How to Make a Custom DIY Bluetooth Speaker

November 15, 2019

Learn how to build a custom DIY Bluetooth Speaker that can slide into an end table. A little over a year ago I built a solid walnut end table and always wanted to add a speaker to the front. We go through the entire process!

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How to Make a Custom DIY Bluetooth Speaker
The Good
The Bad
Step 1
STEPS

Step 1: Cut down the MDF Box

Cut MDF on table saw

The main speaker is built from 3/4in MDF.  This is cut from a sheet down to a strip on the table saw. It is then cut to width on the miter saw.

Cut MDF to size on miter saw for custom bluetooth speaker

Step 2: Cut the MDF Strips at an Angle

Cut MDF at an angle on table saw

Each of the MDF strips are cut at a 45 degree angle.

Check angle of table saw with an angle gauge

All four sides of the box are cut on the table saw.

Step 3: Glue the box assembly together

The box is glued together by first laying all the pieces upside down on a work surface.

Use blue tape to assemble the Bluetooth speaker box together

I then added glue and folded the pieces together.  The box was secured with tape and clamps while the wood glue dried.

Use blue tape to assemble the Bluetooth speaker box together

Step 4: Spray paint the box black

The box body is spray painted black on all sides.

Spray paint the Bluetooth speaker box black

Step 5: Prepare the walnut front face

The front face of the speaker is made from 3/4 in walnut.  This was a rough cut piece so I got it flat and square on the planer and jointer.   The walnut front was then cut to size on the table.

Cut walnut strips to size
Trim walnut front face to size

Step 6: Design the front face in Fusion 360

This step could be skipped if you don’t have a CNC but I wanted to create a unique 3D design.  I used Fusion 360 to mimic the effect of water rippling from the speaker's face.

Also since I didn’t have a large enough bit to cut out the speaker holes these were designed into the model as well.

Design the walnut speaker face in Fusion 360

Step 7: Cut the front face on a CNC

The front face was cut in two different passes.  The first was an adaptive facing operation  using a 1/4 in uncut bit.

Carve the walnut Bluetooth speaker face out on the CNC

The second operation refined and smoothed the design using a ball noise bit.

Carve the walnut Bluetooth speaker face out on the CNC

Step 8: Wire up the electronics

So I won’t go into great detail here on the wiring on the electronics.  I bought a speaker kit from Kirby at Kirby Meets Audio.  I’m using his Fawn speaker plans and speaker kit.  He provides great plans to put it all together.

But a quick overview….

Step 9: Attach the woofer and tweeter to the front face.

The subwoofer is screwed into the speaker face.

Attach subwoofer to bluetooth speaker front
Attach tweeter to the Bluetooth speaker front

Step 10: Wire up the speaker crossover

These plans include a passive crossover design.  The basic idea is that through inducers, resistors and capacitors you can split the audio signal for your different sized speakers.

Solder crossover
Use a heat gun to heat shrink soldered wires

Step 11: Cut out the Bluetooth speaker back

The back is cut from a piece of MDF and painted black. I used a CNC to cut a hole large enough fro the speaker out ports.

Cut out the Bluetooth speaker back

The back electronics are screwed into place.  They include a power port, 1/16 audio jack and power switch.

Assemble electronics on Bluetooth Speaker back

Step 12: Drill rear components

Holes were drilled for the rear components with their appropriate sized bits.  I then used a Forstner bit to remove materials around those holes from the back so that the electronics could fit into place.

Drill out rear component holes on the drill press

Step 13: Secure soundboard into place

I didn’t have any spacer on hand so I secured the soundboard directly to the back of the speaker back.  I plan to go back and insulate this later but for not it is seeming to work.

Attach the soundboard with screws to the Bluetooth speaker back

Step 14: Finish the Front Face

This step should have been done before I wired up the electronics.  I was able to remove them enough so I could oil the front speaker’s surface.  I used a few coats of Generals Arm-R-Seal.

Apply finish to the front face of the Bluetooth Speaker

Then for the speaker body, I used a several coats of shellac.

Step 15: Glue the front face

Wood glue was used to attach the front face to the speaker box.   This was clamped into place so that it could dry.

Glue the front face to the Bluetooth speaker box
Glue the front face to the Bluetooth speaker box

Step 16: Attach the Back Panel

The back panel is attached with countersunk screws.  This allows me to open the speaker up if anything ever needs to be repaired or modified in the future.

Drill holes to attach back
Countersink holes on the speaker back

Step 17: Adjust the Reveal of the Speaker

I used some small spaces to adjust the reveal around the front face of the speaker.  I plan to attach feet to the speaker in the future that can also be removed if the speaker is not insides the end table.

Adjust the reveal in the end table around the Bluetooth Speaker

That's It!

Finished shots of DIY Bluetooth Speaker
Finished shots of DIY Bluetooth Speaker

And that's it!  I've been using an Amazon Echo with the speaker it is working great!

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