Reclaimed Heart Pine iPhone Dock / Amplifier

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Project by jenniferglass posted 07-09-2013 06:55 AM 7914 views 21 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first project post, so please bear with me!

For Father’s Day I decided to make my dad something special. He’s taught me so much, and has always been there to answer the crazy questions that tend to pop up mid-project.

I’m an architectural historian by day, and the architectural firm I work for specializes in restorations of historic buildings. It just so happened that we were working on an 18th-century house in town that needed historically-accurate flooring for repairs and a new addition to the house. In the 18th century, heart pine was the flooring of choice in this part of the world. It is dense, insect-resistant, and beautiful, nothing like the pine lumber you see at the big box stores. Unfortunately, heart pine is very difficult to find, as all the old-growth pine trees are nearly gone. Instead, timbers are often salvaged, most often from old mills being torn down, and re-sawn into flooring. In all flooring jobs, there will be some waste, and I was lucky enough to snag some of the flooring off-cuts.

So, I had a small stock of beautiful heart pine floor boards, and just needed to find the perfect project to showcase the wood properly. Since the pieces of pine I had were quite small, usually 4-6” wide, and 12” long max, I was limited by the size of the piece.

I got to searching, and found this great wooden iPhone passive (no electricity/battery needed) amplifier by Koostik. I really love the design, minimal, letting the wood be the star. It also works really well at amplifying the sound from the iPhone’s integrated speakers.

With a little more searching, I also found plans to build something similar to the koostik on However, the design differed a bit from the koostik, mainly the proportions and the placement of the holes. Also, after reading the comments on the project there was a general consensus that the flat bottom of the holes would dampen the sound, resulting in less projection than the koostik.

With these considerations in mind, I got to sketching and soon had a design I could live with. Since I don’t have a CNC machine, those perfectly round holes on the koostik would be impossible, so instead I searched for the perfect small bowl instead. I finally found the perfect ceramic sauce dish at World Market, and modified the design to fit the bowl perfectly.

In the end, I used two pieces of 1x poplar for the back and middle of the “sandwich” and a piece of the reclaimed heart pine for the front. I used my brand new Dewalt trim router to mill the pieces, (after a bit of trial and error) and then glued everything up. The last step before sanding and staining was to cut a 10 degree bevel on the bottom so the phone would tilt back a bit and would be less likely to fall out. (I actually ended up adding some brass nails to the front later on to hold the phone even more securely.)

After some stain, (General Finishes Gel Stain in Java) I also added a removable felt base held on with some super-strong rare earth magnets to protect any furniture it sits on and secure an optional charger cable in place.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out, and have started two other versions for myself. It was a bit of a learning curve with the router, (first time using one since 8th grade shop class!) but I think it game out great! I’m quite proud of it.

-- Jennifer Glass,

11 comments so far

View jakopo's profile


126 posts in 1047 days

#1 posted 07-09-2013 07:40 AM

nice project good way to use of the excellent wood

-- --Jakopo--

View JoeinGa's profile


5618 posts in 1095 days

#2 posted 07-09-2013 10:54 AM

Neat gift, I’m sure Dad loved it.

And WELCOME to LumberJocks!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Aristocraft's profile


87 posts in 1669 days

#3 posted 07-09-2013 01:18 PM

very nice work!

-- --- Never a failure - Always a lesson

View Sanding2day's profile


1000 posts in 934 days

#4 posted 07-09-2013 02:43 PM

Very cool… Nice work… Thanks for sharing and welcome to LJs…

-- Dan

View MT_Stringer's profile


2654 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 07-09-2013 03:16 PM

Nice work. Good job on the pics. The shallow depth of field really makes your project stand out.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View DBuonomano's profile


90 posts in 1183 days

#6 posted 07-09-2013 04:44 PM

I really like this design and the idea behind the passive speaker setup, excellent use of reclaimed wood!

View bucho's profile


13 posts in 1627 days

#7 posted 07-09-2013 05:57 PM

The passive speaker is really a brilliant idea!


View Underdog's profile


703 posts in 1123 days

#8 posted 07-09-2013 07:04 PM

What a great little project. I’ve been wanting an amp for my iPhone, and now I have a perfect project for my CarveWright.

Thanks for posting!

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 1142 days

#9 posted 07-09-2013 09:40 PM

and welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Joel

View SawDustNeophyte's profile


111 posts in 2187 days

#10 posted 07-10-2013 12:50 AM


-- So many tools, so little money. *heavy sigh*

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 1408 days

#11 posted 07-10-2013 02:35 PM

Really cool; I’ll have to show my kids – they’ll love it

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