2009 - Complete Wooden Ipod Mini

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jozaeh

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Hey everyone,
I'm a newbie here and thought i'd post some info and photos of the wooden mod I just finished on my old ipod mini. I found the forum when I did some searching way back and found the original ZapWizard wood ipod in like 2005ish (the wood ipod pioneer). I was surprised that not many wooden ipod mods can be found online?

It's by no means perfect, but it's been a super fun project for me at home. I tried to make the case completely wooden (with working clickwheel) using the internal workings of the original mini. I also wanted to make an itrip and dock for it. I've added photos to my flikr of the finished ipod as well as a photo collection of the whole making process.

I'm still wondering how I might engrave an apple logo on the back without accidentally stuffing the case up, (the hand engraving tests turned out hideous) and how to get my brain around the logics of making a working hold switch. but for now i'll just say "nobody ever uses a hold switch!".

I'm keen to see what you all think, AND if you have any tips on how to engrave the apple logo neatly or work out how to do the hold switch.

See ya!
Josh

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3303/3628076188_1e3f6402af.jpg?v=0
 

jozaeh

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photos

Hey again, i've worked out how to insert photos, so here's some shots with some descriptions:



It's handmade (with special thanks to my 8yr old dremel) from Australian red cedar, Camphor Laurel for the clickwheel, brass plates, brass screws and the guts from the first ipod i ever had.

I was given a new ipod mini for christmas and I just couldn't leave my trusty old mini to sit unused somewhere. So I decided to finally try a wooden shell mod on him that I had wanted to do for a long time.





I was looking for something to protect the wood ipod mini and I stumbled on this wonderful felt case at my local Kikki-K store. They always have great stuff.



the wooden clickwheel ended up being just as responsive as the original plastic clickwheel. I ended up shaving the clickwheel to only a couple millimetres thick, and the ipod's sensor picks up the signal no worries.

Once again, I don't have the guts to try and engrave the clickwheel's skip, pause etc icons. so i'll just say that i 'prefer' it blank for now, yep, that'll do.









I really wanted to do a complete set of accessories for the finished wood ipod mini, so this is the wooden itrip mod to go with it. Made from light Red cedar.





I really appreciated the original itrip mini's form factor to match the ipod mini, so i shaped the wood itrip to follow the lines of the wood ipod.



I gutted my original white ipod mini dock, and carved a slightly larger box to house the connector and circuitry. Even though Camphor Laurel is a bit of a pest in Australia, I loved the grain this particular piece had.



The finished wood ipod mini dock (front).



I was so happy when it all plugged in and worked fine. yes!





I wanted to not use any glue at all with the wooden shell, and fortunately i was able to secure it all together just using the brass screws. Especially because I'd like to be able to replace the ipod's battery in the future, and possibly add a higher capacity flash hard drive.

The wooden clickwheel is simply stuck down on the sensor with very thin double sided tape.




Some front, back and side shots of the finished wood Ipod mini.



Here's the links to my extra flikr photos of the ipod:

finished: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157619759688600/

making process: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157619672667429/

See ya!
Josh
 

Chris92

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That looks Fantastic mate!! How did you manage that? Must have taken ages. I'm curious as to how you got the touch wheel to be wooden and still work :D
 

ahmad

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Well done! That's incredible!

Can I ask how the scroll wheel works? It doesn't turn physically so doesn't it detect touch via some micro-electrical circult thingy from your finger?

If so, then how does that still get detected through the wood?

On the logo issue - what about searing/burning a logo into the back?
 

djflippy

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Great work!

Jozaeh, what a phenomenal project. Have you considered whether you could do a similar conversion for the iPhone 3G S? If you did, I would probably buy one from you. :D
 

ZapWizard

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Hey, glad to finally see another proper wooden iPod after all these years.

I looked though your Flick page, top quality work and photos.
I like the brass end-caps. I am surprised no one called it Steampunk.

Consequently mine still is chugging along, granted with only about 30 minutes of battery power at a time.
 

iFurkz

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i love it truly awesome.... your laptop looks a bit out of place now, "hint hint"
 

jasoncordelle

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Quite frankly, I am astonished! The workmanship and the sheer beauty of this thing blows me away.

Well done. Hats off to you.

Your next project should be using some true quality wood like Native NZ Kauri, Rimu, Totara etc.

Now THAT would be ace! ;)
 

jozaeh

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That looks Fantastic mate!! How did you manage that? Must have taken ages. I'm curious as to how you got the touch wheel to be wooden and still work :D
Hiya Chris92,
if you wanted to se photos of how i did it, i actually took shots of the whole building process from start to finish and posted them in my flikr. the link is in my photo post above. and here's a little explanation on the wooden click wheel working thing:

the click wheel's sensor is capacative, which means when the finger comes close to any place on the electrically charged clickwheel sensor, the sensor tries to make a circuit with the finger. But that circuit gets blocked by the plastic click wheel cover (or my wooden one) and that blocked circuit tells the sensor where the finger is. as soon as you move the finger, a new blocked circuit appears a little to the side and that then tells the sensor to tell the processor that the finger has moved.

the best part is that the sensor can sense a finger through a pretty thick amount of non-conductive material. and luckily a 2mm sliver of wood is thin enough for the sensor to sense a finger on the other side. think of it in the way that sme ipod cases have a click wheel cover, or even how you can often operate your ipod's click wheel through a layer of denim with your ipod in your jeans pocket. it's pretty much the same idea.

and i'm happy to say the click wheel works REALLy well. i can't even tell the difference between my old click wheel cover's responsiveness and the new one. it's funny, despite spending about 50 times more carving time on the actual shell than the click wheel piece, it's the click wheel that amazes people when i let them use it. i still think the click wheel is such a freakin cool input technology idea after all this time.

thanks again!
Josh
 

jozaeh

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Well done! That's incredible!

Can I ask how the scroll wheel works? It doesn't turn physically so doesn't it detect touch via some micro-electrical circult thingy from your finger?

If so, then how does that still get detected through the wood?

On the logo issue - what about searing/burning a logo into the back?
Hey ahmad,
check out my reply to chris92 for info on how the click wheel works (you can find it on wikipedia as well, search for 'capacative sensor'). and thanks for the props!
Josh
 

jozaeh

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Jozaeh, what a phenomenal project. Have you considered whether you could do a similar conversion for the iPhone 3G S? If you did, I would probably buy one from you. :D
hiya djflippy!
thanks! and yeah, i have already thought about woodenizing (a possible term for it?) my new nano, and i'd love to try it with an iphone. There's already a product called 'iwood' (creative name? hmmmm) that is a slide-in back cover made of beautiful wood and those things are gorgeous. but to have the iphone be nothing but the glass, internals and wood would be such a sweet thing to hold. i'd have to do some thinking about how to secure it on there because i'm not a fan of glue, so i expect t would be a tricky job. i'll keep ya posted if i get any further on the project (i still don't have an iphone myself, aie).

thanks again!

Josh
 
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