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Wireless Phone Charger - into furniture

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Matt Slaga

Project by

Matt Slaga
Jacksonville, USA

General Information

I was building a new console table for our kitchen, in a place where we typically drop our phones and kids charge their phones/tablets. I wanted to embed wireless chargers onto the top and provide drawers to keep all the wires and devices out of site (wife’s request). This is what I came up with.

Like this project Open in Easel®
1

Check your phone with case for wood thickness test

5 minutes

For this, you will want your charger of choice (I used and the project carve sizes are for a Seneo charger), your phone with it’s case on, and several thin thicknesses of wood.

The exact charger is used is from the link below. Note – the links here are affiliate, tied to my 501c3 nonprofit organization, IT4Nonprofit.org. Using this link provides a small part that goes to the organization. If you want to learn more of what we do, check out our site or reach out.

Seneo Charger

To test, I simply plugged in the charger, laid a wood piece on top of the charger and my phone (in it’s case) on top of that. I tried different thicknesses until I got a steady charge.

In my case, my phone would still charge through 1/4" of plywood (which is what my top is made from). Based on this, I set my measurements to be ~3/16" to give a little room for error, paint, finish, etc. In hindsight, I’d probably go down to 1/8" on my next project just to be on the safe side. You can adjust the depths as needed for your particular wood/phone/charger device.

The other equipment used in this build:
1/4" Compression bit – my first time using a compression bit with the CNC, I was really impressed with the difference.
Compression bit 1

1/8" Compression bit (for 1/4" collet)
Compression bit 2

Drawer Charging Station
Hercules Charger

2

Planning for the furniture top

For the furniture I build this for (these files should be easily editable to fit any build you have in mind), I used two 3/4" plywood pieces laminated/glued together. In the Easel project, you will notice workpieces for ‘UpperLayerTop’, and ‘LowerLayerTop’. To ensure my two layers would carve accurately, I used a fixed L clamp on my X-Carve, and the same XY Zero location for both pieces. See the pictures for how I positioned these. My pieces were 14.5" wide x 54.5" long, so I had to overhang the X-Carve and add a little extra clamping power.

There are tabs and cable slots carved along both workpieces to allow for cable management and future access. See the short YouTube video for a view on what some of these are for.

The tab covers and sliders are a separate workpiece. These were carved from ~5mm plywood.

3

Wireless Charge Fit Test Carve

For this test fit carve, I made sure to use a scrap piece of plywood from the same type of plywood used for my furniture top.

The workpiece ‘TestCarve’ is just one charger pocket taken from the ‘UpperLayerTop’.

I carved this using only the 1/4" compression bit.

This test piece ensured a snug fit for the wireless charger, and ensured the cables wouldn’t be hampered for it to lay flat. It also allowed me to test wireless charging through the 3/16" leftover wood before carving on my actual top pieces.

4

Carve pocket from underside of top piece(s)

120 minutes

If the prior step was a success, then you just need to carve our your final furniture top pieces.

5

Carve charging locations on top

Keeping the same L clamp used before, I flipped over the board ensuring my project workpiece alignment was correct. I used a 1/32 bit. I’d suggest altering the depth here depending on how much you want this to appear. I did .08, which I think ended up a little too deep for the obscure look I was going for. It also made painting these a bit tedious, as I needed a very small nail to clean out the grooves when the paint attempted to fill these completely.