"Bonsai" decorative Ipod system - diyAudio
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Old 19th October 2009, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default "Bonsai" decorative Ipod system

I recently was trying out white rustoleum appliance epoxy and managed to screw up the finish on a set a computer speakers I was building for a while. The speakers were completely sealed, and I wasn't all that attached to them, so I decided to scrap that project and repurpose the components. I may just cut them so that I can make a removable back panel. But anyway...

I'm essentially making a standalone ipod/mp3 system, using 2 3" buyout drivers from PE that I'm now guessing were prototypes or an early run of Dayton's version of the NS3, the ND-90 . I haven't seen them since I made the original boxes for them, but I think they have that same curved terminal thing, and they both have a silver/bronze colored motor. The amp will be one of the little JBL 12w boards that I bought a long time ago. I used it the other day to run my 3" mtms, and it sounded really great. Better than the Ratshack I've been using, even after making some improvements by removing the preamp. If I didn't have an extra it would be harder to let it go.

I think this'll be the first build I do with the intention of selling, although I'm pretty sure I'll be content to keep it if I have to. I'll probably be selling it through Etsy, as I think it'll be most appealing there. And I believe things like this would be more valuable in an artistic setting.

I'm gonna call it Bonsai for obvious reasons. The tree silhouette will be birch ply, probably two layers together, with grooves routed on the inside of each for wires, and a single volume pot near the base. The two 3" drivers will be in mdf "pods" on each side, modeled after the ns3 mtm. They will probably be painted an olive color, with a flat/satin clearcoat. I'm thinking a mix between a dark walnut and a cherry maple(?) for color on the tree.

There will be a single knob in the middle of the base area of the tree, although I may have to add the bass knob that comes on the amp too. I might try to bypass it somehow. I had a friend whose dad turned knurled wood into gorgeous bowls and such. I may try to get some knobs made. I have some beads that he made that are really sweet. I'm not sure if they're actually "knurled" wood, but the wood he uses has veins of black due to some sort of fungus or bacteria in the wood. Gorgeous stuff. I'll have to get pictures.

As of right now I have to run the thing on the router table with the flush trim bit and get the sides all vertically cut. The jigsaw tends to lean on me when i cut curves. I've been playing around with cleaning up the edge of this birch ply and it cleans up nicely. I do have a void to fill, but I think I will do that after staining but before clear so I can match the color.

And so, on to cellphone pics...

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I think you can kinda get the idea from those. The amp will be in the "pot," which will be mdf cut with the compound miter. Kinda like this. I think I'll probably do satin or gloss black. I may have feet, but I'm not sure just yet. I don't really know how hot these things can get. I would love to just throw a bigger heatsink on it and not worry about it, but I'd have to buy something or hack up one I have. Which are both possible.

I was also thinking about using casting resin to cement pebbles into a recess in the "pot".

I really really hope that it's balanced. I think I'm going to test the shape with some eights today. I think if I have to I can add weight in the base.

I cut out the second plywood panel with a jigsaw, then attached a bunch of double-sided foam tape. i ran the whole thing on the router table with a big new 1/2" flush trim bit.

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I also cut out a few of the circles that will make up the speaker bodies, and mocked them up.

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Old 21st October 2009, 03:46 AM   #2
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I got a bit done yesterday. I cut out all of the circles for the pods, and this time I decided to route the baffles out and round them over as a doubled up piece. This made the roundover easier, and I was able to cut them cleanly, although I was to the very limit of how deep I could cut with the jasper jig and the upspiral bit. I glued them up with the centering pin in, then removed it after clamping. I had some scary spot where I thought I would be cutting the pin out, as I only had 1/4" to grab sometimes with the vice grips. I had to unclamp one, and move the pin out a bit. Not fun. Gotta move quick with drying glue.

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Old 21st October 2009, 07:11 AM   #3
h@kan is offline h@kan  Sweden
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Very creative! I like what I see so far.

Will there be an ipod dock mounted on the base of the tree?
Regards H@kan
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Old 21st October 2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by h@kan View Post
Very creative! I like what I see so far.

Will there be an ipod dock mounted on the base of the tree?
Regards H@kan
I'm still unsure if I am going to buy an Ipod dock/av cable to incorperate into the unit, or simply use a 3.5mm input cable. I am leaning more towards not using a dock, as I still want to have a pot/knob near the base of the tree. I may just try to find a nice-looking input cable. I would love to have something turned for the knob and a sort of cover for the headphone cable plug.


Comparison with the old boxes

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Clamping 4th layer on

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All cut except backs

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A little bondo

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Who needs fancy tabletop sanders?

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Worked out really nice

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Sweet

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Old 22nd October 2009, 12:09 AM   #5
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Excellent work!
Very creative
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Old 23rd October 2009, 11:56 PM   #6
renfrow is offline renfrow  United States
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Those look seriously tasty!!! I'm guessing you'll probably paint the pods. Prior to painting them, I'd suggest that you 'paint' them with a dilute solution of pvc glue. Otherwise the mdf will SUCK up paint like you would not believe, and will more than likely telegraph the positions of your glue joints. Several coats of 2-1 diluted pvc glue should alleviate that.

Looking forward to the finished product!

Tom.
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Old 29th October 2009, 11:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by renfrow View Post
Those look seriously tasty!!! I'm guessing you'll probably paint the pods. Prior to painting them, I'd suggest that you 'paint' them with a dilute solution of pvc glue. Otherwise the mdf will SUCK up paint like you would not believe, and will more than likely telegraph the positions of your glue joints. Several coats of 2-1 diluted pvc glue should alleviate that.

Looking forward to the finished product!

Tom.
I will most likely be going heavy on both a glue wash and high-build primer. I think this will be one of the first jobs I paint myself with a hvlp setup.



I finally figured out the easiest way to cut and route the back panels w/ usig any of that foam tape, as it leaves a gap when using it with the roundover. I decided to route out a raised circular bit to hold the panel in place while routing. I had to drum sand the inside of the enclosures a bit, but otherwise it worked perfectly.

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I also cut out a guide to cut the wire grooves in the tree. I used my new bushing set, and it worked flawlessly.

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Now comes the interesting part of yesterday's work. The drivers i am using for this build were in another unfinished project. The enclosures were completely sealed, and were made from 3/4" mdf. Getting them out was interesting to say the least.

And so, I give you: The Extraction

I cut off the back of one, using tape and everything, trying to see if I could just make the backs removable and keep the enclosures.

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Wasn't going to work. I remembered I had glued the sides on over the drivers, requiring me to destroy the enclosures. I also have to worry about the fact that the baskets are stamped and not very strong. The best way seemed to be to knock out the baffle in front of the speaker.

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Nice in his new home

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Old 4th November 2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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Keep it updated man! You know I'm always interested in the progress! Now you've got me checking DIYaudio and DIYMA as well.
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Old 5th November 2009, 05:13 PM   #9
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Been busy for the past couple of weeks with camping & fall music festivals. I will be back in the garage next week I assume, but i will be spending a few days on a diy dust collector.

I've been teaching myself to use autocad, so I spent about a day drawing out this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Going to be making my own Dust Deputy out of galvanized steel ducting. Not my original idea, but I've expanded on it a bit

I just can't figure out how the inlet pipe hole will look stretched out on a cone. I imagine it will be interesting/difficult/impossible(?) to plot that out.
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Old 5th November 2009, 05:29 PM   #10
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Very nice
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