisher: http://amzn.to/2ururTy
• First aid kit: http://amzn.to/2urwR4B
Video Equipment and Electronics:
• DSLR camera and mic, Canon/Rode: http://amzn.to/2urN0qA
• Camera battery pack, Canon: http://amzn.to/2sudLcx
• Tripod, Manfrotto: http://amzn.to/2s9MHjB
• Backpack for laptop (modified for camera): http://amzn.to/2sppNsC
• Memory card, 64gb: http://amzn.to/2s9hPzC
• Memory card waterproof case: http://amzn.to/2suLliC
• Laptop, MacBook: http://amzn.to/2urnDFx
• Network Attached Storage, 6TB: http://amzn.to/2suvRLu
Other Tools I Use
*Most of the links listed above are Amazon Affiliate links
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