DIY Wooden IPhone Charging Dock - Featured Maker: Giaco Whatever





Introduction: DIY Wooden IPhone Charging Dock - Featured Maker: Giaco Whatever

About: Hi I'm Alex and I love to make stuff! I mainly work with different metals but I also love to explore new (to me) materials and dabble in woodworking, jewelry, knife making, design and many more.

Hello Instructables Community,

today I would like to introduce Giaco Whatever to you. Giaco is a very talented maker and filmmaker whose projects I've been following for quite a while now. Unfortunately though he was so far unable to create his own Instructables due to time constraints and a tight maker schedule.

Since I thought that his projects should gain more attention I offered Giaco to collaborate and create this Instructable as a test to see how the reception might be.

I highly recommend you watch the embedded video and also visit his channel for other videos. If you like what you see please subscribe to his channel and leave us some comments.

Cheers Alex

Step 1: Wood Selection

I was looking to make a birthday present for my mother and came across a piece of Italian walnut lumber in my work shop. Since walnut is my favorite type of wood this choice was easy.

In the following steps you see me using a number of power tools but one would be able to do this project with hand tools as well. I would describe the skill level as easy and most people with basic skills should be able to do this as an afternoon project. I used the power tools because...well...I...had the access to them but I will try to give examples for the individual steps of how you could use hand tools.

Step 2: Preparing the Wood

The first step after selecting the wood is to prepare the lumber. I used an electrical thickness planer to create uniform and smooth surfaces on the top and bottom faces.

Using an electrical thickness planer makes this otherwise tedious work quick and almost easy to accomplish. You can also use a regular hand plane for the same result (well you will have to invest more time and sweat too).

Step 3: Rough Measurements

Since this charging dock will be for an IPhone I used my own phone for some rough measurements. Without needing accurate measurements down to the millimeter (or fraction of an inch) I marked on the lumber what felt right with regards to the dimensions and proportions.

Step 4: Sawing

I used my miter saw to cut the wood to size thus creating flat & uniform surfaces on both sides. You could use a simple hand saw for this step.

Step 5: Creating a Bevel

In this step I used my miter saw and table saw to create a slight angle on the front side. This angle is tilted slightly towards the back and is supposed to be the face the phone will rest against later.

You could accomplish this step with regular hand saws.

Step 6: Fine Shaping

Using a sharp chisel cleaned up the faces from the previous saw cuts. This created sharp lines and edges fitting to the overall design.

Step 7: Sanding

In this step I used my orbital sander to smooth the surfaces further for the remaining steps. You can do this with sandpaper and a sanding block. Be careful and try to maintain the crisp edges you created in the previous steps.

Step 8: Marking...

...the center of the front face is pretty much straight forward. Use a straight edge to find the center of the front face and mark it with a pencil or scribe.

Step 9: Drilling

I used a small diameter forstner bit to drill a hole for the Lightning connector to fit through. The Apple Lightning Connector cable is 7,6mm wide on its widest part and since you will need a little wiggle room I suggest you use a bit between 8-9mm in diameter. If you are making the docking station for some other type of phone you will have to adjust your tools and measurements accordingly.

To avoid splintering the wood I suggest you use another piece of wood as a back-up and clamp both together.

Step 10: Routing the Cable Canal

I used my router table to create a canal for the lightning cable. The fence of the table is adjusted in order for the canal to be in the center starting from the back all the way up to the hole I drilled in the previous step.

You can achieve a similar effect with a saw and chisels. Another option would be to use a hand router.

Step 11: Dry Fitting

To check whether the hole is large enough I did a quick test.

Step 12: Wiring

With the phone in place where it should be I used a small dab of hot glue to keep the connector in place.

I removed the phone and used some more hot glue to permanently glue the cable in place.

Step 13: Surface Protection for the Bottom

To protect the surface of the furniture on which this charging dock will be placed I cut some black adhesive Velvet to shape and stuck it to the bottom. Using a utility knife I trimmed the Velvet off at the edges.

You could use other fabrics such as felt for this purpose.

Step 14: It Rubs the Lotion on Its Wood

As a surface finish I decided to use a 4:1 mixture of linseed oil and wax which really helps to highlight the beautiful texture of the walnut.

Step 15: Ready for Use

Here is the finished project and I think that the crisp edges and walnut grain are a good fit to the IPhone which also combines straight elements with curved ones.

I hope you liked this project and would like to show you more in the future.

Step 16: Monthly Giveaway

You can win a Let's Prep Outdoor MakeKit v2.0 including a 1-Year Instructables Pro Account. I will also send out stickers to the runner ups again!

All you have to do is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video and include "I want to go out and make something!" & your Instructables username. The winner will be announced on Mar 31st 2016 1800hrs GMT on my FB, Twitter & Blog. (Only entries from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA & Canada are eligible to get the full package mailed (please understand that I pay for this myself), residents of other countries may only receive the Pro-Account).

(I changed the Pro-Account from 3-Months to 1-Year since this Instructable was featured on the homepage!)



    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    wow this is so impressive. I just love it and want to make one too. And what a great job with the video

    1 reply

    Hi joyce41, thanks a lot for your feedback. If you liked the video make sure you check Giaco's other videos as well.

    Cheers Alex

    Hi Paul,

    thanks for your feedback. I agree Giaco is making really cool projects and has a great filming/editing style.

    Cheers Alex

    PS: There are more collabs with Giaco lined up and some of my favorite makers.

    "It rubs the lotion on its wood" - ummm...we're still talking about the docking station project, right? Lol, thanks for sharing, I have a 1.5" thick square piece of walnut about 8", looks like something great to use it for... Aloha!

    1 reply

    Yes the dimensions seem to be just fine. Give it a go and don't forget to post a pic once you're done.

    Cheers Alex

    PS: Don't forget to rub the lotion on the wood for the finish :D

    Nice design, one of these would look very elegant on my nightstand. I would also like to incorporate your charging dock design into a wooden iphone amplifier since it has to be one of the cleanest designs I have seen. I also like the fact that the charging plug is fixed to the block so I can just set the phone on and not have to mess with the cable each time.

    1 reply

    Hi dougw181,

    thanks a lot for your feedback. I would also like to see this design applied to a wooden amplifier.

    I know what you mean with regards to the cable and I'm thinking about making a dock for myself out of soapstone (just looking for the right piece at the moment.

    Cheers Alex

    Nice, that design is awesome for building one that I can use a defender case and still use the charge dock. just build it with the case on. Thanks

    A simple upgrade that I think would be awesome

    add a slot for business cards and a couple of holes for a pen and pencil set.

    1 reply

    Hi SamS197,

    thanks for reading and for your suggestions!

    Cheers Alex

    Thanks a lot!

    thanks! Looks like a good woodworking project that will interest my son, a great mom/son bonding project.

    1 reply

    Hi Kathryn,

    it certainly sounds like a cool project for you. It would be great if you could post a picture once you've made your own.

    Cheers Alex

    Very nice, I like the clean look of the finished dock. Good share!

    1 reply

    Hi seamster,

    thanks for reading and commenting! This look is something you can find in many of Giaco's other projects as well.

    Cheers Alex