We have a lapa in our backyard, and its always been one of the best features of our house for me…whenever we would have people over, it would be the place to go. (in summer time of course). I installed some speakers back in a day, but was sadly stolen with a break-in. 😦
So, when I came across an article on Popular Mechanics on a DIY speaker build, I was amped to see if I could build one myself. Following the post and watching a very informative video on Youtube, I found out the guy (soundblab) is actually from Cape Town too 🙂
I ordered my Bluetooth board from eBay and started planning my build.
Waiting for stuff to arrive could take over 2 months, so I knew I had loads of time to finish the box in the meantime. I don’t have a circular saw, so I ended up going to Chipbase (there’s a few branches around Cape Town) and had my wood cut there. Plywood is luckily cheap and they have a cutting list you can complete online. I used 18mm plywood and ordered some bamboo veneer from a place called Lumber City in Montague Gardens. I was hoping to just buy a few sheets, or meters, but it’s sold on a roll. So, I had to buy a whole roll for about R300.
I wanted my speaker to look a little different to soundblabs and decided to ditch the stand and just have a speaker that stands up straight.
With the wood already cut, it was basically just about drilling the holes and fitting it all together…I also used a countersink drill to make the screws sink in a bit, so that the bamboo veneer didn’t stand out when I covered it.
I had some old 6 x 9 speakers lying around and bought a bass speaker from BC electronics in Parow. Cutting perfect holes for them proved to be quite challenging with my jigsaw…but I think it came out OK.
Once the box was done, I started to cover it with the bamboo…pretty straight forward. The bamboo is super thin, and easy to cut. I simply used a paint brush to spread the contact glue all over…waited a few mins for it to dry a bit and then stuck the bamboo sheets on. Once dry, I used a Stanley knife to cut off the edges and used my sander to make it smooth. Below is my box complete…I bought a clear varnish spray from builders warehouse and sprayed the box before attaching the speakers.
With my box complete I started placing the speakers…to eliminate vibration I added some sponge tape you would normally put around your doors to keep them from slamming.
With the speakers fitted and the amp board attached at the back, it was time to test the speaker, before making the covers. For the amp I used an old 19V laptop power supply.
The sound quality was better than I thought…and only needed a few screws around the speakers tightened for vibrations.
The next step was to make a nice covers to hide the speakers…I found some nice, stretchy black speaker cloth at Lifestyle Fabrics in Parow. For the front grill I used another piece of wood with cutouts, and for the bass speaker I bought a cover at BC electronics, but it didn’t look good, so I decided to cover it with material as well. (see below)
That’s it !! My Bluetooth speaker is sorta done…I decided to go with a bigger amp, but at the time of writing this, it still hasn’t arrived. All in all, I could have done a better job with the front speaker cover, so I’ll probably do it over once I get the new amp, but for now I think it looks good enough and sounds amazing. This project have been a lot of fun, and actually super easy, once you have the wood and other materials.