Introduction: Captain America Shield - Headphone Holder
I recently got a pair of wireless headphones for father's day. I soon realized I needed somewhere to store them when not in use, as opposed to just lying them on the desk. I did a search online thinking I buy a Captain America Shield headphone holder but much to my surprise I didn't find anything I liked. So I decided to make one. I am new to turning and thought this would be a nice skill builder project. Originally I was going to paint the wood but once I turned the walnut I decided to make it monotone. It just gave off a more understated look, in my opinion.
This is one of those projects that can be used in various other ways to customize the final piece to your liking. If you aren't a Marvel fan you can always make the circle detail in to something else or if you just like a simple look you can use a nice piece of figured wood to make the same stand. This is very much a template for your imagination.
3/4 inch x 3-1/2 by 2 feet wood board
Ruler White pencil or Marker
Mini Wood Lathe or Jigsaw or Scroll saw or Band saw
Hot Glue Gun
Sandpaper Various Grits up to 600
1/4 inch Flat Steel Stock
1/4 inch Steel Rod
Angle Grinder or Portable Bandsaw or Hack Saw
Drill Press or Hand Drill
1/4 inch Drill Bit
Belt Sander or Palm Sander
Rub n Buff - Silver
I had a piece of Walnut that was 3-1/2 inch wide which was perfect for this project. I measured and cut a 3-1/2 inch square piece using my bandsaw. The final dimension of the shield will be about 3-1/4 inch diameter. I wanted to make the shield larger but after checking my headphones I couldn't make it too much wider without having to spread the headphones open with two hands when placing them on the stand. I wanted to be able to take off the headphones and hang them on the stand with one hand.
Next I needed to prep the square to be turned on the lathe. I marked the center by drawing two intersecting lines that went from one corner to the other corner. Then I used center punch to mark the center. The small divot will help me center my "turning cap" at least that's what I am calling it. The "turning cap" is the round plywood piece that I will hot glue to the walnut so that I have something for my lathe chuck to grab on too. This will make more sense in the next step. I use a drill in the center hole to align the position of the turning cap and I mark the outside edge with a white pencil. The white pencil is easier to see on walnut.
I made the "turning cap" on my lathe, I just took a piece of plywood and turned it using a threaded chuck and live center to an appropriate circumference that will fit my lathe chuck.
With the center of my blank marked I then melted some hot glue and positioned the turning cap on my marks. I clamped it for good measure and let the glue set for about 15 minutes before removing the clamp.
I then installed the walnut blank in my lathe chuck. You can see the turning cap in the lathe chuck jaws. I used a small HDPE spacer (it doesn't have to be HDPE it can also be a small scrap of wood) on the other side where the live center holds the blank in place. This side was going to be the face of the shield and I didn't want to mare it so hence the HDPE spacer.
The first thing I did was make the blank round. I made sure to try and get as close to 3-1/4 inch diameter as possible I would constantly check as I worked to make sure I didn't remove too much material. Once it was round then I started to make the convex face of the shield. Here again I removed material little by little until the shape looked about right.
With the majority of the shaping done I removed the live center and then finished removing the last bit of material in the center of the shield. Next I sanded everything up to 600 grit I started with 120 and moved up the grits.
In order to make the concentric circles of the shield I had to measure and mark them. I knew the center circle needed to be about 1 inch in diameter so I used the center of the shield as a reference point to make my marks. Again I used a white map pencil to make the marks; for the 3 concentric circle sections I just measured how much material I had left after marking the center circle and then divided by 3. I used centimeters for this measurement as it was more accurate and easier to do the math. To make the circles I just placed my pencil on the steady rest and put it up to the mark and turned the lathe manually. This left me with easy to see circle guidelines.
Next I carved a recess in the center for the star, then I used a parting tool to make the lines that define the concentric circle sections. When I was finished with that part I then sanded everything again with 600 grit and burnished it with a paper towel.
In order to easily remove the shield from the turning cap I soaked the piece in some denatured alcohol for about 5 minutes or so. Alcohol breaks down the bond of the hot glue so it is easier to remove your blank. The center hole in the turning cap helps the alcohol get in between the two wood pieces. The alcohol evaporates quickly and doesn't raise the grain of the wood very much either so its a nice way to separate the wood with out having to use a putty knife and potentially marring the wood.
I cut off two more 3-1/2 inch square pieces from the same walnut board and glued them together. This will become the actual piece that holds the headphones. These pieces will be glued to the back of the shield once they are turned to the right diameter.
After the glue dried I used the same process as before to attach the turning cap. You can see in the third pic that I used a drill bit to help me guide and center the turning cap while gluing it. And here again I clamp it and let the hot glue set. I use a mini blowtorch to melt the glue because its faster than waiting for a glue gun to heat up. But a glue gun will work just fine.
This is the same as the last time but this time I am aiming for a smaller circle about 2-1/2 inches in diameter. I also made the center slightly concaved to better accept the headphones. I repeated my sanding process for this piece the same as the shield, up to 600 grit. I also removed the walnut from the turning cap using denatured alcohol.
I did a quick mock up and marked where I wanted to drill the hole that would attach to the headphone stand. You can see its not in the exact center, I did this because I thought it would look better when it came to how the headphones hung on the wood. I used a 1/4 inch drill bit and my drill press to make the 3/4 inch deep hole in the walnut.
I used aluminum flashing to make the metal star. I cut off a small piece of the flashing and drew a one inch circle on it. I made myself a 1 inch star temple which I printed and then cut out of paper. I used the circle I drew on the aluminum to line up the star template as I traced it.
I used a razor blade to cut out the star. I didn't use the tin snips because it leaves a rough edge. You have to make several passes to cut through the aluminum flashing but it is doable.
I used some 400 grit sandpaper to knock off some of the sheen of the star then I used some 5 minute epoxy to glue the star in the middle. I wish I would have not filled the entire center of the shield with epoxy and instead just coated the star and stuck it in place. I think it would have looked a little tidier if I had just put epoxy on the star.
Now it was time to work on the metal base. I have some 1/4 flat mild steel flat stock that I wanted to use for the base portion. I used my portable bandsaw table (Portable Bandsaw Table) to cut the piece in to a 2-1/4 x 4-1/2 inch piece. You could use an angle grinder for this step as well if you don't have a portable band saw table.
I took the flat stock over to my belt sander and sanded all the sides using 120 grit sandpaper. I was going to sand it to a higher grit but I was happy with the overall look of the steel at 120 grit so I stopped there. Of course this is entirely up to you if you want to keep going up the grits for a shinier appearance.
With all the sanding complete it was time to mark and drill the hole for the 1/4 inch steel rod. First I found the center then I used my center punch to mark it. Here again I used my drill press to make the 1/4 inch hole. I then set the piece aside while I worked on the rest of the stand.
Next I cut off an 11 inch piece of 1/4 inch round bar. The 1/4 inch bar was a little rusty and had mill scale so I chucked the piece in my hand drill and sanded it up to 600 grit. You can see the before and after in the last pic.
I needed to bend the 1/4 inch bar so I made a mark at 8-1/2 inches from the bottom, this was the length that I need so that my headphones would hang without touching the base plate. Make sure to measure your headphones as this dimension may vary. I placed the bar in my vice and made the bend at my mark. Mild steel this size is relatively easy to bend by hand. I was aiming for a 90 degree bend. I ended up slightly more than 90 degrees but it was close enough.
I did a quick test fit and it looked good so now it was time to weld the rod in place. I made sure to leave a little room in the hole where the rod sat. I wanted to add a nice bead of weld in the hole as I was not going to weld it from the top. I wanted the top to stay as clean as possible.
If you do not have a welder you can probably use 5 minute epoxy or JB Weld to achieve the same results since this piece will not see heavy weight or extreme forces so those alternatives would work just as well.
After welding it was back to the sander to clean up the weld. Then I did a quick test fit. I didn't like that the wood stuck out so far so I trimmed the post back quite a bit until it lined up better with the bottom of the base. I cut the post using my bandsaw, sorry I don't have pictures of that, to about 1 inch long this made for a better look overall.
I masked off the shield in order to add the silver stripe. I decided to use Rub n Buff which is a metallic wax that can be buffed to give the appearance of metal. I usually use a glove to apply the Rub n Buff and then use a paper towel to buff it. I buff it with a towel until I get the desired effect.
I was getting a little impatient by now and I decided to use super glue to attach the two wood pieces together. I then coated the entire piece with 3 coats of spray Shellac.
To assemble I just slide the wood piece on to the 1/4 inch post. I did not glue it because the fit is pretty snug and if I want to change the look of it in the future I can just remove it. I realized after using it for a few days its a nice addition to the desk and a nice bit of organization.
While I did use a lathe for this project it isn't absolutely necessary. In order to make the circle you could use a jigsaw or a bandsaw or a scroll saw. Adding the convex shape would be tricky but again that step could be deleted and instead just paint the shield. Or you could use another symbol that suits your fandom, maybe a Star Wars rebel logo, or just a nice piece of wood. The stand is very simple and understated and can be made with simple tools like an angle grinder and palm sander and hand drill. I feel like its a simple platform for any one to build off of and customize to to their own liking. I hope this Instructable provides a little bit of inspiration and sparks your fandom creativity. Thanks for reading.
Runner Up in the