Amplifier Dock




Amplifier Dock is a music listening device inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking.

Amplifier Dock by Timothy Wikander from timothy wikander on Vimeo.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


Hard wood at least .38" x 2.50" x 10.00"

A Bowl roughly 6.25" in diameter and 2.50" height

2 10-24 length flat head machine screws

2 10-24 hammer tee nuts

A small cut of 1/8" thick wool felt

Wood Working tools

Wood planer (if material is not already to .38" thickness)

Table saw

Miter saw (or hand saw)

Belt or disc sander

Drill press

3/16" Drill bit, 1/4" Drill bit, 3/4" Forstner bit, Countersink bit

Hand tools


Tape measure and Square

Medium and Fine grit Sandpaper

Craft glue


X-acto knife


Step 2: Plane Hardwood to .38" Thickness

The hardwood portion of the dock is comprised of three parts, all of which are the same thickness.

First order of business: plane hardwood to .38".

Step 3: Cut to 2.31" Width

Next, use the table saw to cut your .38" piece to a 2.31" width (width of iPhone 4/5).

Keep a consistent speed while cutting to prevent burn marks like mine.

Step 4: Cut the Dock Into Its Components

Use the miter saw to cut your .38" x 2.31" piece into the three separate lengths measuring A) 6.00", B) 2.31", and C) 1.00". Make sure to account for blade thickness when measuring and cutting your pieces!

Reference the technical drawing (.jpeg and .pdf) for the remaining measurements and cuts.

Step 5: Prepare Base for Tee Nuts

Reference the technical drawing to measure out the holes on the bottom of the base. Next, grab the 3/4" fortsner bit and bore a shallow hole using the drill press. This step will allow the tee nuts to sit nice and flush on the bottom of the base.

Step 6: Drill Out the Base

You're ready to drill out the holes for the tee nuts to slot through. Use a .25" bit.

Step 7: Countersink and Drill 3/16" Hole

Being mindful of the end grain, take your three pieces and sandwich them together with some masking tape.

Mark points for the holes and using the countersink bit, carve out space for the flat head screws.

Next, grab the 3/16" bit and drill all the way through.

Step 8: Insert Tee Nuts

You're all set to make metal meet wood. Use a mallet or dead blow hammer insert the tee nuts.

Step 9:

Step 10: Round the Corners

It's coming together now!

Use the disc sander to round the corners to a .35" radius (radius of iPhone 4/5).

Step 11: Sand It Smooth

Use a medium and then fine grit sandpaper to get a nice smooth finish.

Step 12: Cut Wool Felt

The wool felt adds holding power to the dock by compressing and increasing the surface area in contact with the bowl. Use an X-acto knife with a sharp blade to cut out a rounded 2.3" square from the 1/8" thick wool felt.

Step 13: Glue Wool Felt to Cap

Use craft glue to attach your rounded wool felt square to the bottom of the cap.

Step 14: Poke

Use an awl, or similarly pointy thing to poke holes through the wool from the cap.

Step 15: Assemble

Grab your bowl, slide it in between the base and the cap, and tighten the screws until you have a tight fit.


Amplifier Dock by Timothy Wikander from timothy wikander on Vimeo.



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    88 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Genius. Realy. I always put my phone inside.


    3 years ago



    3 years ago

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    OK mister smarty pants, what if you want to listen to music AND eat your cornflakes? Didn't think that through, didya?!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    just make sure all the milk is out of your cereal bowl! (don't ask)


    3 years ago on Introduction

    nice and simple, I like it - it's set me thinking, I wonder whether you could get a similar passive amp effect from a soda bottle... with some smart design you could even make it collapsible to fold flat for ease of carrying around...


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Her is my quick take on the amplifier. Took about 10 minutes to build. Didn't need to use T-nuts. It's glued together so the T-nuts are overkill. Mine is made from a scrap piece of 1/2" baltic birch plywood I had sitting around. I'll make another with black walnut or mahogany and use a maple dowel instead of screws. I showed this to another teacher and she wants a bunch of them to display bowls. She liked the design a lot more than the typical easel stand you usually see on a bowl display.
    Took me longer to go to the Home Ec department and find a bowl than it did to build it.:)
    With the popularity of Iphones, androids, etc... this is going to be my next project in class as soon as we get back from spring break next week.
    Really love the design. Kids will too.

    amp 1.jpgamp 3.jpgamp 2.jpg
    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think the t nuts are for strength so much as they are to aid in disassembling the unit.


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    There's no point in disassembling the unit. It's small enough that there is no need to do so for transport. At the end of the unit's life it can "biodegrade", as the author claims or burnt as I suspect, as easily in one piece as in four.

    The hardware is unneccesary for assembly, wasteful, tedious to install, and ugly.


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Hey guys. It’s so cool to still see people dissecting my design two years later. Maybe I can offer some clarity here.

    The hardware actually came about as a way to provide adjustable clamping pressure, allowing the dock to achieve an extremely snug fit with a variety of bowl profiles. Dialing in on the screws actively compresses the felt along the lip of the bowl and increases the amount of surface area being clamped, effectively improving the grip on the bowl being used. This feature just isn't possible with an all wood design.

    In the end, incorporating the hardware added to the collective visceral impact I was looking to achieve - a low cost DIY tech accessory with a level of detail that pays homage to the iPhone itself. :)


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Not having an iPhone of any generation, I am not likely to be making this, but just wanted to comment on the careful workmanship and elegance of the finished product. Not just something useful, but a thing of beauty.


    4 years ago

    Hey can you design an amplifier dock for the htc one? Or any mobile phone with 2 front facing speakers. Thanks

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sit the phone on so that it faces into the bowl


    3 years ago on Introduction

    What a slick idea and an elegant solution! I'm partially deaf and always missing calls from my wife in Thailand even with the phone next to me while sleeping. I'm going to try this.