Introduction: Portable Cigarette Lighter Power Box

About: I live to create and create to live.

I made this for my iPod FM transmitter because I wanted to be able to use it in my car and in my garage without have to have 2 and modifying one of them to be able to plug into a wall.

It looks good and works well!

However I made this first and then realized I should make an Instructable after so the pictures aren't the best but hopefully aid in your making of this.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

This should be fairly easy to customize to your liking. I'll outline what I did and used and it's up to you to do what you want.

For this build you will need:


Wood - I used an extra 1"x6" cedar fence board I had left over. Feel free to use your own type. I'd keep it at 3/4" - 1" thick though.

Screws - I used gold construction screws at 2" long.

A cigarette lighter socket from a car (or for you younger kids that round electrical outlet you plug your iPhone charger/FM transmitter/etc. into)

An AC/DC adapter (transformer) the voltage rating will depend on what you plan to plug in. Your best bet is to find one with a 12 VDC output. Amps will come into play too so make sure you got what you need. (I use mine to power my iPod FM Transmitter so I didn't need much.)

Wood Glue

Hot Glue Sticks

Solder & Flux

Electrical Tape

Stain (Optional)

Construction Adhesive (Optional)

Plastic (Optional) I used white (nylon?) plastic for the face plate. You can use wood if you'd like.

Finishing Nails at 1" long (Optional)


Tablesaw or any saw you can cut a 45 deg. angle with....

Drill with small drill bits

Sander which ever type you feel can do the job.


Hot Glue Gun

Soldering Iron

Hole saw select the size your lighter socket will need to fit in.

Hammer (Optional)

Paint brush suitable for stain (Optional)

Step 2: Cut & Sand

Fairly straight forward here.

For mine I simply ripped the fence board in half and cut 4 pieces with 45 degree cuts to make the box frame.

NOTE - I shouldn't have ripped the entire piece because I ended up having to glue 2 pieces back together to make the base plate.

I didn't take set measurements or anything specific so make your own as you see fit. The important thing is that the pieces are identical. But my approximate measurements were 4 1/4" & 3 7/8" with the 45 degree cuts and the thickness is 3/4" (standard for a finished 1X6 board)

Sand them to your desired smoothness.

Next cut the plastic (or wood) face piece. It should be the same as the shorter side of the angle pieces you just cut.

So mine was 3 3/8" squared.

Cut the base plate. (Again I had to glue pieces together and then cut to size.) Mine was cut to about 4 1/4" to match the long side of the angled pieces (don't worry if they are slightly larger because you can sand the entire box after it is assembled.

Step 3: Drill Some Holes

Using a hole saw (or any bit that will work for the material you are using) bore a hole into the face plate. I drilled a 1" hole to fit the car's cigarette lighter socket.

Using a small drill bit (about the size or just under the construction screws thickness) in the base plate. I made sure they would line up with the center of the thickness of the frame, so 3/8" from the edge. Make them so they are not on the corner joints as this will not work (or work well). I also had to remove some material from the base plate using a router to be able to fit over the cigarette lighter socket.

See pictures.

Step 4: Glue

Start by gluing the 4 angled outside pieces together with wood glue. Clamp as required and let dry.

When dry fit the faceplate in and using either construction adhesive or hot glue glue into the front opening.

At this point I drill a few small holes on the sides and tapped in a few finishing nails (This is optional)

Insert the car cigarette lighter and glue into place using hot glue. Feel free to go overboard on the backside and cover up most of it like I did!

Step 5: Wire It

Cut the adapter end of the AC/DC adapter and separate and strip the 2 wires.

Drill a small hole on one side of the box closer to the bottom.

Feed the wire through the hole and tie in a knot leaving enough wire to solder to the wires of cigarette lighter socket.
This will prevent the cord from being yanked out.

Solder the wires together.

Cover with electrical tape.

Step 6: Attach the Base Plate

Place the base plate on the bottom and line it up as best you can around the edges so it is flush or just protruding slightly if your measurements and/or cuts weren't perfect.

Clamp in place and drill pilot holes through the previously drill holes into the frame.

Attach using screws and remove the clamp.

Step 7: Finish Sanding

Now that it is all together, sand the entire thing to make it flush all around and round out the corners if desired.

Step 8: Stain If Desired

If you want to stain it or clear coat it do so now.

Step 9: Plug and Play

Plug it into the wall and plug in your accessory (in my case my iPod FM transmitter) and make sure it works.