I hated having my Apple Watch take up so much space and get knocked off the night stand so I made a charging stand for it.
Design consideration: If you want to be able to use the 'nightstand mode' where the watch shows the time that dims then brightens before your alarm (and activates with a light touch), you must have the watch be oriented horizontally with the buttons facing up. There are a lot of cool docks that hold the watch vertically but then you lose the nightstand mode.
Other notes: This instructable assumes you know your way around a wood lathe and have done off-center/parallel axis wood turning. If either of these is new, there are some other great tutorials including Barbara Dill's incredible article on multi-axis turning.
- Wood lathe (with drive center, live center, chisels)
- drill press
- sharp chisels
- 1-1/8 forstner bit (I got mine as part of the porter cable 14 piece set at lowes)
- countersink bit
- countersink combo drill bit
- 5/32 drill bit
- spring punch or another marking punch
I used a 2.5"x2.5" x 2" piece of walnut
Step 1: Mark Your Holes on the Front Face
You need 5/8 of space from the bottom for the rigid sleeve on the apple charging puck to get a good cable bend. That means the center of your 1-1/8 hole needs to be 1-3/16 up from the bottom.
Drill your forstner bit hole 3/8 deep.
Step 2: Mark Holes on Side and Drill
On your bottom face, make a hole horizontally centered and 3/16 down from the top.
Drill this hole with a 5/32 bit.
You will later need to chisel this out to open it up. Make some more 5/32 holes between the spot you marked and the surface to help.
Step 3: Find Your Centers
Transfer the edges of the disc hole cut out to the bottom. Now use a compass to find a suitably offset center that will leave clearance around the drilled out face leaving that side flat but round out the rest.
For me, this was 3/16ths towards the face
Step 4: Transfer This Distance/center to the Other Side
Use calipers or a ruler to transfer the centers
Step 5: Use a Countersink to Mark Your Center
You will need this because you are about to drill through the center line - and this will make it difficult if not impossible to mark it with a standard punch. Do it now while you still have a clean face to work on.
Step 6: Drill Out the Bottom Cable Run
I used the 5/32 bit for a loose fit for the bottom cable but a 1/8 drill might be better here.
Now do you see why we created that center countersink and went a bit deep?
Step 7: Use a Chisel to Open Up the Drill Holes
Use a sharp chisel to give your cable channels a rounded bottom but straight sides.
Be careful here as it's easy to slip.
The bottom edge is fairly simple. The front hole where the charger sleeve goes through is deeper and takes longer. Note that the photo here is part way through the process and you will need to create a nice looking straight edge all the way to the bottom of that hole.
Step 8: Test Fit
Do a test fit.
You may find that you need to work on the chiseling a bit more or even drill the center deeper. It's much easier to fix things now while the piece is still boxy.
Step 9: Mount Between Centers and Turn
Mount the piece between centers. Since your axis is offset you will be cutting lots of air.
Spin the lathe up fast (I go 2,000 rpm) and take light cuts with a sharp tool.
I wanted the shape to be pretty cylindrical so I stopped to check for a straight line with a ruler.
Once you are close you will see those compass lines on the side are pretty spot on to your turning.
Be careful not to go too small or you may lose the flat face.
Step 10: Sand and Finish
I love my metabo 3" random orbit sander and used it to power sand with the lathe off from 120 to 400 grit working through the grits.
Finish as you like but I used mineral oil and wax.
Step 11: Trim the Top and Sand/finish
If you have a bandsaw, you can use it to trip the top. I have mine set up with a resaw blade and got a silky smooth texture when cutting off the area that has the drive center markings.
Sand top to 400 and finish.
Step 12: Add a Base
I have done both rectangular and round bases. Try it out and see what you like!
The key to the base is to mount using a screw working as a hinge. Align your wood grains as you like and decide where the sides and front/back of base are. Drill and countersink a hole in the bottom offset about 3/4 inch to one side. Now use a center punch or a nail to transfer that mark to the bottom. Put a screw through.
Now you can rotate the bottom out of the way to put your apple charger in and remove it later if you decide to make changes or make a new stand.
To make everything extra secure, put a little piece of double sided tape in the disc.