Cell phones are taking over the planet, likewise, their accessories are taking over as well. This includes ear buds, headphone jack dust plugs, cases, docks, and so on. In this instructable I'm going to teach you how to make your own phone dock on a budget.
If you compare and contrast the commercial phone docks on the market today, prices vary, however the appearance does not. You can find generic brand docks for around $25.00. Apple brand docks range in price. The lowest being $40.00 and going as high as $300.00. Yikes. The thing that makes this price tag even worse is the fact that they all look the same. In comparison from apple to a Walmart brand dock there isn't much difference (aside form the price, obviously). My dock is not only cheaper, but also more unique looking. I guess if you truly hate nature you wouldn't agree with my taste in style, but to me this dock looks way more interesting than the other docks on the market.
The inspiration for my design is nature. The beauty of nature made me want to incorporate it into my design. I have an iPhone, but this same design could be used for any cell phone with the proper adjustments.
Elmer's Glue (Wood glue would work best, but this is all I had handy)
Hot Glue and Glue Gun
Plain scarf (one you won't mind cutting)
7 Wood Slices (or desired amount, I just chose seven)
Be creative in this step, find some dead trees, preferably on the smaller side, outside. Look for cool bark, you're going to be layering these, later.
Jigsaw (or regular saw depending on what you can get your hands on)
iPhone charger (or a spare charger that fits your phone.
Total money spent: $0.00
This price can change depending on what you can get your hands on. I had a lot of materials around to work with. The max budget for this project, assuming everyone has a saw and drill with access to nature, would be about $15.
HINT: iPhone chargers are sold as low as about $5 if you don't have a spare. Scarves can be found for cheap at your local thrift shops, an old tee shirt or felt ($0.23 cents per sheet of felt at Walmart) could take place of this.
Step 1: Glue and Clamp
I took my precut wood slices, if you're doing it yourself, mine are approximately 3/4-1/2 an inch, no two are the same thickness. My pieces are cut at a slant and the surface is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. The bigger slices are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I used a total of 5 small slices and 2 larger slices.
Set one of the smaller slices aside and glue the other six together in two groups of three with Elmer's Glue (wood glue if available)
What I did here was glue The surface and attach them where I thought it would look best. Then I took a hand clamp, and clamped down the two groups while it dried.
Step 2: Saw It!
Next, take that piece of wood you set aside. I used a jigsaw and sawed along the two lines that I drew. I made sure it was wide enough for the width of my phone in its case, plus a little extra room for easy removal. I also cut the wood at a slight angle for my phone to lay against.
Step 3: Drill It!
I let my clamped pieces of wood dry for a couple of hours and did other daily tasks while it dried. Next up is the drilling. In order to fit the charger through the drill hole, you will have to make the hole slightly bigger than the end that plugs into your phone. To make the hole big enough for an iPhone 6 charger, I used a quarter inch forstner bit.
I split my 6 pieces of wood into two groups to make it easier to drill through. I have a picture of my desired design as reference for what I want the end product to look like.
Taking the first group, remove the clamp holding it together. I used an additional clamp to hold the wood still while I drilled, however it is not necessary. Then drill a hole in the middle of the group, making sure it goes through each piece, because as you can see they're not lined up perfectly. Remember the size that the hole needs to be!
Repeat this on the next group of wood pieces.
Step 4: Assemble!
When combining the two groups of wood pieces, line up the drill holes. This requires no measuring or math. I applied hot glue to the surfaces I wanted to connect, and lined up the holes before the glue set.
After the entire product was dry and stuck together, I ran the charger through the hole. I brought it out farther than needed so that I could hot glue the end of the charger, and a bit down the cable. After the glue was applied, I lowered the cable back into the hole leaving just enough room for the charger to poke out the top.
After waiting for this to dry I hot glued the split piece of wood to the top of the entire product, and leaving the hole uncovered.
I then hot glued the other end of the charger flat on the bottom of the product so that is wasn't a free cable.
OPTIONAL: I decided to protect surfaces from the bottom of this dock with an old brown scarf. I placed the dock on it, and outlined the scarf with a metallic sharpie to ensure that I could see the marks. Then I cut it to fit the bottom side of the product to protect the surfaces that it is placed on. I use hot glue to attach the scarf to the bottom.
Step 5: Voila!
A naturally appealing charging dock for your phone! This project was interesting to make but also easy to recreate! The hot glue does not affect the charger's ability to charge so long as it is placed on the covered material.
Height: 4.75 inches / 12.065 centimeters
Weight: 323 grams / 11.40 ounces / 0.712 pounds
Max Width: 4 inches / 10.16 centimeters
Facts and Answers:
Fire hazard? No. I've left my iPhone charging for long hours at a time. By the time I actually unplugged it, the charger didn't increase in temperature, and neither does my iPhone. Sometimes, if used excessively while charging, the iPhone itself can increase in temperature, but if it is in a stationary position on a dock, there would be no cause for concern to leave it sitting.
The lightening cable that I used is an upgrade to their previous charging model. The previous model was more bulky, and had 30 pins (the metallic rectangles you see at the tip of the charger). The newer model is slender and consists of 8 pins. each pin has a certain job to complete, as seen in the image. The previous model could also only be inserted "right side up" whereas now, the charger can go in the device either way, and still being capable of charging it. The lightening cable still has the USB end which can be attached to most laptops and power adapters.
The lightening cable is capable of carrying up to 2.1A (or 12 Watts) through it, however the power adapter is what sends out the charge. The device that is used in will determine the amount of current that it will draw from the power adapter.