With this project, there are a few materials that I would strongly recommend.
Under the standard bill of materials is the version of the parts offered by Inventables. They have enough close proximity for the materials needed. Assuming that one is starting from scratch, this can be a hefty list to have to tackle. However, most of this is for wood finishing and cleaning up the project. These materials would be good for quite a while after this project. Keeping that in mind, this project should cost less than $20.00 USD.
I would say however, the actual tools used are a little different. I will be referring to the materials I used throughout this build and a couple of tools I recommend.
Bill of Materials:
01) 1 = 4″×24″×1/16" sheet of padauk
02) Titebond clear wood glue
03) Titebond superglue
05) 60 grit sandpaper
06) 120 grit sandpaper
07) 220 grit sandpaper
08) 00 steel wool
09) 0000 steel wool
10) teak oil
12) pastewax with orange oil
13) rubber bands
14) double sided tape
15) fine square rasp or file
16) Mineral Spirits
Bill of Tools:
01) 500mm X-Carve by Inventables
02) 60 degree V-Bit 1/8" shaft
03) 1/32" Downcut bit 1/8" shaft
0 4) Easel pro (optional)
Clamp down the wood.
Using a combination of double sided tape and a couple of clamps, the materials need to be held down against the scratch board. This design does not use tabs to hold the wood in place, so the double sided tape will ensure that the material does not jump free once the cut is completed. Ideally, the bit should pass right through the material or just shy of passing through during the cut.
Once it is mounted down, then proceed through the steps for the cuts. The cuts are rapid and should be about 10 minutes each. I have found that setting the router to 3000 rpm allows the machine to cut through without throwing sawdust everywhere. It also cuts back on noise.
Cutting the materials
Each cut should be done on a clear section of wood allowing for excess for removing the cut section. The logo engraving is designed to pass completely through the material for the trunk of the tree and part of the limbs/roots. I installed the v bit carefully and made sure to do the homing sequence to ensure that the zeroes were still set to the cut from Front Plate 2. This allows for the logo to set centered to the Front Plate. It is recommended to check both Front Plate 1 and 2 before the cuts are done. The homing sequence is the best way to ensure that it is fine and no movement occurred during installation of the V bit.
This is a prep step prior to gluing the box joints together. Remove the pieces from the scrap wood. Then using the fine files or rasp, clean up the corners for the box joints. Everything should be nice and square. The joints should slot together nicely. Doing a quick test fit with the wood should yield a nice tight open ended case.
Using a sheet of the 60 grit paper, sand away the inner corners of the finger notch so that it doesn’t cut into the phone screen or case. Clean up the inner layers of the phone with a quick rub along both 120 and 220 grit sandpaper. Depending, take some time and clean any excess wood from the phone logo on what will be the inside of the case when assembled. It should sand out fairly quickly and leave a void that will show off the back of your phone.
Using a finger or brush, gently apply wood glue along the majority of the joints both along the inner flat and the edges of the box. Leave 2 or 3 spots where super glue will be applied to the joint right before the final fitting. Once the super glue is applied, set everything together. Using a few rubber bands, apply some pressure to the fit.
30 minutes later, attempt to clean up as much excess wood glue as possible. Then use the E6000 to fill in any voids in the box joints where the wood may have been offset. The gaps should be barely noticeable, but this will help allow it set structurally. Give the glue a full 24 hours to set and harden before touching.
Once the rubber bands are removed, do a quick test fit. The phone should slide in and be tight, but not feel like the wood is going to burst to accommodate the phone. The milling should be just perfect for the fit.
I recommend taking a wood like padauk through each grit thoroughly. Once the rubber bands are removed, gently scrub away the wood glue/epoxy/super glue sitting on the surface of the case, and then give the whole case a gentle rub down with the sandpaper in the direction of the grain. Repeat this process through 120 and into using 220.
Once the 220 grit has begun to produce a nice even sand, then round the corners slightly on the case. This will make it feel nicer inside the pocket and keep it from catching. 220 should be just aggressive enough to cut into the material without taking too much off. The box joints should just barely register under a finger tip when dragged across it.
Then clean the dust from the wood and use 00 steel wool. The wood should start to brighten. Keep sanding with this material until an even luster forms. If needed, use the 0000 steel wool to produce a better semi-gloss or satin finish to the wood.
Finally, clean with mineral spirits. After 30 minutes, apply the teak oil either by flooding the material or by using a soaked cloth. The teak oil absorbs in about 15 minutes, at which point, I recommend reapplying the teak oil and allowing to sit for up to an additional day.
Once the padauk has been soaked in the teak oil and has been given time to set, it is time to work on the finish. Using 0000 steel wool as well as paste wax, work the steel wool back and forth across the grain. It may settle on the surface, but work slowly and keep scrubbing until the shine looks nice. If needed, remove the excess wax using a paper towel. Then let the wood sit for about 10 minutes.
Use the 0000 steel wool again on the wood and keep at it until the finish feels right. It should have a smooth texture and a fine satin glow to it.
Seriously, that is all there is to it. It should stand up well and keep a phone from looking like it belongs in a bargain bin, at least for a little while. I hope everyone likes it, and thank you for checking this out.