IHeart Wood IPad Case (100% Salvage Materials)




Introduction: IHeart Wood IPad Case (100% Salvage Materials)

About: I'm a life-hacking reuse junkie who loves to create, even if all I'm making is a mess. I love hammers and rocks and history and hand planes. I hugged trees before it was cool but can still operate a chainsaw...

My dad, awesome dad that he is, bought me an iPad last Christmas. When I went scouting for an iPad cover, I found only a few that suited my personality and zero that suited my pocketbook. So off to the shop I went. When I returned, this is what I had. It's working out just fine.

Note: every stitch of material I use in my projects is somehow salvaged. Yard sale hardware, craigslist leftovers offers, the local lumber yard's scrap bin, fallen limbs... you get the idea. Why? Because it's challenging, inexpensive, I'm a tree-hugger, and it's pretty darn satisfying- that's why. I don't expect everyone to share my level of commitment to reuse, but I encourage you to try it on your next project.

Step 1: Gather Tools & Materials

Dimensions:  overall dimensions are 10-1/2" x 8-3/8" x 1"

Shopping List:
Time to go "shopping" ... in the scrap bin! You KNEW there was a reason you saved those little odds and ends...

1/4" plywood, quarter sheet total is more than enough

1/2" x 1" door stop trim molding 4' total is safe and gives a little "oops" room (If you buy materials instead of using scraps, don't head straight for the full sticks of trim. Even the home improvement warehouses have bins of "shorts". You'll get it at a fraction of the cost and be doing trees a favor to boot. Nice work!)

1/4" dowel, 2'

flat steel scrap (none around? use utility blades)
4 small flat magnets

8 x 10 piece of felt or other "screen friendly" material

For the cover I used a few scraps of veneer and some cork, pseudo-inlayed to form the i heart wood text. Use your imagination!

measuring tape
table saw
3/4 inch finish nails
wood glue
wood filler
Teak oil, a fistful of rags, and some 220 grit paper will get you to the finish line

Safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection (I forgot these, again, but I'm a horrible example of safe work habits. See https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Sutures/)

Step 2: Measure, Mark, and Cut

Cut List:
A (1) 9-3/4" x 7-5/8", 1/4" plywood
B (1) 9-1/2" x 7-3/8", 1/4" plywood
C (2) 1/2" x 1" rounded stop molding, at 10-1/2" (long side) ends mitered at 45 degrees D (2) 1/2" x 1 stop molding, at 8-3/8" (long side) ends mitered ay 45 degrees
E (2) 1/4" dowel, at 8-3/8"
-9" x 7-3/8" piece of felt

Cut rabbets in plywood and groove in molding as shown in step one diagram. Miter molding 45 degrees.

Step 3: Openings for Controls

Cut openings for iPad controls as shown. I omitted access to the volume and toggle on the upper right because I didn't think I used them much, but ended up adding in later. That's why they're not in the screen shot.

Step 4: Glue & Assemble

Glue and assemble main body (all pieces but B). Do not glue dowel on lower half (that will have to be taken out later in order to remove or load iPad.

Nail mitered corners.

Note: Since we're working with some sizes that just LOVE to split, make sure and give your nails a fighting chance of reaching safety, well... safely. I like to predrill about 1/2-2/3 the length of the finish nail into the stock. I use one of the nails as a bit. Just load it up in your drill and bore away. Another nail trick I've never had fail is objectionable to some, but here goes anyway: spit. I understand a lot of you probably don't feel that close to your hardware, and I can't imagine licking nails is recommended by healthcare professionals, but if I've got splinter-happy wood on my hands, it works like charm. Nail trick #3: if you're anti-spit, just blunt the nailhead before driving in.

Step 5: Make It Yours

While you're waiting for glue to dry, trick out the cover of your case. I cut a little bed for a cork inlay (cherry inside the apple/heart portion).

(If isn't readily apparent I really really (really) need a 3D printer at this stage, you just aren't paying attention.)

Step 6: Cover Band

The cover should sit flush on the base when you set in on top, but you want it to stay on, right? I like the elastic moleskin-like closures, so I used an elastic band. Attempting to impress you, I used magnetic closures on this as well.

Grab your magnet and metal. To find the best locations, just float your metal near the iPad screens trim edge, it'll bite on your magnetic points. Then attach the metal to a coinciding point on the cover between your plywood and felt screen protector. See diagram. There are several magnets in the iPad, every other one alternates poles +-+-. Just the steel blades hold it in place pretty well, but add magnets alternating between the steels if you crave a little more power.

You can also place a magnet in your cover to trigger the auto sleep/wake function. That magnetic sensor is about 2" from the top on the right hand side (long side). I cut a pizza joint's fridge magnet in half and notched a corner of the felt. Under your iPad's general settings, make sure and enable the "Cover Lock / Unlock" or your auto-off magnet won't work.

Step 7: Finish & Jig

Fill all nail holes with wood filler and let dry. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Then 220. Use tack cloth to remove sanding residue. 
Apply Danish Oil with clean cloth.

Do a little jig, cause you just made a one-of-a-kind iPad case and it didn't cost a penny. 

Nice dancin'. And Nice iPad case...

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    3 Discussions


    You did a nice job with this - do you have any photographs from your build?


    Spring Wise
    Spring Wise

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Audrey. Unfortunately, I managed to totally wipe out a whole boatload of photos, including those taken during this project. In order to avoid the cheesy reenactment, I used the computer generated stand-in.