Introduction: Passive Wooden IPhone Speaker

About: Woodworking gadget fan, photographer, husband, cyclist, kayaking SUP riding real ale drinker. More of this stuff is over at my Instagram.

Sorry for yet another one of these. I know there are a number of other passive iPhone speaker Instructables but here's my version. I wanted to make one that would look good enough to sit on my desk.

It's a fairly simple build, looks beautiful and works well too. Give it a go.

Step 1: Gather Your Parts and Tools

Parts Used.
1 x 1250mm x 200mm x 18mm marine ply
Gorilla glue
Danish oil
Polyurethane varnish
Double sided tape

Tools Used.
Wood saw
Router bits... 1" --- 1/4" roundover bit, 1 1/4" --- 3/8" roundover bit & 5mm plunge cutter bit
Various sandpaper
Random orbital sander
Dremel drill
Sanding drum for Dremel

Attached is a cutout template for marking up where you will hollow out. Make sure when you print it out it's at 100% you will only need one of these.
Also attached is a sketchUp file showing the individual pieces as well as a completed unit. The top piece shows the iPhone slot as being straight though, this is because i couldn't show the slot on the angle (sketchUp problem), it was however cut at about 5º how to do this is detailed in that step.

Step 2: Cut the Plywood Pieces

First off, mark up the plywood to either 200mm or 240mm what ever makes sense to get the best out of your wood stock.
I rough cut my wood to 200mm as this allowed me to get two 240mm pieces out of each strip.
Before cutting the strips down to width I ran each strip through the jointer to square off and flatten the edges.
Cutting down the strips I got 6 pieces at 200mm x 240mm. I was planning on using 6 but this would have made it too big, however 4 was too short. I ended up settling on 5 making it 90mm high.

Step 3: Glue It Up

I decided to use Gorilla glue to stick my parts together as it gives a super strong grip quickly.
Make sure you wet down one piece and on the other spread out the glue. Most importantly make sure you clamp the pieces together very well as the Gorilla glue bond relies on strong clamping.

Step 4: Mark Up

I first marked up the location of the iPhone and its speakers.
Next I drew a curve by hand laying out where I was going to hollow out.
At the top of the curve I drilled out a hole below where the speakers would sit. This was done with a 38mm forstner bit.
Totally looks like a face :-)
Full measurements are on the last picture of this group, the measurements are also in the sketchUp file.

Step 5: Cut Your Slot

Next up you need to cut the slot for your phone.
I have an iPhone 7 in a slim case so the measurements shown are for this, you may need to adjust your slot size to fit your phone.

In the first image you can see a strip of wood, this is 7.5mm think. It's stuck down to the top piece with double sided tape, this allowed me using the 5mm plunge router to route out the phone slot at an angle. The slot needs to be just deep enough to cut though the top piece. It's about 19mm deep because of the angle.

Step 6: Thicken Up the Base

Having made up my base originally with just two pieces I added the 5 piece to the base.

Step 7: Mark Up

Next to mark up the top section.
Print out the cutout template (100%) carefully cut around it. Now mark up both sides of the top.

Next comes the fun bit... Did I say fun, i meant dusty... Really really dusty

Step 8: DUSTY !!!

Please wear a dust mask for this step...
Check out the video, it's quad sped up. The full time for this was about 25 minutes.
I started off with a 40 grit flapper disc, progressing to a 60 grit and finishing with an 80 grit.

Be careful because the 40 and 60 grit discs very quickly remove material. If you press too hard you can find you've gone too deep or worse you could sand outside the lines. Do it slowly, you can't put it back on.
You can easily see if you're sanding evenly because of the different layers in the plywood show great contours.

Step 9: Yip-Yips

Is it just me ???

Step 10: Finish the Inside

Before you stick the top and bottom pieces together you need to apply the finish to the inside. I used the classic Danish oil.
Make sure you mask off the areas on the surfaces where you'll be gluing, otherwise the glue will not adhere correctly because of the oil.

I applied two coats of oil, once the final oil has gone tacky remove the tape and you can stick the two halves together. When the glue has dried fully clean off any excess.

Step 11: Finish Before Applying the Finish

Before applying the final finish you will need to sand down the speaker and sort out the edges.
I started off with an 80 grit paper on my random orbital sander, progressing through 120 then 320 grit.

Using the 1 1/4" roundover bit I ran around all the edges but the front. The front was rounded off using the 1" bit.
Clean off any burrs or burnt bits with some more sandpaper. I would recommend doing this by hand because it would be very easy to remove too much of an edge with a machine.

Step 12: Final Steps

3 coats of Danish oil were applied with a light sanding (400 grit) between each coat.

Between the Danish oil and varnish coats I decided to cut in a slot to get to the iPhones home button.
This was done with 12mm sanding drum in the Dremel drill.

I then applied two coats of polyurethane varnish again with a 400 grit sanding.

I finished off the piece with some stick on felt feet.

Step 13: It Really Works

I'm super pleased with the build, it works great and looks superb on my desk.

Give it a go, you'll love it.