Introduction: The Best IPod/iPhone Car Mount/Dock Ever

About: We are a married couple who love to build things and photograph those things.
Question:  Have you ever been driving along and said to yourself, "This is too easy.  I need something to distract me.  Maybe I could watch a movie."  Then this project might be for you. 

I decided to make this car dock for all those drivers out there who are far too attentive and safe.  So if you have your will in order and have made peace with God, all that is left for you to do is build this project.

Disclaimer:  I don't suggest you use this as previously stated and would hope you give your full attention to road safety and driving.  In fact, don't make this car mount... unless of course you have a self-driving robotic car.  And if you have designed and built this car yourself, please send me a link to your ible.

Step 1: Coming Up With a Plan

As the name of this instructable suggests, this is the "best" iPod/iPhone car mount.  No offensive to those that proceeded, but this one has something that most of the others don't... adjustability.  I decided to make it a spring-clamp design to fit several different devices.  To make sure it will fit your device, you must personalize this design.  The picture here shows you my measurements to fit an iPod with a tight fitting slide on case. 

First, measure the length of the device.  That can be the overall length of your mount.  Then measure the width.  I would use a slighty smaller amount for the width of your mount.  That way, the mount will hold your device tighter and more securely.  Last, measure the thickness of your device.  This is where you can leave some play.  I made mine fit rather snug because my iPod is the only device that I plan on putting in there.  Although my wife has an iPhone, this dock is going in my work truck.  And the phone the company provides has no video capabilities. In fact, I think my phone is called the Alexander Graham Bell addition.  Anyway, these are the measurements for holding my iPod.

All the wood I used was 3/4in pine, but I ripped it down to 1/2in thick.  The dotted line on the top piece shows where you cut the wood down to 1/4in thick (below the dotted line).  And the lines on that same part show where you need to cut small grooves for the screws.  The lower piece is just a block of wood with a large section in the middle cut down to 1/4in thick (between dotted lines).  The small part on the right you'll need to cut four of.  They are 1in wide in my design.

Step 2: Cutting the Pieces

This step can be done rather easily if you have some backround in carpentry and access to the proper tools.  If you're like me and have a table saw but no experience in the safest use of such tools, the key is BE CAREFUL.  The blade is sharp and will remove your fingers rather quickly if you are careless.  

The best solution to the problem is to find a carpenter with both his/her thumbs and have them show you how to do it safely.  You will be working with small pieces.  And the smaller the pieces, the better chance for one to lose one's digits.  If you don't have the proper knowhow or access to the proper tools, you can use a handsaw.  This of course takes more time and requires more patience.  I don't know how you'd cut the grooves without a Dremel.  Perhaps a sharp wood chisel or multi stabs in a drill press would do the trick.

Step 3: Assemble

Now take the little grip pieces you've cut and glue them to the main part of the mount.  I would suggest Gorillla Glue or the equivalent.  Clamp them on for a least an hour before attempting to proceed.  Next, take a bit of sandpaper (a smaller grit is better) and sand off the corners.  This will make it feel (as well as look) softer.  Sand off any rough spots while you're at it.  You will know when you're done sanding when you can rub the pieces on your face and derive at least a small sum of pleasure from the experience.   Use small screws to attach the two halves together through the grooves you've cut.  I would suggest pre-drilling with a small drill bit.  The final step is to attach the small extention springs to each half with screws.

Step 4: Mount to Auto

This part is really up to you.  I mounted mine by drilling screws into the dashboard with a small metal plate used as a mount.  If this idea seems a little too destructive for your taste, just use zip ties or some double sided tape.  Be aware that these methods may not be as effective.

The picture shows the basic assembly of the mounting plate.  The carriage bolt goes through the back plate between the grooves.  It then has a nut on both sides of the plate to hold it in place.

Step 5: Done

Congrats!  You've successfully converted your automobile into a mobile movie theater.  If you can find a way to black out the windows and cook microwave popcorn with the heat off the exhaust manifold, you'll be in business. 

Please feel free to write comments or questions.  Both are welcome.
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