Custom Wood Phone Charging Cradle

After getting a new phone recently due to a volume switch that was out of place, and my inability to solder well, I had a problem. Actually, I’d had the problem for a while with my last phone, but I couldn’t seem to get it to plug in correctly, and when I finally did, it was facing away from me. What I needed was some sort of cradle that I could put it in, sort of like what’s seen in the illustration above.

I could shop online for a cradle for my phone, but I really didn’t. Instead I designed and build one myself out of wood as seen in the video below. That’s always easier, right?

Perhaps it’s not easier, but it was a fun project, and one that wouldn’t be too hard to make, even without a CNC router. I made the device in three layers, which you can see in the video laid out in Draftsight. The yellow represents the middle piece of wood, and the red and white layers sandwich the micro USB connector inside (The DXF drawing file is available here if you’d like to make your own). Finally, the phone plugs into the top for a secure and convenient storage cradle. Wood was conveniently provided by the pallet that the router itself came on.

After quite a bit of filing, I inserted the cable into my phone, then hot glued the connector in place. One thing I didn’t realize is that the plug actually needs to be slightly higher than level here to allow for a good connection. I ended up removing the connector and re-gluing it with a small spacer between the phone’s base (one on each outer wood layer) and the cradle. Be sure to do that if you duplicate this project.

After the hot glue cooled, I used wood glue to attach the outer layers of wood to the inner portion, clamping everything together while it dried. At this point, I had a functional deviceā€”or did until I had to remove the connector and re-glue it slightly higher. Though I could have left it like this, style counts (at least a little bit), and I decided to use dark stain on it, as well as a urethane coating.

Before staining, I sanded the cradle assembly, and applied more hot glue to make sure the connector stayed in place. Once the stain was applied, I hung it up to dry on my camera stand/drying fixture by the USB cable. This probably isn’t good for it, but doing so didn’t seem to affect anything. After a coat of urethane, it was ready to charge!

As seen in the video, it works quite well, and has been extremely useful! If you decide to make own or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Comments are closed.