Stereo Project

Mrs. Mumphy was real nice to me for Christmas.  She bought me a Dual Stereo from West Marine.  It comes with two 6 inch speakers with grills and a remote control so you don't have to go below to change channels or modes.  It has a CD Player that plays all kinds of formats as well as a place to plug in your MP3 player.  I'm real excited!
This is one of those, "I could buy the stereo mount for about $19 from West Marine...but."
And, of coarse the "but" here is that I love to build stuff and it is so cool to see your creations aboard ship!!!
Stereo & Right Speaker                                                            Left Speaker & Weather Instruments
So here is what the homemade mount looks like just before I varnished it.
Surprise, surprise, it is also made out of leftover oak flooring.  This piece came from my buddy Mark.  He moved recently and had several boxes of oak flooring left over.
You know what Mark always says?  "Why clutter up my house when I can clutter up yours?"
The step by step is coming up, so scroll on down!
Start by measuring the mount (that crazy looking black thing) and the trim piece. (Just so you know how much room for error your have.)
 Next cut out a rectangle larger than the mount.  I made the rectangel about 1/2 inch larger on the bottom and sides and about 3/4 inch larger on the top.  I then traced the dimentions of the black mount onto the rectangle.
Next I drilled a 3/4 inch hole inside the mount tracing and cut out the center with a scroll saw.
The scroll saw, by the way, is something I picked up when I was 16 years old.  A friend's dad saw me eyeing it sitting under his basement stairs and offered it to me.  I took my treasure home and built the trianglar frame out of some scraps of 2x4 and 2x3 that I trash picked a couple of days later.  I also trash picked the washing machine motor which you can just make out at the bottom.  The stand is trianglar because that was all the lumber I could find.  The switch box and switch were also cast offs.  I've thought about replacing it more than once, but that old saw and I have been through too much together.
Someday I may own a second scroll saw but this one will always be with me.
 Nasty Nate came down to the shop to see what I was up to just after I took this shot.  She wondered how the heck I was going to get that piece of wood off the saw!!!  Then she wondered how I got the saw blade into the piece of wood to begin with.
So like every good father before me I lied and told her that I new some special magic for stuff like this!!!
Actually Nasty Nate is pretty good around the shop herself.  When she was 5 years old I gave her her own tool box (It was in pieces, I had pre cut and drilled the nail holes for her.) with a good starting collecton of real, honest to goodness, tools.
She is 10 now and I'll have to show you some of the items that she and her friend Mathew have built.
 Next up is to check the fit, and it fits nicely.
Now here is where all those crazy cut-outs come into play.  The stright cut-outs get bent up and snipped to fit to help hold the black mount onto the wood frame.  The odd triangles will also get bent up and they will wedge themselves against the wood frame to further make a snug fit.
So now we need to hit the junk drawers and find or make some brackets.
As luck would have I just might have something that will work.
I found 2 small "L" brackets that look like they'll do the job.
Oh, yea, sorry girls, that is a wedding ring on my finger!!!
 We go to the screw bin and pick out some screw that will work.
If you haven't been there yet, check out the Fun Stuff section for a way Parts Caddy.
Oh, oh!!!  Who's feet are those???
Mark and drill the holes for the "L" barcket screws.
I have a collection of Screw Bits which take care of the three bits that you would normally need to set the screws.
If you are going to work in hardwood these are a must.
It's not like pine where you might get away with running in the small screws without even drilling a pilot hole.  Try that with oak and you will be back to the beginning having cracked your project in half.
Been there, done that!!!
I use a drill press whenever possible.  This is a 5 speed model from Harbor Freight.  It cost about $70 and is one of the most used tools in my shop.  They carry them in all sizes but I have tight quarters in my shop and even thugh this is one of their smallest units it performs flawlessly.  I've mounted a plywood table onto the smaller cast iron table below.  This gives me a larger work surface to steady my projects and saves my drill bits from damage should I drill through a project.  The chuck that comes with it will handle up to 1/2 inch bits.
The bit you see in the chuck is a screw bit.  They come in a variety of sizes and this one allows you to adjust the length of the bit for various length screws.  A screw bit has three different cutting sections to it to accomodate the diventions of a wood screw.  The lower most section is usually adjustable and cuts the hole for the threaded part of the screw.  The next section up is a little wider and cuts the hole for the non-threaded portion of the screw shaft.  The final section is the widest and cuts a beveled hole for the head of the screw.  Depending on how far down you drill you can flush mount the head of the screw or countersink the head quite far into the wood.
I would rather have run the grain in the opposite directon but, that's not the wood I had on hand so I will probable epoxy the back of the frame and place narrown pieces of sheet metal into the epoxy to reinforce the sides.
 A little belt sanding will round off the sharp corners and bevel the edges.
(This little guy came from Harbor Freight.  It's a great 1x30 inch belt sander and it doesn't cost an arm-and-a-leg!  Around $40 and it has a port for attaching a Vaccum hose.  That really helps keep the sawdust under control.)
Finally several coats of Epifanes Varnish to finish the job.
As soon as the final coat of varnish is dry I'll show you the completed Stereo Project.
Oh, this photo reminds me, if you don't own an anvil, you should.  It comes in handy for every thing from giving you a great pounding surface to holding down the corners of your work surface.