Headphones usually look quite boring and are very often black and made from plastic. Combined it looks cheap and the plastic doesn't give an inviting appearance.
To have a personal set of headphones that give a welcome feeling I decided to make my own earpieces to go with a set of headphones.
The project is relatively simple but does involve the the use of a lathe.
The materials needed are:
- On-ear headphones
- Piece of wood (Taxus)
- 4 small screws
- Finish (Linseed & Tung oil, Revol)
- Cotton cloth
Enjoy the project!
Step 1: Taking Apart the Headphones
To start the project, I took apart the original headphones. Usually no screws are used, the plastic just clips together. Using a small screwdriver the shells can be popped off, exposing the speaker.
Step 2: Woodturning the Ear Pieces
For the new ear pieces, I took a piece of taxus wood. I like taxus because of it's warm color and beautiful grain pattern. The piece was cut in such a way that the grain runs across the ear piece.
I started by turning the inside of the shells. The recess was turned to fit exactly over the speaker and surrounding plastic rim. When the fit was good, I turned around the piece and mounted it on the chuck using this newly turned pocket.
The next part that should be turned is what will be visible in the final piece. I took slower passes and tried to create a nice smooth shape.
When I was pleased with the result, I started sanding the piece from 80 grid upto 320 grid until all tool marks were sanded smooth.
Step 3: Carving the Pieces
The shells don't fit properly yet, as some cutouts for the cable and strap need to be made.
I marked both pieces and created the neccessary cutouts using a chisel and a small needle file.
To mount the wooden shells onto the headphones I drilled two extra holes in the plastic to accept screws. The screws are hidden behind the foam pads that are clicked back in place after the wood is mounted.
Step 4: Finishing
To finalize the project I put a finish on the wood. Personally I like to use Revol, which is a mix of linseed oil and tung oil.
Using a cloth it can be applied to the wood. I put several coats on the wood and it nicely accentuates the grain.
The end result is a stylish pair of headphones. Not only do they look nice, but the sound quility also improved noticeably (probably because of the thicker wood instead of thin plastic shells).