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Wood iPhone Dock/Amplifier--No Speakers

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Project by Anapolis7 posted 12-08-2010 02:21 PM 20420 views 31 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am going to start off by saying that I completely ripped this idea off. Please see www.koostik.com to view the original.

So in viewing this website, I saw the amazing results that a ported dock could produce in terms of amplification off of just the crumby internal speaker on an iphone. In studying the photos on the website I decided that this could be recreated easily enough with a plunge router and a few mdf templates.

I used my iphone 4 to get the basic dimensions for the templates, marked off a block of pine with center lines, used a forestner bit to get rid of the waste, and then made a nice little iphone 4 shaped hole. Then I used a circle cutting jig to route some channels to the speakers on the iphone. Please note that on the iphone 4 the internal speaker is only on the right, so you need to create a gap under the iphone connecting the ports for sound to come out both sides. With that completed, I glued the block back together and cut speaker holes.

The first pic is just the pine block in working condition. The others are after I made it a bit more visually appealing. Obviously, there are some visible errors in the depth setting for plunge routing that I made (it was my first time), but I think I can do better the next time around.

I am posting this because I am sure many of you out there have kids, significant others, office mates, or maybe even pets that have iphones. I made some really nice ipod docks last year for christmas with amps and speakers and such, and they cost a small fortune to make. This is a project that you could batch out in a weekend, including the time to make the templates, and thin out the burgeoning pile of offcuts and scrap in your garage as well. I made mine out of a piece of pine that had been sitting in the garage for 5 years that I was tired of looking at and then ironed on some walnut veneer.

As an amplifier, the results are pretty impressive. Mine are very similar to those shown on the website above in the video on the about page. My iPhone can easily produce enough sound to fill a 15×25 living room with music at a reasonable volume.

(For those interested, the drawing in the first few pics is part of a tattoo for someone I know. The female is being consumed in the flames of her situation and the covered part of the drawing is her rising as a phoenix from the flames. I really want to cut this as marquetry…wish me luck.)





18 comments so far

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 1983 days


#1 posted 12-08-2010 04:46 PM

That’s really sweet – can you upload a picture of the template and/or the cross section of the block before you glued it back together? I’d really like to make one of these.

Also – are your speaker holes flat bottomed? The koostik.com ones look like they might be concave.

James.

View McLeanVA's profile

McLeanVA

465 posts in 2101 days


#2 posted 12-08-2010 05:00 PM

What a great project. So cool. Nice work.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1505 days


#3 posted 12-08-2010 05:33 PM

This is really nice. They sell these on etsy.com- but yours is MUCH nicer! Check it out on etsy. I bet you could sell a couple of these if you wanted to. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Anapolis7's profile

Anapolis7

49 posts in 1584 days


#4 posted 12-08-2010 05:55 PM

James,

I will try to take a stab at one of these tonight. I stupidly didn’t take any pictures of that part and it is obviously the most important part. One thing I did differently, at least from what i can see in the photos, is I just cut the channels/ports in the block and glued it back together and cut the speaker holes afterward. In my mind this was the easiest way to make sure I didn’t end up with holes not matching up.

My speaker holes are flat bottomed. I would like to make them rounded but I didn’t have a set of template bushings for my new plunge router and didn’t want to spend the $50.00 to get a rounded bit with a bearing so I decided that for a proof of concept I would go with the flat bottomed holes. Obviously, I haven’t compared the sound between the two, but I suspect that you would need an oscilloscope or your resident audiophile to tell the difference.

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 1983 days


#5 posted 12-08-2010 06:07 PM

Ah – ok, I think I can imagine the process then. I might try creating the speaker holes on the lathe as two offset turnings (you can probably imagine how that would work based off of this picture of my grease box):

Although for something as wide as this, it might be a little too whompy.

James

View Anapolis7's profile

Anapolis7

49 posts in 1584 days


#6 posted 12-09-2010 12:23 AM

If anyone is curious to see the impact this has on the music here’s a youtube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcT5nUr4a6I

View Anapolis7's profile

Anapolis7

49 posts in 1584 days


#7 posted 12-09-2010 01:53 PM

James,

You were curious about the port structure. I found this on etsy.com which is actually a more elaborate structure than what I used but it’s the same basic idead. Hope it helps.

http://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.198999681.jpg

Ryan

View thawk's profile

thawk

1 post in 2298 days


#8 posted 01-01-2011 07:03 AM

My question is do u get sound out of both sides? Only one of the ports on the bottom of the iphone that look like speakers are. The other Is the mic.

-- THawk

View Koostik's profile

Koostik

2 posts in 1359 days


#9 posted 01-15-2011 06:35 PM

I realize I’m a little late to this party having just been accepted to the Forum. As the designer / inventor / manufacturer of the koostik which is the basis for this discussion; I’m flattered for the interest. The product we sell on our site: www.koostik.com is the result of about 50 prototypes evolving to the design we now produce. There is incidentally, a pronounced difference in the sound quality and projection we get from milling the hemispherical chambers as opposed to flat bottom chambers (an idea we explored in earlier versions). And yes, sound does come from both speakers even though the iPhone only has a single speaker. On the 3G and 3GS models, the speaker is on the left side bottom. On the newer iPhone 4 it is on the right side bottom. Hence, the design works equally well for both. The relationship of the diameter of the faceplate holes in relation to the diameter of the hemispherical sound chambers is also critical to the final sound quality.

-- jim@koostik

View Anapolis7's profile

Anapolis7

49 posts in 1584 days


#10 posted 01-15-2011 07:00 PM

Koostik,

Thanks for looking! You version is a lot nicer to look at than mine. I just made it for myself. It’s a really awesome idea.

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1505 days


#11 posted 01-15-2011 07:12 PM

Whoa Anapolis- how cool is it that the manufacturer shows up and adds some input to your project? :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View AlanS's profile

AlanS

1 post in 949 days


#12 posted 02-25-2012 08:19 PM

Just bumped into this. Any further info on the construction? I would like to see how the ports are sized, what size ‘speaker’ holes and how you may have gotten a curved bottom to the speakers.

View Anapolis7's profile

Anapolis7

49 posts in 1584 days


#13 posted 02-25-2012 09:04 PM

Alan, I was actually looking at ways to modify the design a few weeks ago and came across this:

http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/2011/11/23/iphone-amplifier-speaker-out-of-wood/

He actually has sketchup plans available for download and the method of construction is very similar to what I used. I used a jasper circle cutting jig to punch the holes and used it as well to cut the channels, though i suspect that having rounded sound channels is not really necessary. As for rounding out the bottom of the speaker, I didn’t do this. I looked at trying something like a core box bit and a template, but this was just my proof of concept, so I didn’t go to the trouble.

As for the ports and speaker holes: I think the holes are around 2 1/8” in diameter and the ports are the width of a 1/4 upcut bit. I think the sketchup drawing will explain a lot of it. As always, I want to point out that I didn’t come up with this idea and since I built this, Jim(koostik) of koostik.com has designed several additional products that I think are pretty slick.

Thanks for looking!

View Nindwood's profile

Nindwood

118 posts in 350 days


#14 posted 01-05-2014 03:30 AM

Great stuff man. I made a few of these last summer when I saw the idea online and they work great and are a hit with my family. We took one camping and I use one in “The Shop” to hear the good wife call me for diner. She says” if you had a washroom out there, you would never come in the house” I;-D ShopTillYouDrop.

-- Narinder, Calgary, Ab. http://www.trimandcraft.ca/

View Sheisserick's profile

Sheisserick

56 posts in 512 days


#15 posted 01-12-2014 12:56 AM

Thank you for bringing this concept to my attention

I will defenetly have to make something similar for my phone. I own a Samsung, where the speakers are located at the top, so I will have to do some re-designing for it to work.

I found something hillarious on that site you mentioned:

“Docking station for mini Ipad”... It´s a wedge, with a single groove in it… $26 :-D Im in the wrong line of work for sure.

-- I doubt, therefore I might be

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