Monday, January 25, 2016

DIY Charging Station


Today's project is my attempt to wrangle up all the different charging devices on our kitchen counter. Until we get our island put in (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEONE COME REMOVE THE RANDOM WALL IN OUR KITCHEN!!!!), our counter space situation is very sad . I have about 4 feet of space to do all my cooking, prep and dish washing. That means having a bunch of devices hanging out waiting to be charged really isn't an ideal situation.

I had a couple random 1x3's sitting in the garage from a miscalculation on my part for our floating shelves. (Click here for the post) So, it was the perfect time to put those to use. I also had a new Kreg Jig I'm obsessed with using. I have a feeling this project would have been easier if I would have used my nail gun, especially when assembling the panels, but I was having too much fun with my Kreg Jig to pull out the air compressor. Plus this thing is as solid as can be as a result.

DIY Charging Station


2 - 6 foot pieces of 1x3 -- You could use all sorts of different size wood for this project. It's definitely a good scrap wood project. 
Kreg Jig and Screws -- I used course screws meant for soft wood.
Saw -- I used my miter saw, but due to the minimal cuts, a hand saw or other saw variation could work. 
Sandpaper and/or Sander
Drill Bit -- Use one that will create a hole big enough for your charging cords to fit through. 
Optional: Felt Pads -- A must to keep from scratching my beautiful butcher block countertops.
Optional: Clamps -- I found they were helpful to keep everything together when you were assembling.


1. Decide on your dimensions.

Before I cut anything, I sat down and tried to visualize how the charging station would look. I didn't want to cut any wood length wise since my circular saw is on the fritz. So, everything I did was just simple cuts of the 1x3. This is what my plans looked like when I was done. (I'm attempting to learn Sketch Up to prevent this sort of sad planning of projects) 

Click image to enlarge it.

These plans were a good starting point. However, it always makes sense to do a dry run before you drill or screw anything into place just to make sure things are fitting together correctly. Throughout the project I periodically stopped what I was doing and stacked the wood up to make sure everything was matching up correctly.

2. Cut Da Wood.

This is the cut list I ultimately ended up with.

Panel 1 (the front one) was 1 piece of 1x3 cut 18 inches long.
Panel 2 (the middle one) was 2 pieces of 1x3 cut 18 inches long.
Panel 3 (the back one) was 3 pieces of 1x3 cut 18 inches long.
The Bottom Panel needed to be long enough to cover both the 18 inch long panels plus the two side pieces, so the bottom was 2 pieces of 1x3 cut 19.5 inches long. (18 inches plus 3/4 inches x 2 for the wide of each side piece). I only did 2 pieces so the unit would be fairly narrow on my countertop.
The Side Panels were made up of 2 pieces of wood, one longer than the other to create a stair step effect. So for 2 side pieces, I cut: 2 pieces of 1x3 cut 2 3/4 inches long, and 2 pieces of 1x3 cut 5 inches long.

So, if you want a summary, this is what all my cuts looked like:

6- 18 inches
2-19.5 inches
2-5 inches
2 - 2.75 inches

3. Drill Baby Drill.

Once you have all your pieces cut, you will need to first assemble your panels. The first one is easy since it's only one piece. (Ta Da. You're simply done by looking at it) With the middle, back and bottom panels, you will need to use your Kreg Jig to create a solid piece. (You could also use nails or screws etc. instead of Kreg Jig)

Creating the middle panel.

Creating the back panel.

You will also need to create your side pieces using the same methodogy. Just make sure you take a second to think about which pieces are going on what side. They need to be mirror images of each other. You want your Kreg Jig holes to be on the inside of the piece. This is a good place to do a dry run before you start drilling.

Creating the side panels. Mirror images of one another.

Once you have everything in nice panels, you need to take a drill bit and make holes at the bottom of the middle and back pieces. The holes need to be big enough your chargers can fit through. I have one old school iPad that needed a HUGE hole for those 342 prong chargers, so I made one bigger than the others.  

4. Avengers Assemble! (or just assemble...but it sounded much cooler in a superhero voice)

This is one area where I had to stop, put things together, and think about where to put my drill holes. This is how I ultimately decided to assemble everything.

Dry run of the assembly before I starting putting things together.

A) First, attach your side panels to the bottom panel. I did 2 Kreg Jig screws downwards through the side panel into the bottom panel.

Side panel with the two pre-drilled Kreg Jig holes downwards.

B) Next, attach the front panel. You need to predrill your Kreg Jig holes in four places. 1 on each side of the front panel (so you will attach the front panel to the side panels) and 2 in the middle (so you'll attach the front panel into the bottom panel). Once you pre-drill, place the board and drill it into place.

Front panel with two holes in the center and a hole on each side.

C) Next, attach the middle panel. You need to predrill your Kreg Jig in four to six places. (Six might be a bit of an overkill, but I was making sure this thing survived a cyclone). I did a Kreg Jig hole at the end of each piece of the middle panel and then two in the middle. So you can attach the middle panel to the side panels at the top and bottom of the side panel and into the bottom board.

Middle panel with two holes in center and two holes on top. 

D) Last, attach the back panel. You need to predrill your Kreg Jig holes in six places. I did a Kreg Jig hole at the end of the bottom and middle pieces of the back panel and two in the middle. So, you are attaching the back panel into the side panels at the top and bottom of the side panes and into the bottom board.

When you work from the front to back, it makes it much easier to reach all the areas you need to reach. I originally thought about attempting to drill between the panels while it was partial assembled. Once I did a dry run of every thing, I realized that was crazy and wasn't going to work.

5. Paint and Sand

Now that everything is assembled, take a moment to finish the piece. Sand the boards, round corners and finally paint. I did a yellow chalkboard paint I created myself. I need to go back in a distress it a bit, but it's fine for now. I added a metal chalkboard label (3$ for 4 of them in Target's dollar section) as a finishing touch.

I'm glad that all our devices are now in once place. Now about removing that wall so I can put an island in.....


1 comment

HopeO said...

Nice Wooden charging dock. I use a wooden phone charger. I found it more durable and it is environmentally friendly. You can visit the kerf case to look out for more wooden accessories including phone cases.

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