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Retro Radio / bluetooth speaker - 2020 Spring Swap

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Project by EarlS posted 03-27-2020 11:24 AM 956 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This year’s spring swap was wide open, build whatever you wanted. My recipient was clieb91.

I’ve wanted to build a vintage radio, art deco, or maybe a tombstone variety. Pictures abound of some amazing examples. About the same time that the swap was getting started I saw an ad from Rockler for a bluetooth speaker and the beginnings of a plan started to coalesce.

The Rockler version was a 3-1/2” box which wasn’t what I wanted. I finally settled on a tombstone style with curved grills to conceal the speaker. As with projects like this, the design evolved as I built it, which is why it took the entire 3 months to build. I’d tinker with bits and pieces until I liked what I had, then I would build that part, look at it for a while, consider what to do next, and repeat.

It measures 6” deep, 7” wide, and 11” or so tall. The case is chestnut, with some nicely figured walnut accent side panels. The grills are also walnut, as is the base, with bloodwood trim. The front panel inlay (you know me, inlay is a must) is bubinga, katalox, maple, and bolivian rosewood.

I finished it with a coat of Watco and 3 coats of spray Minwax semi gloss poly. I had some self inflicted drying problems because I got impatient and didn’t let the Watco dry long enough. A little help from the LJ community and everything turned out.

I had a spare front panel that I made into a cell phone holder to match the speaker.

Of course, I also had a dice mallet laying around (can’t have too many dice mallets) that needed a home so I tossed it into the box to help fill it :+)

As with all swaps, I learned some new things, and I also have some ideas rattling around in my head for an art deco/craftsman style bluetooth speaker for our living room.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"





18 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5459 posts in 1363 days


#1 posted 03-27-2020 11:36 AM

Nice little jukebox, Earl! And the matching phone holder is pretty sweet too! And who doesn’t need a dice mallet?

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Keebler1's profile

Keebler1

937 posts in 488 days


#2 posted 03-27-2020 12:09 PM

Nice job Earl

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

1542 posts in 1838 days


#3 posted 03-27-2020 12:45 PM

Whoo Hoo! Great job Earl! I don’t know anything about bluetooth but I finally have a cell phone again (first time in 7 1/2 years as I live in a dead zone) so I guess I’ll be learning…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

2206 posts in 2347 days


#4 posted 03-27-2020 12:54 PM

Amazing, design and workmanship. A beautiful job well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View swirt's profile

swirt

5264 posts in 3752 days


#5 posted 03-27-2020 01:17 PM

Very nice. I like the retro look.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

14144 posts in 1919 days


#6 posted 03-27-2020 01:38 PM

I dig it Earl. A lot :-) While the BT speaker is cool, I probably just wouldn’t use it (prefer earbuds or silence usually) but the phone stand is a fantastic idea. I’ll be doing one of those with some scraps. It won’t be nearly as nice but us mortal fellas just do what we can.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View hairy's profile

hairy

3075 posts in 4313 days


#7 posted 03-27-2020 01:51 PM

I’ve had an idea to do that banging around in my head for a while, but it was nowhere near as cool as that. NICE!!

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

1014 posts in 3050 days


#8 posted 03-27-2020 03:10 PM

So much detail in these 3 small objects. Well done! The Retro Radio/BT Speaker brought back memories of a Philco radio that occupied a shelf above the table in our kitchen when I was young. Remember radio shows like One Mans Family that my mom listened to every day, ‘only the shadow knows’ and the Lone Ranger. Later in its life it spent years in our milking parlor where I heard the Grand Ole Opry and WLW’s dayly broadcast “Down on the Farm” live from the radio stations own farm milking parlor.

-- socrbent Ohio

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

1692 posts in 328 days


#9 posted 03-27-2020 03:22 PM

Really special build there, Earl. I think most wouldnt even know what it is for, and that adds to the uniqueness. Gonna look real fine sitting atop the appropriate table, mantle, desk, etc,.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: Because cheese isnt a healthy source of cheese, I will use grated cucumber to top off this raw food vegan pizza.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24819 posts in 3886 days


#10 posted 03-27-2020 05:03 PM

I love it…Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1741 posts in 1891 days


#11 posted 03-27-2020 07:04 PM

Outstanding as usual.
Lovely workmanship.
Regards
Anthm

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

4517 posts in 2403 days


#12 posted 03-27-2020 07:21 PM

nice build Earl and such a beautiful combination of lumber

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3633 posts in 3965 days


#13 posted 03-27-2020 08:09 PM

That’s really a great idea, nicely done.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3804 posts in 2003 days


#14 posted 03-27-2020 09:25 PM

All it lacks is the chrome plating on the ribs, awesome re-creation in miniature Earl!

View 489tad's profile

489tad

3845 posts in 3792 days


#15 posted 03-27-2020 09:54 PM

What a super swap gift. The speaker is a great idea.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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