I made this wooden box/case to enable me to take my iPad with me when I go into hospital. It will offer a lot of protection if I did drop it because the iPad is secured with padded foam inside the wooden box. Just because it was designed to offer protection doesnt mean it shouldnt look nice, so I incorporated an Apple inlay along with side and top inlays to finnish of the look. The amount of work I put I dont want to damage the box never mind the iPad.
I have included a step by step but I would recommend you watch the video I made below to help better understand what I did.
I have made a video of me building this iPad box with apple inlay. To see how I made it I think you are best to watch the video I made:
Step 1: What You Will Need
To make this box I used:
Sapele Hardwood - for the majority of the box American White Oak - for the inlay on the top and around the sides Wood Glue - to fix the pieces together (no metal fasteners were used for the construction of the box) 2 x Concealed Hinges - for the box 1 x Clasp - to lock the box
12 Small Brass Screws - to attach the hinges and clasp
Felt Baize - to line the inside of the box
5mm Packing Foam - for the lining the inside of the box
Spray Adhesive - to attach the foam and felt baize to the box
For The Finish:
High Gloss Spray lacquer - for the finish
Rotten Stone Powder - for the finish
Wet & Dry Sand Paper - for finishing
Compound Mitre Saw - for the cross cutting tasks and for cutting the mitred corners
Table Saw - for ripping and resawing of the Sapele and oak
Band Saw - for cutting the apple inlay, a jigsaw and/or scroll saw could also be used
random orbital sander - of course you can sand by hand but a power sander makes it go allot quicker
Scissors - for cutting foam and felt baize
Screw driver - for attaching the hinges and the clasp
Clamps - the more the better!
Step 2: Step 1 - Cutting the Sides
I started by cutting 4 strips of sapele to 60mm x 300mm(rough) x 28mm
These will become the sides to the box.
Step 3: Step 2 - Cut Grooves
Then, still using the table saw I cut a groove on both sides of the 4 pieces. These will later accept the top and bottom of the box.
They are cut 10mm deep and 18mm across.
Step 4: Step 3 - Mitre Corners
I then used my mitre saw to cut 45 degree mitres on the ends of the 4 pieces. this is the same as how you would make a picture frame. So when the 4 pieces are put together they will be square and you wont be able to see any end grain.
The size will be dependant on the size of your iPad or other tablet. I allowed 5mm gapp all around mine and used that as the inside measurment.
Step 5: Step 4 - Glue Up
Use wood glue to fix the corners of the box together. To help while clampng I used masking tape on the edges and rolled up the sides to form a box. I then added a strap clamp to tighten up the joints while the glue dries.
Step 6: Step 5 - Cut Top & Bottom Pieces
I used my table saw again to cut 10mm thick pieces that I glued up to create the top and bottom of the box.
I left a 3mm gap all round for an oak inlay later.
Step 7: Step 6 - Apple Logo
Using a 3mm piece of oak I attached a self adhesive piece of paper with the Apple logo on it and then cut it out on my band saw.
Step 8: Step 7 - Router Apple Logo (inlay)
I printed another lighter coloured apple logo to help align the pieces I had cut. I then drew around the piece I had cut. I did this because it is impossible that I cut the piece perfect, so by doing this I will cut the top to fit.
I set the router bit to slightly lower than the thickness og the oak apple. I can sand it flush later.
I then took my time and routered out the space for the inlay, being careful to keep the line. I cleaned up the edges with a chisel and fitted the apple logo with glue.
Step 9: Step 9 - Glue in Top & Bottom & Inlay
I cut a 10mm deep groove all the way arround the box sides to inlay 3mm x 10mm oak.
If you can it is best to glue all of the inlay pieces and the top and bottom to the box at the same time.
Then spend a lot od time sanding.
Step 10: Step 10 - Cut Open the Box
Now its time to cut open the box.
Raise the blade on the table saw to about 30mm and cut through each side of the box, be careful on the last cut that the piece doesnt fall on the blade.
Step 11: Step 11 - Router for Hinges
I wanted to use concealed hinges so they wont be seen when the box is shut.
To do this I need to router a mortise in the box to allow for those hinges.
Step 12: Step 12 - Router the Edge
I used the router to put a 45 degree bevel around the edge.
Step 13: Step 13 - Lacquer
I applied 10 coats of spray lacquer. I only applied 3 coats per 24 hourse to allow them cure fully. I sanded between each layer to make sure the finnesh was super smooth.
Step 14: Step 14 - Hand Rubbed Finnish
To achieve a super high gloss finnish you need to hand rub the finnish. Thats after you have stopped laughing at what its called.
First I used some water with washing up liquid mixed in and some 2000 grit wet & dry sand paper. If you dont use wet and dry it will break up in the water mix. We use the water and washing up liquid to help the paper glide acroos the surface and not get clogged up.
I then applied a layer of baby oil and rotten stone powder. Rottent stone powder is an extremely fine abrasive. In order to get a high gloss finnish we want as small as possible scratches in the surface so rotten stone powder is used to do this. The baby oil is to help it glide like earlier. I just used a rag to gently 'rub' the finnish.
Step 15: Step 15 - Felt & Foam Inside the Box
I used 2 pieces of 5mm thick foam. You can use more or less depending on your iPad or tablet thickness. You want it to have a slight pressure on the tablet when the box is closed to keep it secure.
I use high strength spray adhesive to glue the pieces of foam together.
I did the same to attach the felt.
And the same again to attach the finnes felt cover foam to the inside of the top and bottom of the box.
Step 16: Step 16 - Complete
To finnish I added the hinges and a latch to secure the box closed.
It isnt any harder to make more than 1 at the same time so I made 2. 1 with red felt and 1 with blue felt.