Introduction: Wooden Earphones Housing With Bone Cap

Picture of Wooden Earphones Housing With Bone Cap

I bought a nice Cooler Master HC-300 in-ear headset. Cooler Master HC-300 official page.

It is really nice, comfortable, sounds good. But the cheap plastic housing is way fragile, it breakes easily without any force.

So it's an out of the box chance to create something better.

Step 1: The Situation and the Idea

Picture of The Situation and the Idea

So it is broken, but can be save the driver unit with its black housing. There is a little chamber on the back, I decided not to create to achieve larger inner volume. The base material is beech wood out of an old table leg and beef leg bone from a delicious soup. :) (So it's made completely out of legs. :D)

Step 2: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
  • eye protecting glasses
  • dust filter mask
  • various sandpapers
  • drill bits: 8mm, 2mm, 1mm
  • various needle files
  • nail polishing sticks
  • diamond grit nail file
  • small saw
  • fretsaw
  • rotary tool with sanding drum
  • caliper
  • Philips screw
  • chisel
  • superglue
  • needle or toothpick (to apply glue)
  • piece of wood
  • beef leg bone

I made the plan in Sketchup (fafules.skp) and Corel Draw.

Step 3: Apply the Template and Start Sanding

Picture of Apply the Template and Start Sanding

Glue on the templates with superglue. Start to raw saw. Drill thru at the center point with an 1mm drill bit to point out the center on the other side. Now You can center and glue the opposite side template simmetrically.

Step 4: Drilling the Holes

Picture of Drilling the Holes

Drill the main hole from the bottom with 8mm drill bit. Measure and indicate the place of the cable then drill it with 2mm drill bit. Be careful, it must be perpendicular to the side. Start sanding the outer cone mantle and the inner side.

Step 5: Fine Work, Needle Filing

Picture of Fine Work, Needle Filing

Now comes the final shaping with needle files and with the rougher nail polishing sticks. At this phase the wall thickness is 1mm and less on the bottom (cap side). The original plastic cap is wobbling, since I succeeded to make the sidewall thinner than the original ones.

Step 6: The Bone Cap

Picture of The Bone Cap

Next step is the bone cap at the bottom. I made it out of beef leg bone. It was a delicious soup, and after that came the degreasing process with boiling then soaking in lighter fluid. Good article about bone cleaning. Cut the tiny pieces with fretsaw then round with rough sandpaper.

Glue the template to the buttons with superglue, then this whole to Phillips screws. This serves as an axle to mount in the hand drill clutch. Now it's like a mini lathe, You can make the inner flange with diamond grit nail file and the concave surface with the rotary tool and a round grinding stone. Be careful, wear protective glasses! And wear a filter mask too (I forgot to mention here), thanks the reminder to NanoRobotGeek! When finished simply snap off the bone from the screw with a chisel.

Step 7: Put It Together

Picture of Put It Together

Now You can fine the bone caps, glue in with superglue and round it with nail polishing sticks.Then solder out the drivers from the plastic housing, put it to Your brand new wooden one, solder in and glue it together.

Step 8: End Result

Picture of End Result

Now You can enjoy Your brand new wooden earphones! It sounds better than previously with the cheap plastic housing and looks really great and feels great. You can apply some linseed or citron oil to it and finished.

If You like it please vote for it! Thank You all! :)


DIYDragon (author)2015-02-22

Time to hit up my hunter friends for bones and antlers so I can try all these cool carving instructables. Very professional looking final product.

maKACS (author)DIYDragon2015-02-23

Thanks DIYDragon!

Go for it and have fun!

bonejeweler (author)2015-02-05

Shared this on tumblr and I favorited it for future use. I will be using your tutorial to do the same thing with antler to my buds. :)

maKACS (author)bonejeweler2015-02-05

Wow, glad to hear it! I bet it will be nice with antler. Please show it us when You make it. :)

ringai (author)2015-01-06

Sweet. I like seeing consumer items made from wood, even if it is only a housing. Wood is so nice to the touch.

maKACS (author)ringai2015-01-06

Thanks, I agree, definitely feels better! And in this case also sounds better.

ringai (author)maKACS2015-01-09

Recent page, I'd thought you were somehow turning these on a lathe, like the way some people do coffee/measuring scoops.

I have a couple set of buds that unsurprisingly failed at the strain relief that I use to make a set like yours. It's gonna be cold and snowy here over the weekend, so maybe I have my busy work project :-)

maKACS (author)ringai2015-01-09

Finally I see how and what You mean ringai.

ringai (author)maKACS2015-01-12

:-) Yeah, Carl's video taught me how to do them!

He's a great turner. His videos are good and he provides all of the information and details on how he's doing things.

maKACS (author)ringai2015-01-12

Sadly I've no lathe, so I can do small things only with this method. But it's not really a problem for me because I enjoy to create such a tiny things.

maKACS (author)ringai2015-01-09

I turned the bone caps only. But in a next project I will try to turn the wood body too. It can be done from two truncated cone, then glued together.

Go for it and please show me, us Your project. :) I'm really curious about it! Have fun! :)

artworm (author)2015-01-07

Wow crazy work! Looks very good! Love it

maKACS (author)artworm2015-01-07

Thanks, I love it too. :)

Mindmapper1 (author)2015-01-07

this is really good but it is incorrect to state that things break without any force, they will only break when an external force is applied.

maKACS (author)Mindmapper12015-01-07

Believe me, it breaks out of the box.

There may be force from inside around the claws, and when it snapped together on the assembly line. You can see both are broken at the same place, same shape, same way. It is unlikely to brake accidentally the same way...

I found some other reports to this modell on the web with exactly the same fault.

Technically You're right.

But in this case there was nothing minimally extra force which would justify the breakage at the first use. I handle my gadgets, gears and stuffs much much more care, than the average.

Just for the specialty, I show You my 100% working (in collector grade good condition) Sony WM20 Walkman from 1983. Here I just change the driving belt.

austin42 (author)2015-01-07

amazing one did you try more than once

maKACS (author)austin422015-01-07

Thanks, this was the first try but I want to make another one out of something different wood with nicer woodgrains.
After that I want to try a different making method.

Madman146 (author)2015-01-06

this is awesome great job

maKACS (author)Madman1462015-01-06

Thanks Madman146!

dialmformostyn (author)2015-01-06

These are really something - well done! I'd considered doing something similar with my headphones previously, but wrote the idea off as unfeasible but I might have to revisit the idea now I've seen it done so beautifully.

(You could also scale up your design and have a nice range of pipes!)

maKACS (author)dialmformostyn2015-01-06

Thank You! :) Just begin it and see how it turns out.

Pipe, hmm... Good idea, since I'm a pipe-smoker. Maybe some day a next project.

NanoRobotGeek (author)2015-01-05

Amazingly beautiful (and elegant) finished product, I love that the wood is all one piece. careful with that bone dust though =/

maKACS (author)NanoRobotGeek2015-01-06

Thank You!

Yes, this was a challenging point to make it a one piece workpiece. :) I thinked a lot about it. There was an option to make it from two truncated cone shapes glued together. Both can be woodturned with the mini lathe method, so this would be a quicker way. I think I'll try it too.

The second option is to replace the cable entry with a piece of copper/alu/brass tube. Maybe a steampunk version.

Finally thanks for the reminder. (Updated with it.) Yes, the bone dust is terrible, so we must wear dust filter mask. When You file or sand it by hand it's not a big problem. But with rotary tool it's a different story. It produces much finer dust and blows away. I mentioned it in my other instructables when I made a feather shaped earrings out of bone

Thanks again!

martonthenagy (author)2015-01-05

Gratulálok, nagyon szép munka! Egy darabot sem törtél el a készítés közben?

Congrats, very nice work! Didn't you broke any of your wokrpiece during the making?

maKACS (author)martonthenagy2015-01-05

Köszi! :) Szerencsére nem, pedig többek között ettől is tartottam. De úgy tűnik, hogy a bükk már elég erős ilyen milliméter vékonyan is. Persze a hengeres struktúra is segíthetett ebben.

Luckily it didn't, althought that was the one of many other things that I was afraid about. But it seems that the beech has been quite strong enough. Of course, the cylindrical structure could also help in this.

adamwatters (author)2015-01-04

Such precision! Beautiful work - I especially like the bone caps. Thanks for sharing.

maKACS (author)adamwatters2015-01-04

Thanks, it looks like the bone caps became to be the most interesting detail of the project. :)

Brantley Tinnin (author)2015-01-04

the ear buds aren't my style honestly not sure why I even stopped and read it but glad I did the bone caps are genius and great inspiration for some things I am considering

maKACS (author)Brantley Tinnin2015-01-04

I'm glad to hear it, thanks! Let us see if You make something. I'm sure bone can be used on other types of earphones and headphones. It looks and feels nice and it's strong, will not break. :)

hank3fan (author)2015-01-04

very nice work and attention to detail

llindsay3 (author)2015-01-04

Oh I love these, wonderful work. True craftsmanship . Keep going.

jayeff (author)2015-01-04

Wow, awesome! How long did it take you to build these beauties?

maKACS (author)jayeff2015-01-04

It took about a week, I think netto 2 days. There were lots of thinking, measuring, trying and hesitating.

annrrr (author)2015-01-04


Danang JKT (author)2015-01-04

Great job. For tiny thing like this, precisions are required. I called it work of art.

maKACS (author)Danang JKT2015-01-04

Thanks Danang! That's why I bought a caliper for the sake of this project. It's a must have.

123cardigan (author)2015-01-04

Very nice the bone is a nice touch

maKACS (author)123cardigan2015-01-04

Thanks! I wanted something different than wood, but natural. Recently I have discovered the bone as a wonderful material to work with when I started to improve my classical guitar.

RuudvandeLooij (author)2015-01-04

Looks awesome, always wanted my own wooden in-ear headset. Maybe something for the future, Voted.

maKACS (author)RuudvandeLooij2015-01-04

Thanks and go ahead! I'm sure it worth to make.

Wired_Mist (author)2015-01-03

Wow, Thats insane !

Just looking at the detail that you went into makes my head start spinning.

Hope to see more; Awesome job there buddy !

maKACS (author)Wired_Mist2015-01-04

Thanks! Yes, I will make at least 2 new instructables.

I made a feather shaped pair of earrings out of this same beef leg bone for my wife as Christmas present. The second project was an owl shaped soundhole cover for my classical guitar.

technovative (author)2015-01-03

Very meticulous craftsmanship, and a handsome end result.

maKACS (author)technovative2015-01-04

Thanks technovative!
When I started I wasn't sure that I'm able to finish such a tiny piece, but it turned out well.

About This Instructable



Bio: Tiny projects from wood and bone with minimal tools. I like to use handtools for better controll and to feel the workpiece. This way I ... More »
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