Stainless Steel IPhone Case W/Belt Loop

About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.

Several years ago I had Sony PDA in my pocket while under my truck.  When I rolled over, I heard the crunch of my screen breaking.  I needed a belt case for my iPhone and didn't want that to happen again.  I was inspired by an instructable by Phil B's  to make a metal case.

Yesterday i made this stainless steel belt case for my newly acquired iPhone 4.  Like most of you, I wanted to protect it from screen damage, but I have an affinity for SS, so I made it out of scrap SS I had picked up some time back at the salvage yard for just such a project.  

Stainless is a difficult metal to work with, but well worth the effort.  I welded it with my MIG wire welder using SS wire and ground down the tack welds.   I was having trouble getting the front "mirror smooth" so I did some "engine turning" on the front.  I used a sandpaper roll on my milling machine and it came out better than I expected.

I lined it inside with thin leather on the front, sides and bottom. A trial fit told me it would be too tight using the .070" leather, so I use a cloth backed vinyl upholstery on the front that measured .040.  I used contact cement to glue the lining inside.  The phone fits perfect with a little bit of drag and it is easy to remove using my finger through the hole in the bottom..  

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    3 Discussions

    Phil B

    6 years ago on Introduction

    "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love what you have done. Mine has some mistakes in it that I tried to hide in the photos. Still, I use it everyday and like mine very much. Mirror smooth on the front side is a nice ideal, but my experience shows there will be mars and scratches over time. The engine turning will hide those things when they come better than a mirror finish. Thank you for publishing this. You almost make me want to make mine over to avoid the mistakes I made. You will enjoy your case for a long, long time. And, you will get admiring comments from all sorts of people you meet.

    2 replies
    graydog111Phil B

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Phil. I would never have thought of it or made it without your Instructable. The only mistakes I have found (so far) is that the top hits my skin when I set down without a shirt. If I am standing up, it is OK. The other thing is that the case restricts the antenna if the phone screen is on the inside and the top is facing forward. If the screen is away from body, it works fine. I think that grinding off another 1/8" to 1/4" will solve both problems. Yours is need to remake it.
    I found that piece of metal and it was the exact size I needed, saving a lot of time and work. That does not happen very often. Making it took me about 4 hours because SS is so hard to cut and grind. Old men need to keep busy so I am not complaining, just sore today. Being 77, I am finding that growing old is not all it is cracked up to be.

    Phil Bgraydog111

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I have not noticed any signal strength problems. Two days ago I talked by phone with my wife while driving in the car. The phone was in my steel holster and the call came through the radio by Bluetooth.

    My belt loop allows the phone to tip out from my body a little when I slide the holster upward on the belt. My belt is thin enough that I can angle the front of the holster downward for more comfort.