Intro: Smart Watch Charging Stand
Smart watches are starting to become smarter and smarter but their chargers unfortunately are not. My watch, the LG G watch R, comes with a flat charger. This is all fine and dandy if you use the stock 22mm strap, but if you change it out for a closed design it becomes awkward to charge. The other issue is it is difficult to fumble around for on the nightstand in the dark. With that being said there are some 3D printed models out there as well as a few on kickstarter, but none that I could find available (my watch isn't even available yet in Canada either). So I decided to paddle my own canoe and make one myself. My wood working skills, or tools, are not the greatest so this will be a guide that most people should be able to follow and most likely improve on. I was able to build this with a drill, dremel, jigsaw, and some clamps. So if you feel up the the challenge and want to build this stylish watch stand read on.
Step 1: Design 101
Most of the ideas that I have live in the same yellow sketch pad. I have always liked drafting since I first learned in Jr.High. I started by simply tracing the watch charger and the stand onto the sheet and sketching up a basic design. I had already gone to the store and bought a nice piece of oak to work with so I knew my relative dimensions. I knew that it had to be raised and that I would like to have it tilted for easy reading/fumbling in the dark. I also wanted it to be fairly form fitting so if I ever decide to get a nice metal strap it will still fit. I wanted the charger to also come out for travelling and also have the cord/charger embedded inside. The nice thing with this project is that it is relatively small so I was able to draw it to scale. Once I had a design that I more or less liked I transcribed the main parts I would need onto the piece of Oak. Sorry I don't have a clearer design, it really is quite simple and you should be able to create something even better than I have based on the charger you have.
Step 2: The First Cut Is the Deepest...
Once I had my basic design I started to cut the main pieces out with a jigsaw. I don't know why but the jigsaw is my nemisis(nemises?). I can never seem to cut straight(yes even with a guide) and even if I do the blade always warps around and causes wobbly cuts. With that being said all it means is that I have to square everything up later with some extreme sanding. What I do is line up the squarest sides and put the other side on a flat surface. Then I clamp them together and sand the sides that are wobbly with a heavy grit sand paper until they are all relatively flat. There is going to be some sanding and custom fitting later so they don't have to be perfect.
Step 3: Drem-roll Please
Ok so now that you have the rough cuts we can start hollowing out the area for the charger and cutting out the curve. I started by finding the center of where I wanted the charger to be, while still leaving space for the side of the stand. I drilled a pilot hole so I could use the dremel circle cutting guide and a hole for the dremel bit. I then started to cut circles starting in the center and working my way outwards.The guide has a height setting so I kept it at about 10mm. I kept going until I had a circle big enough to fit the charger. You don't have to cut all the circles back to back just make it look like a bullseye. With the bullseye method you can just cut a few reliefs and snap off the leftovers with a screw driver. Before we cut out the center(removing the pilot hole) we will cut out the outer curve. I made the bit go deeper so it would cut all the way through and lined it up where I thought would make a curve. I originally planned on just having 2 straight sides but I screwed up and cut too far. Rather than start over I salvaged it by doing the same on the other side and making a nice curvy look. I then switched over to the grinding/sanding attachment and adjusted the height the same as before. I stuck it in the pilot hole and pulled it to the outside to make some relief cuts, then snapped it off like before with a screw driver. I then tried smoothing out as many peaks as I could with the tip but it doesn't have to be perfect, you won't see it when the charger is there. After that was done I put the charger in and marked where the watch was going to go, since it sits lower that the charger. I tried cutting some reliefs with the dremel, went terribly, but then I switched to the mini sander and it worked great.
Step 4: Cable Time!
I wanted the cable to run inside so it would be hidden. To do this I marked where the relative position of the charger was going to go. I then drilled 2 holes to mark the outer limits of the width of the cable. I then dremeled a hole for the cable to go through. After that I flipped it over and dremelled a path on the bottom for the cable to run for the side piece. I then lined up the top to the side and marked where I wanted to fit the cable in the side piece. I drilled about a 10mm hole from the top to the back so I could run the usb cable without cutting it. I had to cut some of the plastic off the cable to make it easier to run and then just put some etape on it. This did make it weaker but also allowed it to make a tighter curve.
Step 5: Putting the Pieces Together
I put it together on the top by using a counter sinking drill bit and then was going to use brass screws because they would look nice. Unfortunately the screws broke in half (wtf) and there was no turning back, it was stuck now. My plan was to stain the top and bottom a dark color and the side a light color (or vice versa). I then sanded it all with the grain with a coarse and then a finer grade sand paper to prep for staining. For the bottom I used steel screws, no more messing around with brass.
Step 6: The Stain That Won't Wash Out
I used 2 different colors of stain. Depending on the type you have just follow what the can says. The 2 I had were very different one had 20 minute and the other was 2 hour drying time. For a job this small I would recommend the squeeze bottle, much easier and fast drying. I didn't sand enough so I had some deep pores to fill which required multiple coats to fill. Before I started staining I used and air compressor to clean the wood up. I used a cloth to dab on the stain and then would wait a minute or 2 and wipe it away with the grain. That's pretty much it just wait for the thing to dry and put it back together. After you are done you can clear coat it but I liked the matte look so left it as is.
Step 7: Finished
Because the screws broke off I cut the broken pieces shorter and just glued them in with some wood glue. Here are some more pics.
I will be entering this into the wood working contest with hopes of winning some better tools lol so I can do these projects a little nicer in the future. So If you enjoyed please vote!