DIY Gas Can Speakers Blast Your Tunes

Gas Can Speaker

Have you ever wanted to build your own speakers, but were a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there on cases and packaging? A recent Instructable by [Txje] goes over how to build a set of simple gas can speakers.

While using gas cans as speaker housings will not result in the best audiophile quality sound or be the cheapest option out there, it sure looks awesome, and is a great way to get started with building your own speakers. After testing out the speakers and electronics, holes in the gas cans are cut and the terminals and speakers are installed. “As an added bonus, the pour spout serves to release pressure in the speaker can. You can get everything you need for ~$69 from Amazon and/or Home Depot.” Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers.  Once you have built the speakers, now you can experiment with different fill material to see what results in better sound quality.

This is a simple, yet fun looking build. Something like this can make a nice gift for someone who spends a lot of time in their garage. What other crazy objects have you used for speaker enclosures?

Comments

  1. tReg says:

    >Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers.

    hum… you can do a pair of decent looking *and* looking speakers from scrap wood with cheap hand tools. Why the hell would you spoil speaker in some random rather soft plastic boxes ?

    This build is FUN, ok, but that’s all :)

    • tReg says:

      sorry : I meant “*and* sounding”

    • Eirinn says:

      Because not everyone like wooden speakers?

      • Sven says:

        Or proper frequency response it seems. These speakers will sound about as good as the cheapest plastic stereo you can find at a discount store, probably worse. The soft plastic will move differently with different frequencies, some frequencies will be a lot more dampened than others.

        Apart from that there is no absorbent padding in there so there will also be a lot of internal resonances, and the wires aren’t fastened down so you will also have them rattling against the side of the can in time with the base.

        Don’t get me completely wrong, there are a lot of decent plastic speakers out there, but they are made from much harder plastic, they also usually have some internal structure to make them more sturdy, and they will also have at least a little bit of sound absorbing padding to dampen resonances.

        • colecoman1982 says:

          Your first point stands, but your second point is wrong. Both the summary and the Instructable itself talk about filling the speakers with something after it’s all put together (the article suggests polyfill).

          • medix says:

            No, that’s not how acoustics works. Sure the damping material will help, but you want *rigid* sidewalls (the stronger, the better) so as to produce less vibration where it’s not wanted. When the container vibrates, it produces sound with undesirable harmonics (usually out of phase with the primary driver) and sounds terrible. You want the sound to come out of the driver (*designed* to accurately reproduce sound), and not the enclosure.

        • 12L14 says:

          While I don’t think it is the case, there are few designs that are using no rigid walls as a passive diaphragm/radiator ;)

  2. fartface says:

    Sadly the cans will flex a LOT causing boomyness and a loss of efficiency. Filling them with Polyfill packed in the cans will make a big difference and get rid of a lot of the boomy.
    Bonus points if the cap is modified to have a (on a guess, I dont have the speakers thele parameters) 4 ” long tuned port you could make those cans sound really respectable.

  3. Natalie says:

    wander what would happen if ya fill the can with a liquid, then did a freq sweep with the cap off ?!!

  4. pcf11 says:

    I got a kicking stereo in my garage. 6 speakers, 2 amps. When I crank it up it is almost like I’m at the Club! Somehow I don’t think a pair of speakers in plastic cans is really going to be quite the same.

  5. x3n0x says:

    WOW! So many haters! Well, haters gonna hate I guess… I think they look cool! While the audio qualities of cheaply made polypropylene bottles are questionable, with a bit of work, you get them solid enough, and attenuating enough to get some decent sound out of them…Little epoxy maybe, some insulation of sorts…

  6. Hirudinea says:

    “Dude WFT, you put gas in my speakers and now instead of rockin’ tunes I got third degree burns!!” Still they do look great.

  7. Sammy Speaker says:

    I’d listen to those while out in the garage for sure!

  8. krudd says:

    Uh oh, guys. The FUN POLICE have arrived! These aren’t audiophile quality! They probably aren’t even using Monster Cables!

    • Sven says:

      I don’t think anyone is expecting something built like this to sound like studio reference speakers, but building speakers out of semi-soft plastic is not a good idea.

      You could probably get fairly good sound out of a rigid plastic box such as an electronics enclosure from fiber reinforced plastic. It might be possible, if a bit of work, to coat the inside of these jugs with fiberglass or carbon fiber composite and get a really sturdy case like that, or even just build a square box inside and use the jug as a cosmetic cover.

      • jacob says:

        I thought the same thing. Make your speaker cutouts and then line the inside with a few layers of fiberglass for rigidity. They would sound much better. I want to try this now. Great idea for a unique looking and easy to carry enclosure!

  9. Pirate Tom says:

    Well, they probably make better speaker enclosures than gas cans. The new EPA pour spouts suck.

  10. dave says:

    i’m a fan because i like.. handles

  11. Galane says:

    Mix up some quick setting urethane resin, pour into the cans (before cutting holes) then roll the can around all directions to form a seamless inner lining.

    Put a piece of good quality plastic wrap over the nozzle opening before screwing the cap on so you won’t get the cap stuck on. Once the resin is set, cut an opening under the cap to do a second layer to make the lining thicker and more rigid.

    Let the resin cure a couple of days, then cut the speaker and other holes.

    Something to try is a urethane bonding agent (like Smooth-On’s Ure-Bond) to see if it will make the resin stick to the polywhetever the can is made of. Might have to wash the inside with detergent then dilute hydrochloric acid then clean water rinse and dry before using the bonding agent.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    I would use a little duramat on the inside with some polyfill and yes the spouts just cry tuned ports.
    This is a COOL project!

  13. Kira Slith says:

    Use some Marine speakers (cover painted to match the canister), line it with Fiberglass, and put the wires in the back and you’ve got some damn fine speakers for a Jeep. :D

  14. Ginsublade says:

    I like it… “this is a great song, loosen that cap for more bass”…. hehehe

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