Kickin’ out the jams

Now that this ship is (mostly) done, I’m building out the radiobox. I’ve got some reasonable marine speakers (rain and salt resistant); the challenge is to first protect the backs of the speakers by putting them into an enclosure and second to mount them to the ship.

I bombed on down to Goodwill in Davis Square last week to scope out the pot and pan selection trying to find something suitable. That place smells funny. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any cookware that was the proper size, and the few single pots that would have fit the speakers were made of false metal (aluminum), which can’t be easily welded to steel. I ended up stopping at Target the next day and finding some cheap bowls that were the right diameter, and — bonus — they’re made of stainless steel! Weldable AND rust-resistant:

The bowls aren’t a perfect fit, but they are so close that the difference can be made up by using corner brackets:

The corner brackets were re-bent with the help of the vise so they’ll fit snugly in the bowl:

In order to finish installing the speakers into the bowls, though, I’ll need to drill holes in the bowls. I tried this, but stainless steel is very difficult to drill without a press. So that will have to wait until I have access to a drill press later this week; in the meantime I’ve marked where holes need to be made:

Over the weekend I also breadboarded out an LED blinky circuit. My rear blinky on my civvie ship has been malfunctioning and it has a broken mount. Now I can make another blinky!

3 Comments so far

  1. Chris on March 3rd, 2010

    Just some stuff I came across and thought you might be interested in. The fork/handlebar setup is kind of nifty. And those really square handlebars are kind of different.

    As for drilling the bowls, get a decent carbide bit, centerpunch your spot and drill from the outside with the inside well supported on a block in your vise. Low-speed high feed, pilot it, then upsize. You really shouldn’t have a problem drilling that with even a small cordless.

  2. h4ckw0r7h on March 3rd, 2010

    Wow, check that crazy fork/handlebar out. I think I’ll pass on those right now — I’ve got to finish up this project before I take on more.

    I was able to drill holes in the stainless bowls using a drill press on Monday night. I put a small dent where each hole needed to go using a nail and a hammer, then sloooowwly drilled the holes out with a small bit, and then widened the holes with a larger bit.

    I could have used the vise, I suppose; it was difficult to clamp the bowls down properly though.

    One mistake I did make was in cutting holes for the speaker wires. I was sizing them to the size of some rubber grommets, which had an OD of 5/8″. I thought this was the diameter of the hole they’d fit in. Turns out it’s the diameter of the entire grommet.

    Oh well, I can get larger grommets and fill any space with sealer.

  3. Chris on March 3rd, 2010

    D’oh! 5/8″? That’s a big hole, you might be better off getting one of those hole filler cap things and putting the grommet in that and then putting the whole thing in the hole.

    I broke my vise last night, taking some pedals off an old OPC from a GT I’ve got here, just the lock that keeps it from spinning on the base, hopefully it’ll be an easy fix, but man those pedals were tight, had to heat the crank until it was cherry red, and that was spooky since they’re plastic-bodied pedals. Should’ve disassembled the pedals first, but it turned out OK, aside from the vise.

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