DIY Charging Station

By Netopya on Sat Jul 20th 2013 4:48 PM

Let's start off with something a little different that has nothing to do with the programming or technology that I'm used to. All of us have encountered the dreadful spaghetti of wires while charging our devices. I've seen many people's solutions to taming the situation on the web and thought I'd try my own take to the problem. Continue reading and join me as I tread for the first time into the art of woodworking.

Full Gallery:

  • ½ and ¼ inch plywood
  • Plastic wood
  • Wood stain
  • Decorative fabric
  • Wood glue
  • Charging accessories
  • Jig saw, circular saw
  • Drill
  • Palm sander
Time to complete: About 3 Days

Firstly I brought an aspect of computing into my project, CAD. I designed the station I had in mind with my favorite and familiar software Autodesk Inventor. I also created models of the chargers I was going to use along with the devices I will charge which were an iPod Touch and a Sony Ericsson T715 for space allocation purposes. I tried to make the station as small as possible but quickly realized that it was going to bigger than what I had in mind. Undeterred, I was able to use the program to find and correct problems, such as the power bricks blocking holes that I intended to pass wires through and not having enough room to slide and mount the power bar. Finally creating drafts of the parts allowed me to easily transfer dimensions to the wood I was going to cut.

Now for the hands on part of the project. I cut all pieces according to the drafts and sanded all the corners. I assembled the four base pieces and the tray with simple screws through pre-drilled holes. Next I filled in all the gaps and cleaned up my mistakes by applying plastic wood with a screwdriver. My intent was to make the box as seamless as possible. I had to go through three applications with sanding after drying.

Next I stained the wood with one application using a paint brush to a nice dark color. I finished the tray by gluing with carpenter glue some fancy fabric to the top of the base, followed by the tray's wooden "pen" on top. For final assembly, I attached the power bar to the underside of the tray with screws, slit holes through the fabric to pass wires, and cleaned up the wiring with twist ties.

As this was my first foray with woodworking, I of course learned a lot which I would consider if I would restart a similar project. After I made all the pieces I was quite intent on sanding away all the sharp corners for safety. But this became a problem during assembly since the pieces no longer lined up in a flush manner. Another problem was that I should have made the pilot holes and counter sinks for the screws much bigger as I ended up cracking the ¼" plywood.

I do have to say that I really love what I created in the end. The mess of wires is completely alleviated. I am especially impressed with the magic of plastic wood which covered up all the seams and made the unit look and feel as if it was carved out of one piece of wood.


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