Camouflaging Speakers: Faux Birdhouses
The best way to "hide" a speaker in the garden is to tuck it inside a faux birdhouse.
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Speakers can be the perfect backyard accessories for setting the mood for a party or just hanging out. But they can also stick out like a sore thumb. "Outdoor speakers often look like shoeboxes stuck up under the eaves and you know exactly what they are," says Peter Whiteley of Sunset magazine. "They aren't the greatest looking things."
So Peter suggests an idea for camouflaging those speakers – put them inside faux birdhouses. By housing them inside of something expected in a backyard, you render the speakers invisible.
You don't have to be a fine woodworker to build a birdhouse from scratch. They're made very simply and can be painted.
To construct your faux birdhouse, you'll need screws or nails, a hammer, drill, table saw, netting screen, staple gun, wood glue and lumber. About two six-foot boards would work, depending on the size of the speaker. If it's a bigger speaker, adjust accordingly. The nice part about this project is that there are no rules; there's no rule on size or how it's going to look.
Cutting the wood pieces to fit around your speaker is important. It's just like making a gingerbread house. There's a floor base, two end walls, two side walls and a roof. Cut the boards for the walls to match the pitch of the roof so that when you put the boards together, they fit together like a puzzle with a nice, clean look.
Cut a hole out of the floor base, essentially making a picture frame for the speaker so that the sound has somewhere to go. "The birdhouse drives the sound down. It sort of bounces off the walls or the ground and spills out like ripples of water." Staple a netting screen onto the base to keep the speaker from falling through the hole.
No birdhouse would be complete without a bird hole on one of the end walls. But it's just for show because no birds are allowed inside. Cover the hole with a small piece of particle board painted black and attach it to what will be the inside of the birdhouse.
Once the boards have been cut, you are ready to assemble the birdhouse. Apply wood glue at the points where the side walls will be attached to the end walls. Drill some pilot holes into the wood before hammering nails or screwing in screws. Secure the walls together with nails or screws. To attach the floor base to the bottom of the birdhouse, use screws so that you can take it apart and have access to the speaker as needed.
Before attaching the roof to the top of the birdhouse, hook up your speaker before placing it inside, and run its wire through a hole cut into one of the walls. Once inside, the speaker is easily kept in place. "You could cut some little wooden shims that would help slide against the sides and ends to lock the speaker in place," Peter suggests.
Once the speaker is inside and its wire is coming out the back of the house, add the roof. You can make a roof out of aluminum flashing or shingles. Precise measuring and cutting are important to having a perfectly angled roof. Cut two boards so that their edges fit together at a 45-degree angle. Apply some wood glue along the edges of the boards and secure with screws.
Screw a small beveled piece of wood to the wall. Then cut and attach a couple of wood brackets to the back of the birdhouse and hang.
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