Introduction: Custom Built MP3 Player Cradle
My Archos Jukebox 6000 did not come with a docking cradle. I wanted to build one so I could integrate it into a larger project I have in mind: a docking/charging station for all my portable electronics. Many portable electronics don't come with docking cradles. This project could be adapted to work with many of them.
Tools: Philips screwdriver, handsaw (dovetail), small chisel (1/4"), mitrebox, hacksaw, drill , router, quick clamps
Materials: 3/8 plywood, 1"x2" red oak, brass bar stock, brass screws, wood glue, Krylon flat black spay paint.
Step 1: Cut the Necessary Pieces Out of Plywood
I did not have drawings when I started the project. I built it by feel. I created the qcad drawing as a reference tool for fellow archos owners wanting to make this exact cradle.
- The critical dimensions are the width and height of the back. Place the mp3 player on the back piece and mark out about 3/16" from either side to give room for the dadoes (slots int the sides) and a little wiggle room. You don't want the mp3 player to fit too snuggly.
- Mark about 3/16" from the bottom to make room for the groove in the bottom
- Add the distance the connectors plug into the mp3 player to the top
- Cut some pieces at 45 degress for the sides. The side cut at 45 degrees has to be long enough to accomodate the back and bottom.
- Cut an 1/8" deep dado on each side to fit the back. Leave enough wood to guide the sides of the mp3 player
- Make bottom piece out of oak (or other hardwood) to get good holding power for the screws.
- The groove in the bottom locks into the back. I made a mistake the first time and cut the 1/8" groove so there wasn't enough wood to hold my cable in place. I flipped the piece over an tried again.
- Chamfer (cut at 45 degrees) the edge of the bottom piece that is closest to the table to allow the wires to fit underneath.
- I knocked off the sharp corners of the sides.
Step 2: Test Fit and Mark Cables
- Test fit all of the pieces to mark where the cables go.
- Marked the wood with a hobby knife to show where you need to cut out for the cables
- Darken the cuts with a pencil to see them better
Step 3: Cut Out Recesses for Cables
- Use a dovetail saw to cut across the grain at the widest part of the pencil line.
- Use a chisel to clean out the wood between the cuts.
- Take a little off each pass and test fit the mp3 player and conectors each time
Step 4: Add Cable Clamp
- Cut a piece of brass stock so it overlaps the cable recesses by about 1/2"
- Drill 2 holes about 1/4" from each end of the brass stock.
- Transfer the location of the holes to the bottom piece and predrill for the screws
- Tighen the screws with the cables in position and test the fit of the MP3 player one last time.
Step 5: Glue Everything Together
Pretty self explanatory
Step 6: Apply Finish and Reconnect the Cables
Plug it all togehter and see if it works.