Luke’s Zebrawood iPhone Cases

Viewer Project - By Luke Pinno from Saskatchewan
Added on November 3, 2014

I watched a YouTube video by WoodWorkWeb, and rather liked the concept of a wood iPhone case. I made one from cherry initially that the phone slipped into from the top, and a small removable shim was pushed in to hold it secure. Several people commented on it, some wanting one made for their phone. Due to the time involved in the initial project, it wasn’t a money-making venture. I made one for each of my sisters. The second was walnut and the top and bottom were separate, removing the need for a shim. The third was macawood, with the same design as the original, but thinner. Both proved too time consuming to sell (though the macawood one received much more feedback than the first two).

Gluing the project together from an individual front, back and edges worked, but phone cases carved from a solid piece inspired me to try my own. I made three different jigs to router it out. The initial jig was for using a 5/8″ spiral bit to remove the bulk of the hollow. The second was used with a 1/2 key-slot router bit to create the lip for the phone. The third was simply to use the 5/8″ spiral bit again to route out a space for the foam or felt to rest in. Those three made the case. A fourth jig was used to route out for the volume, silent mode and power buttons. The hole for the camera and flash were made using two different bits and stops on the drill press. The holes for the headphone jack, speakers and usb plug were made using stops on the router table. A sander template and the drill press rounded the corners. After it was machined completely, I cut it in half on the table saw. They had been left over sized to allow for the blade.

I applied three coats of brush lacquer. I made a jig to trace the foam/felt (as it looped around the camera/flash area), and stuck that in. It was one of the most enjoyable projects in my workshop lately. Though the jigs worked fairly well to produce them quicker than glue-up ones, they would still need improvements to actually work to cut a profit.


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