Speaker Building Projects


The following is an example of how you can build a small speaker


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Construction of your own loudspeakers can be very rewarding and in most instances they will sound better than the average mass market types available. This first project is easy, as you don't have to even build the enclosures. I call  them the "Regordos"  from the Honduran Cigars that they once held.  They were given to me by a friend who smokes but you may be able to find them at your local cigar emporium.    

These speakers will not provide earth shaking bass, but they will give you a nice balanced sound and are ideal for use with a computer or stereo for background music or casual listening. They also could be used  as surround sound speakers. 



The size of the enclosures are 4 3/4" D X6 1/2/" H X 5 5/8" W. Any size smaller will not work well but a some what larger box will be OK. In addition to the boxes you need the following items;

  • A 4.5" full range loudspeaker-Parts Express part number 290-010 

  • 2 each  speaker terminals-part number 269-356

  • 16 1" drywall screws-black finish

  • One bag polyester stuffing material from a craft shop                                                                                              

  • Sand paper & 000 Steel wool

  • Caulking material and gun

  • Elmer's Carpenters Glue

  • Polyurethane varnish-clear satin finish 



Parts-Express is based in Ohio and their web site is www.partsexpress.com  . Visit and bookmark that site as future projects on this website will use many of their speaker products. Radio Shack used to be a good source for raw speakers but they have discontinued selling them and most components for the electronic hobbyist. I have abandoned them for Part-Express, as they publish a fine catalog and reference book on their products and maintain a very knowledgeable customer service department. Once you have the boxes you can work on preparing them for finishing. The above photo shows the unfinished pair of boxes with the speaker and connecting terminals.


Note that the box on the right is shown with the sliding door side. This will be the back of the enclosure. To, prepare the boxes, remove the sliding doors and using a caulking gun, seal up all the seams in the interior of the box. It is important for the function of these enclosures that they be air-tight. Once you have caulked the interior, take the Elmer's Carpenters Glue and place a bead of glue along all the edges of the sliding doors. Then slide the doors in place, use a damp cloth to wipe off any glue that seeps out as the door is closed. Make sure the door is tight , especially at the bottom where there is no grooved seam. I nailed a small braid at that point to make sure it sealed good. Let the glued doors dry for at least two hours before proceeding.


This is the most delicate procedure of this project and if you don't have a jig saw, find a friend who will do it for you.  Remember the sliding door side will be the back and that is where the terminals will be mounted. Mark the exact center of the front and rear of the box, then, using a compass, draw the circles to be cut out. For the speaker terminals the diameter of the circle should be 1 7/8 " and the speaker cut out should be 3 7/8".  After cutting the holes, clean the edges with sandpaper and make any adjustment necessary with a wood rasp. Both speaker and terminals are mounted from the outside of the box. Take the caulking gun and finish sealing the sliding door seams. You can reach in through the speaker hole to do this.



The boxes are made of cedar and do not take a stain very well. I found that they look much better in their natural color with just a clear varnish applied. Using a medium sand paper, lightly sand the exterior of each box. Then take the 000 steel wool, and do the same. ( Make sure all traces of the steel wool are removed from the interior of the box before mounting the speakers.) After sanding, take a cloth dampened with paint thinner and clean off all the dust and steel wool particles.  Now apply a coat of the varnish. I applied three coats of the varnish, smoothing between coats with the fine steel wool. Let each coat dry at least 12 hours before re-coating.



Once the boxes have been finished you are now ready to install the hardware. Take the speaker terminals and run a light bead of the caulking around the mounting lip. Then press the terminal into the hole, keep them level with the box top and wipe of any excess caulk that seeps out. Using the one inch drywall screws, mount the terminals to the box.

Having mounted the terminals you now will stuff the box with the polyester material. The stuffing is very important, as it makes the box seem larger than it is to the speaker, improving the low frequency response.  Grab the speaker wires and hold them up while you stuff the box. don't tamp the stuffing, but let it fill the box in its natural state. See the above photo as a guide. Once it is stuffed you can now mount the speaker. The wires supplied with the terminals have spade lugs on them and do not need to be soldered. attach the larger spade lug to the speaker terminal marked with a + sign or it may have a red spot next to it. Attach the other spade lug terminal.  Being careful, not to disturb the wires, run a bead of caulk around the rear mounting lip of the speaker.

Now place the speaker in the hole and seat it well into the caulking, keep it square with the box top. wipe off any caulk that seeps out and then, using the 1" drywall screws attach the speaker. Let the speakers set for an hour to set the caulking.



After letting the caulk set you are ready for an audio  test . Connect the audio source to the speakers observing the properly polarity of each. Turn the volume down on the amplifier and then bring it up gradually, listening for any obvious rattles or buzzes. They should sound fine if you sealed the boxes well and got a good seal around the speaker and terminals. As shown below, speaker grills were made from the gaskets supplied with the speakers. I contact cemented fiberglass window screen to the gaskets and trimmed off the excess. It provides some measure of protection to the speaker and improves the looks of the enclosure. Rubber feet or a square of felt material can be attached to the bottom of the enclosure to protect any surface you may set them on. Happy Listening!


Enclosure with stuffing

Finished Enclosures With Grilles


Bibliography-All of These Books and Magazines Can Be Ordered From Old Coloney Sound Labs




Loudspeaker Design Cookbook

Amateur Loudspeaker Projects

LLoudspeakers For Musicians

Audio Xpress Magazine