'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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Charging Station Project Logo
My oldest daughter turned 40 during the 1st week of July,2008 and several weeks prior to that, I thought about making her something for her birthday.  She and her husband are both technology people in the 1st degree and I wanted to find something that I could make that would be appropriate for her and based on that interests that both she and her husband have.

While looking through some of my woodworking magazines, I found something that would be a perfect gift for her.  I found the plans for a charging station that would allow her to plug in her I-Pod, cell phone, blackberry, etc.  The plan was shown in Woodsmith Magazine, Volume 30/No 176 (April/May, 2008).

What attracted me to the design was not only the basic purpose for which the project was designed but the use of two different types of wood creating a contrasting appearance in the final project.  In the plan from the magazine, both poplar and maple were used.  The poplar pieces were used to form the main body and were stained a dark walnut and the maple was left natural and clear coated.
Finished Charging Station Photo
I had a good piece of true walnut in my shop and decided to use the real walnut in place of the stained poplar.  I think that it turned out better because of the more pronounced grain of the walnut.  As you can see in the finished photo on the left, it looks pretty good.

I started by cutting the back pieces and the side pieces from the walnut.  The walnut board that I had in the shop was 3/4" X 12" X 48".  I ripped the board to working widths and then planed it down to the 1/2" thickness called out in the project plan.  I then used two sided tape to hold the two end pieces together while Assembled Walnut Piecescutting the angles and drilling the hinge pin holes.   While the sides were still taped together, I used a 1/4" forstner bit to cut the partial mortises for the bottom stretcher. After removing the tape, I made rabbets across the back of the side pieces and completed the final sanding of the two sides. 

The remaining three pieces of the walnut parts (the bottom stretcher and two back pieces that forms the main body of the charging station) were then cut to size.  A 1/4 inch wide X 1/4" deep groove was made into the upper back piece to hold an upper tray that was to be made out of one of the maple pieces.  After final sanding of the walnut pieces, this part of the project had been completed and I assembled the pieces and set them aside to await the remaining maple parts to be made.  At this point, the project looked like the photo above and to the right.

Maple parts after the cutting.
I then moved on to the maple parts which consisted of a front access panel, upper tray panel, upper tray front rail and a support panel (all shown here on the left).  These were all cut from a piece of 3/4" thick hard maple that had to be planed down on my 12 inch Dewalt Model 734 planer.  I won't bore you with every little detail here but for the most part, all but one of the maple pieces were very simple cuts. 

Maple access panelThe access panel was kind of tough for me to make however, for a couple of reasons (1) my table saw is an older Rockwell Model 4-345 saw with a right tilting blade which I tend to get nervous about when making angled cuts.  Starting with a 3/4" thick piece, I was required to make a 30° cut at 7/16" up from the bottom corner of the board and stop at 1/2" deep into the board.  (2) I then had to set the board on its edge and rip the board up to where it met the 7/16" deep angled cut.  I had not done this before and with the right tilting blade, it made the task scary and difficult for me.  At any rate, I got the job done (even still have all my fingers).  You can see the finished piece in the photo on the right.

View showing access panel and support panel with brass pinsThe support panel utilizes 1/8 inch brass pins that are held into the panel by drilling holes at different spacings to accommodate various sized electronic devices.  The holes are drilled 1/4 inch deep into the panel with 1 1/8 inches protruding outward after they are pressed into the panel.  Once the pins were in place, I cut lengths of clear plastic tubing to slide over the pins to protect instruments from getting scratched.  The access panel pivots on 1/8" brass pins and snaps shut into the sides of the base by using 1/4" ball clasps (See left photo).

Some other views of the charging station can be seen below at various stages of completion.  All photos can be clicked on for larger views.  I am fairly well pleased with the end results and my daughter sure was pleased as well. 
Access panel opened to allow for device cords.View with access panel opened
Side view of completed charging station.Side view of finished piece with access panel open
Fully assembled and ready to be used.Fully assembled and ready to be used


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