A Quick, but Good Sound – DIY Garage Speakers Project

A Reader Project “DIY Garage Speakers” – guest written by; Robert Kline
speaker build by; Robert Kline
I have always enjoyed two things; messing with electronics and woodworking. For example, I recently assembled my own PC and then built a wooden stand so it could sit next to my desk at a comfortable height.

I got to thinking one day about what kind of project could I do that would combine my two hobbies and hit on the idea of building a pair of stereo speakers for the receiver in my garage.

I thought “how hard could it be?” “You build a box and put the speakers inside, right?” Well, before long I found myself lost in a maze of unfamiliar terms like “system Q” and “crossovers” and “double chamber reflex” that had my head spinning.

Fortunately, I found this site and asked my new friend Peter for help on a simple design that would be suitable for a raw beginner like me.

Mini-cube-speakers-readers-pics-Robert-Kline-design

He suggested the 5″ X 5″ cube speakers pictured here. Having plenty of 1″ X 4″ and 1″ X 6″ pine stock lying around leftover from another project I decided to go for it.

I had to rip the 1″ X 6″ pieces down to size on my table saw. As the pieces are rather small I pre-drilled all of my nail holes to avoid splitting the wood. I also ripped some 1/2″ mounting strips to put inside the speakers as backers and additional glue surface for the speaker mounting board and the back.

I used a 3″ hole saw to bore the hole for the speakers to fit through and drilled a 1/4″ hole in the back to pass the speaker wire through. I put a slight chamfer around the edges of the speaker mounting board to eliminate any hard reflective edges plus it just looks good.

Once I had all the pieces/parts milled, assembly was pretty straightforward. The joints are simple butt joints held together with wood glue and nails.

As I wanted the speakers to stand 3/8″ proud of the speaker enclosures I took special care in the placement of the front mounting strips. I was careful with the wood glue so as to not have a lot of squeeze out that would be a mess to clean up. I also took the time to make sure that I sealed any gaps with some silicone acrylic caulk.

Once assembled I gave the boxes a good sanding starting at 60 grit and working my way up to 220 grit. I decided to leave the finish natural and just went with a couple of coats of water borne polyurethane to protect the wood. Once they had dried I filled them about half way with some loose fiberglass insulation.

I chose Fostex FE83En 3″ Full Range Speakers from Madisound for this my “DIY garage speakers” project. I attached some 18 gauge speaker wire to the speaker terminals taking care to make sure that I soldered the copper wire lead to the speaker terminal marked in red. I mounted the speakers to the enclosures using the screws provided. I then plugged everything in and held my breath as I switched on the receiver…

 

These DIY garage speakers were better than I thought they would be

I was very pleasantly surprised.

These speakers sound every bit as good (if not better) as the old Radio Shack Optimus speakers they replaced. The best thing is that they are very compact and now sit proudly, but unobtrusively, on a shelf on my workbench.

This little project has given me the confidence to try other speaker projects in the future. It was fun, it was relatively inexpensive, and it allowed me to do the two things I enjoy doing: messing with electronics and woodworking!

 

Robert Kline – Mini Garage speaker project 08/23/2011

This article written by Robert Kline and published on Home-Speaker.net by Peter Selby
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