Wood Induction Charger




Introduction: Wood Induction Charger

Powermat has come up with a great induction charging solution, but I wanted something that fit into my homes design.  What I did was remove the guts from the Powermat office charging solution, route out some hardwood, and then glued the guts back inside of the newly routed out wood.  The hardest part to this concept was getting the wood thin enough to get a positive lock on the charging coils below the surface without going through the wood.

All-in-all, I am pretty happy the way it turned out.  I also added a piece of industrial felt to the bottom of the wood with some space to the left for my keys, wallet, etc.  This keeps the wood from scratching any furniture surface it may come in contact with.

Wood Induction Charger from Jason V on Vimeo.

Step 1: Wood Induction Charging Mat

Buy Powermat charging mat.

Step 2: Disassemble

Take apart the Powermat induction charging mat.  There are screws underneath the rubber feet.  Remove the screws and pry apart the mat.

Remove the PCB. This should all be one piece.

Step 3: Get Wood

Go to your local wood store and pick a piece of wood out that you'd like to use.  I used some pine at first because I knew it would be soft and easier to use the router on. 

Route out a shape that will fit the charging guts. Don't forget to make a cut in the back for the power adapter and USB.  The hard part here is making sure the wood is thin enough to get a charge from the coil, but also not burn through it.  Thin enough being about 1-2mm. This will be wood dependent because of density.

Step 4: Mount PCB

I sprayed the inside of the wood with some spray adhesive and glued the mat, coils against the wood.

Step 5: Finish

After that dries I attached a piece of felt to the bottom of the wood so it didn't scratch any surface and plugged in..



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    48 Discussions

    how to use wood as a "power mat" just take a pice of wood and cut out the thiknes of the powermat itself. lay it inside and cover with wood look alike vineer

    1 reply

    Sorry man, but the powermat coils aren't strong enough to go through two pieces of material. Not only that, but you'll increase the size of the product by 1/3 if you try and wrap a piece of wood around the existing solution. Good luck.


    I'm a graduating student product design. For a mobile lighting system I basically want to do the same thing as you did. Before buying the powermat and powerpacks (will be sold later) I have a questions:

    Thanks for the thickness number. But what about the distance, for instance if you keep it 5mm from the surface, will it charge? I hope so..

    3 replies


    If you read the thread I state that I think the distance between the top of the coil and the bottom of the wood is probably 1-2mm.  I cannot get calipers in there to measure.  Also, 5mm distance will be too far unless you find a way to increase the power i.e. distance the coils transmit.  


    Thank you for your answer! In my application the rapid prototyping material will be 1-2mm thick but the second coil will be farther away. You can compare it to holding your ipod dock 5mm above the surface. If I understand you right, this will not work unless I find a way to increase the power?

    yes. not just power to the device, but the coil's power.  5mm will not work.  Even Powermat's production model doesn't do that.

    Nice DIY! You know you can put this thing under any surface (except metal) and feel free to spill water/fluid on it too. The capabilities of the technology are pretty endless since it's inductive, and the closer you have it to the surface the more efficient the charging. I've been waiting for someone to think up of some creative mods to our mats; next up is rigging it to your car.

    - Assistant Product Manager of Powermat

    1 reply


    I'm a graduating student Product Design from Belgium and I would like to integrate the Powermat technology into my prototype of a mobile lighting solution. I have some questions about the possibilities of the new powerpacks. Could I pherhaps mail you a presentation pdf of my project? I already contacted Powermat UK but they didn't reply. My plan is to commercialize the product; I believe there could be benefits for Powermat. I hope to hear from you.

    Thank you!

    yes more images of the actual power mat please. im surprised how simple the actual wireless energy part is. it looks to me like its just three primary coils with a magnet in the middle to make sure your device is positioned right on top of the coil. the powermat website doesnt say jack about how it actualy works, just that it is basically a digital controlled transformer- oh boy like i didnt see that one coming. the only reason why i think it costs over $100 is because of all the digital logic. did you see all of the digital microprocessors and circuitry on the bottom of the coils? seems a little excessive so there must be more to this than simple magnetic induction through a coil. it is likely a lot more complicated.

    A powermat is $99 and you can only charge 4 items. IMO, it's not worth the money.

    I see this as just being version 1.0.

    I'm sure that there will be more mods to come for this particular piece of home tech.

    wouldn't it be cool if it was integrated directly into your counter top! then you could just chuck your crap on the counter and it would charge!!!! :)

    I 'wood' say the project is pretty neat - I don't find the original casing that unattractive, but this is a neat hack to involve regular shelving, counterspace, or furniture into the magical charging abilities of technologytastica!

    3 replies

    which actually brings to mind a suggestible change to the original product..

    instead of making a stand alone wood block with charging guts that you put on a shelf or a table....just route out the table or the shelf and build the powermat right into into it...invisible charger

    Following the suggestions of others reading this Instructable, adding this to a table would be real easy if you've got a table with an existing veneer top. Get it went around the edges, the veneer comes loose enough to get a paint scraper under. Carefully remove with paint scraper, route a suitable hole for your PCB and cables, then plug it all in, glues the veneer back down. Done.

    A nicer way would be to get matching USB/power sockets and just keep the wires to the sockets on the back of the table.

    I may well do this to mount a few in-desk connectors for devices.  Imagine a table with a built in USB and network hub:)

    I think you would likely end up ruining your veneer, especially if the piece is of newer vintage. newer veneered furniture generally uses waterproof adhesives. even with older pieces you are more likely to see the veneer bubble and warp if you soak it too much. this *might* work if your top is a laminate veneer, but even then, i think the suggestions to route from underneath the top would be the better option.

    Great job.  I saw these power mats the other day and when they drop in price some more I might pick one up.

    Did you think about using a piece of veneer for the top instead of routing out a hunk of wood?  Might get better precision on the thickness and of course veneer comes in a variety of species.

    1 reply

    I'm not sure how simple it would be to match up the veneers with the base wood, but it did cross my mind.  How do you think that would work?