iPhone amplifier / Speaker out of Wood

This is a terrific project that I decided to build for myself.  I never want to spend $75 on an iPod / iPhone dock that burns through batteries, but I would like an amplifier for my iPhone.  This wooden iPhone dock is a fantastic project.  The plans were inspired by others around the web including Koostik.com and a similar iPhone amp project at LumberJocks.com.

This project was a great one that allowed me to work with my 9 year old son.  He was happy to work with the drill press to help with the holes and with the spindle sander to clean them up.

Wooden iPhone Amplifier

Wooden iPhone Amplifier

Download the full iPhone Amplifier Sketchup plan by clicking on the image below:

iPhone Amp Plan

iPhone Amp Plan

I built mine by using 3 pieces of Cherry that were left over from a past project.  I love working with Cherry and the finish always turns out terrific.

There are 3 basic pieces.  I began with Part 2 since it had the most work and would be the least visible since it is sandwiched by parts 1 and 3.   Follow the Sketchup plan (click the image for the file download, or

click here: http://www.woodworkcity.com/planpictures/iphone-amp.skp .

To construct your own, fabricate each of the 3 pieces from the Sketchup plan.  Once you have your three pieces, align, glue, and clamp.  After mine was fully set, I flushed up the edges with my chop saw.  In addition to that, I wanted my iPhone amp to lean back a bit.  This would help to retain the iPhone and give a more professional (finished) look to the piece.  I set my saw blade at about 10 degrees and took a sliver off of the bottom.  I also decided to put a routed edge on the speaker holes.  I used a simple 45 degree chamfer bit.

Perform any finish sanding needed, apply your sealant, paint, or stain, and enjoy!

 

iPhone Amp Plans

iPhone Amplifier Plans

A reader requested some additional options for non Sketchup users. I have included a Word version, PDF version, along with some larger scale images:

Word Doc: http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iPhone-Amp.docx
PDF: http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iPhone-Amp.pdf
Large Images:
http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iphone-amp.jpg
http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iphone-amp1.jpg
http://www.woodworkcity.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/iphone-amp2.jpg

32 Comments

  1. Gary says:

    Hi,

    Great plan, one thing Im curious about is how you cut the angle in the middle piece for the phone to lay against?

    • WoodworkCity says:

      Gary,

      Thanks for the comment. I am not sure that I understand your question, but I will try. The angle is not in the middle piece. The angle comes by cutting the base at an angle after the assembly of the three pieces. The phone and the face of each piece are parallel.

      Does that make sense? If not, please respond and I will do my best to clarify.

      WoodworkCity.com

  2. Howard says:

    Does the opening for the phone need to be a precise fit? I was hoping to make it large enough to fit my Samsung galaxy S4 as well as my wife’s iphone 5, but not sure if that would loose some of the amplification for her smaller phone?
    Otherwise I’ll make 2 of them! :)

  3. Mike says:

    Just made my first from a plan in wood magazine and love it already have additional prototype plans to attemp to improve on the design. Mine is funny looking, but a next wood project with Brazilian cherry and oak. Something a friend told me today improved the sound quality drastically, I put 2 pieces of surgical gauze in the slot for the phone, and it made a much richer sound, you sould try it. Can’t share the plans as they came from wood magazine, but if I have success with my prototypes this weekend I can share. Shoot me an email and I can send you pic.

    • WoodworkCity says:

      Mike,

      Do you have a picture of your project that you can share? We would love to see it especially if you made some modifications. You can e-mail to contact_at_woodworkcity.com

      WoodworkCity.com

  4. Gill Brewster says:

    I love the design and plan of making a version of this plan. How thick are the 3 pieces? I assume each one is 3/4 inches thick. I would appreciate letting me know. Great job
    Gill Brewster

    • WoodworkCity says:

      Gill,

      You are correct in your assumption. The three pieces are simply 1″ stock (3/4″ true thickness). Very simple project with a cool impact.

      Good luck with your own.

      WoodworkCity.com

  5. J S says:

    Hi this looks like a great idea, but the link isn’t working now. What to do?

    • WoodworkCity says:

      JS,

      The links should now be working properly. Let us know if they are not.

      @WoodworkCity

  6. Joe Outlaw says:

    I haven’t worked out the wavelength numbers yet, but by placing the phone off center you will create a delay/phase shift between left & right which “could” lend a “spatial” effect to the mono sound source. I also think the offset would be visually interesting. You could also play with “tuning” the ports, ie. different size bores, making them “horn shaped” parabolas, extend tubes out the back for even more acoustic – and wood working – fun! LOVE your woodworking!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Joe. I knew that a real audio guy could jump on this and make something that didn’t just direct the sound to boost, but could also suggest/create a way to improve the quality of the output.

  7. Joe Outlaw says:

    Just another observation. The two holes DO make sense even with the mono, one side only speaker as the through hole cross-drilled couples BOTH sides to the ports, this making the stand functional whether the iPhone is placed face-in or face-out! ; )

    • admin says:

      Joe,

      Thanks for the concession.

      I have to be frank, I am a woodworker, not an audiophile or an iPhone nut (just a user). When laying this out, I was not even aware that the left side was a mic. At a certain point, we felt that we had a broken iPhone with sound only emitting from 1 speaker. We looked it up and found that the left was just a mic. Of course that was after laying out the plan.

      WoodworkCity.com

  8. Joe Outlaw says:

    Please note! The iPhone does NOT have stereo speakers. The left side is a MICROPHONE. Just place your thumb over one side or the other to test this.

  9. Al Green says:

    Just picked this up for use with my Hi school carpentry classes.Looks good!

  10. Jared Nichol says:

    Thanks so much for posting these plans! We just got a CNC machine at our school and we recently learned how to use sketchup files and use them to cut out 3D forms with the router! Thanks again for sharing!

  11. Ron says:

    I can link to the pdf version but the Sketchup file appears to be missing. Can this link be repaired?

    Thanks for a great project.

  12. admin says:

    Scott,

    I created a couple of new versions (output). At the bottom of this post, you will find a list of links that include a Word Doc version and PDF version, along with three (3) larger scale images. I hope that this helps.

    Good luck.

    http://www.WoodworkCity.com

  13. admin says:

    From a user: I’ve just seen your piece on the wooden iphone amp. I want to give the plans to my retired father as something to do but can’t open .skp files. do you have them as a PDF to use? Sorry, my workplace won’t allow a download of the software needed to open .skp.

    Great site by the way – going to have a nose around now!

    Thanks

    Scott
    Subject: iphone amp plans
    Category: Plan Request

Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] The same as most modern households we use our phones to listen to music all day long. Most phone speakers aren’t loud enough to really enjoy as you move around the house.  So I started looking online and came up with The iPhone amplifier made of wood concept.  I have seen countless concepts of iPhone amplifiers online. Some are simple and others more complex.  Coming across Wood Work City’s website I saw one of the best examples I felt I could build with the wood I had on hand.  Here is a link to the design concept I saw on WoodWorkingCity. […]

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