Introduction: Retro Phone Dock From Scrap

So there are cheap plastic docks or expensive Etsy products that are basically just logs routed to hold the base of a phone. I didn't like either option. If you have a tablesaw, glue, clamps, sander/sandpaper and scrap timber, you can make this small dock/charging station for virtually nothing. Pretty much any timber lying round the workshop will do the job - I used leftover pine from a disassembled sofa and an offcut of pallet wood.

Step 1: Rip the Boards

Rip four lengths of board to around 6.75 cm in width. This should be slightly wider than your phone's width (mine is an iPhone 5) but you can adjust accordingly for different phone styles and shapes. The boards are then cut to length approx 5 cm longer than the length of the phone. I just worked using my phone as a template and essentially eyeballed all my measurements. When the proportions looked good I stopped cutting.

Step 2: Glue Up

Glue the four boards together on their widest faces using wood glue and clamps. Take care to keep everything aligned as misalignments mean more sanding/planing later on. Glue acts as a lubricant before it dries making it all too easy for the boards to slide out alignment if you aren't vigilant I should note the boards were about 18mm thick resulting in a finished thickness of a bit over 7 cm. My boards had slightly different tones/colours so I alternated them to get a look that I liked.

Step 3: Clean and Sand

Scrape off excess glue using a chisel and lightly sand - use a hand planer or similar if needed to knock off any high spots. Then sand to get a nice smooth finish - I used a mouse sander but a ROS would be good too.

Step 4: Make the Ledge

Rip a narrow strip of timber approx 8mm x 8mm and glue to the front side of the base. This creates a narrow ledge or lip that will hold your phone along one horizontal edge when charging. If your phone is thicker you'll need to adjust the width of the strip accordingly.

Step 5: Charger Cable Cutout

Using a contrast piece of wood about an inch wide I cut a small but deep dado/channel just larger than the business end of the iPhone charger and also a cutout to go over the ledge part (using a tablesaw). Once done glue it either at the far left or right of the dock (ie you can choose to make a right or left hand version). I went with right hand. Make sure the charger has enough room to wiggle through relatively easily

Step 6: Feet

Set up a 5 degree angled cut using a protractor/mitre gauge on the tablesaw to rip two small angled wedges from more scrap. Glue these to the base of the clock as feet. This results in the dock being angled slightly upwards helping to keep the phone in place when it is in the dock being charged.

Step 7: Finished

You could stain, paint or seal the dock but I haven't done so yet. To complete the retro look you can download any number of clock apps that mimic the functions and/or look of an old school clock radio. Thanks for looking - if you like this or make a version yourself please post a comment, and votes in the wood contest would be appreciated too.

Step 8: Update

I applied a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and methylated spirits to protect the timber and so now I can call this one done

Comments

author
mk2001 (author)2014-11-22

It would be cool if you put an induction charger in it so you don't have to plug it in

author
T-K (author)2014-11-21

You could integrate a wireless charger behind the main dock area too!

author
ruguberto (author)2014-11-20

So simple so beautifull, thanks for sharing

author
White_Haka (author)2014-11-20

I would make a vacuum design inside, with an hole on the side/back for amplifying (just like a guitar)!

author
makerandco (author)2014-11-18

I've also updated the text with more info on dimensions

author
makerandco (author)2014-11-17

Four boards all around 1.8cm in thickness

author
xxlauraxx (author)2014-11-17

Nice work — I want to make one of these. :)

What is the thickness of the boards you're working with?

I agree with seamster — you should definitely include the final shot (of the phone in its dock) in the intro.

author
nima0003 (author)2014-11-17

Nice!

author
Uncle Kudzu (author)2014-11-17

that is so cool! I've been using an older phone for an alarm clock (among other things). your dock would make it nice looking.

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Bio: I love to make things in the workshop. Find me at makerandco_ on Instagram
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