Bluetooth Box-Joint Speaker
Build this beautiful hardwood heirloom in just one day—and learn a new technique too.
Sure, a store-bought speaker can sound good, but how attractive is a plastic box? Here's a hand-built heirloom speaker that really turns up the volume on looks. Making a speaker yourself allows you to mix and match hardwoods. This one, made of elm and maple, is constructed with box joints, making it as fun to build as it is to give.
1. SET UP THE DADO BLADE
Set the dado blade height a hair taller than the thickness of your material. The dado width should be 1/2 in. to match the width of the key stock.
2. POSITION THE KEY
Use the leftover 1/2-in. x 1/2-in. stock to position the key away from the blade. The widths of the blade, the spacer and the key must be equal. Clamp the plate to the fence.
3. CUT THE FIRST PIN
Set the top/bottom parts (A) against the key. Make a reference mark on the front and back of the pin that will set up cuts for the sides.
4. CUT MORE PINS
Fit each socket over the key to perfectly position the next cut.
5. CUT THE SIDE PINS
Set the top/bottom (A) on the key so the reference mark is between the key and the blade. Then make the first cut in the side (B).
6. GLUE CLEATS TO ATTACH THE PANELS
Scribe a line 5/8 in. in from the edges of the panels and glue the eight cleats along the inside of these lines.
7. GLUE AND CLAMP
Apply glue to all surfaces in the sockets, fit the parts together and clamp tight.
8. BORE HOLES FOR THE COMPONENTS
For larger holes, you’ll need to use a hole saw at the drill press. Drill partway through one side, then finish the hole from the other side to avoid major chipping.
9. CHAMFER THE SPEAKER HOLES
Make shallow passes with a 45-degree chamfer bit. Be aware of the thickness of the surface where screws will attach the speaker, to avoid screws poking through.
10. CONNECT THE SPEAKER COMPONENTS
Install the components onto the front and back panels and solder necessary wires to their terminals.
11. INSTALL THE FRONT AND BACK PANELS
Glue the front panel onto the front cleats and drill pilot holes into the back panel to screw it to the back cleats.
Spacer Fence Key Plate
Side Top/bottom Reference mark
Top/bottom Pin Key
Socket Reference mark
Chamfer bit Chamfer
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