Before & After: Chopped Tree Turned Into Galaxy S4 Phone Dock

Before & After: Chopped Tree Turned Into Galaxy S4 Phone Dock

Gregory Han
Sep 12, 2013

What would you do with a piece of wood like this? Maybe chop it up for firewood? Perhaps have it made into mulch for the garden? But one person's garden detritus is another person's DIY project inspiration...

Reddit user neoikon calls his tree branch dock "simple, yet classy", but I'd call it rustic and rugged. In either case, he shared how he fashioned the Android accessory in detail:

  1. Cut a piece of wood (with a diameter larger than the width of the phone). I used a cedar limb.
  2. Make a vertical and horizontal cut to remove a section of the wood. Be careful to line up the cuts as exact as possible, so they don't overlap too much (where they meet). You can angle the "vertical" cut more than I did if you want the phone to rest on the entire length of the wood backing.
  3. Take time to sand it smooth (makes a real difference) and round the edges (as desired). When making the cuts in step #2, one cut will probably be deeper than the other (where they meet). With enough sanding, you can correct this.
  4. Drill a hole for the cable. If possible, angle the hole as desired.
  5. After running the cable through, backstop the cable with paper (to prevent it from pushing downward into the hole) and fill it with wood glue (or Elmer's glue) to lock it into place. I simply bought a cheap cable off eBay. I chose red to go with the red of the cedar.
  6. Let the glue dry with the phone on the dock, so it will harden in the exact position you want it (and account for the depth of a phone case, if you have one).
  7. Put some felt feet on it. This also gives it some height to account for the cable running out the bottom.
  8. Oil it, paint it, or leave it raw. I used a couple coats of common olive oil from the kitchen.

Additional photos of the Galaxy S4 Dock project available here.

Here's another configuration idea for using scrap pieces of wood, as shown by BearWitnessTechTote's Wood Dock Station; cut the wood along the grain for a larger horizontal base. This one has a slot carved out to hold up phones or tablets, but no docking element.

And here's one more example of a dock made from scrap wood for dock duty, this one created by Chris Gardner of ManMade DIY (and one of our favorite My Tech Top 10 interviews) and with the charging cable added.

(Images: neoikon, BearWitnessTechTote; ManMade DIY)

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