• Introducing XDA Computing: Discussion zones for Hardware, Software, and more!    Check it out!

[DIY] Magnetic, Wireless Wood Charging Stand

Search This thread

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
So, ever since I found out that the Nexus 5 had the metal disks in it to to help align the phone with the official charger, I've been determined to make my own stand. My goal was to design a stand that would hold the phone at an angle on my desk, use only magnets to hold the phone, incorporate a Qi charger, and also to look super-clean. Well, I just finished it last night. It works well and I think it turned out good. Hopefully you guys like it and if anyone wants more info or pictures, I'll be happy to provide it

Stand without the phone. The wood is a piece of walnut, oiled and waxed, with no magnets or charger visible from the front.
bS5OjkF.png


Stand with the phone stuck to it, you can see the "Charged" appear on screen and the battery charging icon, indicating that the phone is connected to the Qi charger, and you see the bottom of the phone is not resting on the desk. It's held up entirely by the magnets. Sorry for the photo quality on this one, it was taken with my GNEX.
bopPFPq.jpg
 

Acelius

Member
Nov 11, 2013
10
0
This looks AWESOME!:cool: it looks so relaxed. you should make a tutorial for this :p

it looks awesome mate, keep it going. :)
 

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
Last edited:

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
This looks AWESOME!:cool: it looks so relaxed. you should make a tutorial for this :p

it looks awesome mate, keep it going. :)

Thanks!

Here's a run down of how I made it.

Materials:
Wood: approx 1/2" x 12" x 2 5/8"
Magnets: 1/2" x 1/8" N48 Discs
Qi PCB/Coil, either buy direct or yank out of another charger.

I started with a block of walnut which was 1/2" thick, 12" long, and just a little narrower in width than the phone itself (about 2 5/8). I made it narrower than the phone, because my fingers naturally extend past the sides of the phone when I grip it. This makes it relatively simple to center the phone, left-to-right, on the stand. I started by cutting the 12" board down so I had one piece that was 6 1/4" long which would be the face, and the remaining piece would be used as the base as well as some waste area to dial in the hole depths with the drill press.

Next, I had to lay out the holes for the magnets. The metal discs in the phone back are 49mm from the top edge of the phone to the center of the upper-most disc. The 4 discs have their centers at the corners of a 36mm x 36mm square. This began with finding the center-line of my block of wood, and then drawing parallel lines, at a distance of 18mm on either side of the center line.
5MdzLpjl.png
aZ3Efyfl.png


Then, I drew perpendicular lines at a distance of 49mm + 5/16" reveal (~2 1/4") from the top. And another line, 36mm further down from that.
PIy4ypcl.png
qNlhpRPl.png


Lastly, I had to find the center of the square so I could accurately drill for the coil.
1zccHSRl.png


Then, off to the drill press to drill the holes. I drill the 4 holes for the magnets first, using a 1/2: Forstner bit. You could also use a brad point bit, or a twist bit, but the entry hole wont be as clean with the latter. Then, I used a 2" Forstner bit to drill for the coil. I drilled each hole about as far as I could go without the spur (center point) of the drill exiting the face of the board.
E1Tb4Jel.png
Guu2k4ll.png


When all was said and done, the result was this:
WOl79uKl.png

The deeper you can get the hole, the better. This really is a game of millimeters. When I drilled the holes initially, a single magnet in each hole wasn't enough to hold the phone. But, with two magnets in each hole, the phone couldn't detect the charger through all the wood. I drilled the the larger hole as deep as I dared, because air has a lower permittivity (easier for EM fields to pass through) than wood. Still, even with a bunch of wood hogged out, the distance was still too much. I had to make the magnet recesses even deeper in the hopes that single magnets would hold the phone, thus allowing the charging coil to sit super low in the block of wood. After having drilled those magnet recesses as deep as possible with a drill bit and not being able to drill any deeper, it was time for a more risky manuever.

HGsjj3Kl.png

That's a 1/2" carbide end-mill chucked into the drill press. I bored straight down, getting the holes to withing 1/32" of the face of the block of wood.
SAFETY WARNING! This worked for me and I didn't, at any time, feel that I was in harms way. The wood, router bit, and drill press did not, at any time give any indication of any impending problems. Still, router bits are designed for the significantly higher speeds of a router, and drill presses are only designed for axial loading. If you are going to ever put a end mill in a drill press, please do not induce sideways loading on the bit. Go read up on drill presses and tool tapers and why this would be a bad idea. Do this at your own risk! END OF SAFETY WARNING

Next, I laid out the recess for the PCB of the charger. I took the coil of the charger and affixed it to the back of the PCB using double-sided foam tape. Then put the coil into the hole and traced around the PCB.
5FiKDHxl.png
vZFDweYl.png
bRkf6rLl.png


Then, with chisels and a router plane, I excavated the waste. You can use a router, drill bits, whatever you want to eliminate the waste. I also cut out a recess for the coil wires that looped up to the PCB, and I also included a 1/2" thick slot to accommodate the USB plug and cable. After this was all done the piece looked like this:
zLEPhBxl.png


Next, came the base. This is from the same block of wood as the front, so the color and dimensions all match the front block. Both ends received a bevel of whatever angle felt "right". I held the front block on my desk and angled it back until it was pleasing. This then was set as the angle for all the bevels. If I had to guess....it'd be about 15-20 degrees.
cxXFgdFl.png


I also had to cut a 1/4" in groove, from front to back, to accomodate the USB cable. The base ends up looking like this (as a note, the top face in the picture will be resting on the desk. I turned it bottoms-up to show the groove)
9aJhPUQl.png


Next, I glued the base to the front using an extra thick/gel super-glue, as this was a fairly difficult piece to clamp. Traditional wood glues would be difficult, but not impossible, to use. Using the same glue, I glued the magnets into their recesses. I made the polarities all line up, so on the face, all the magnets have the same North-South orientation. I don't think this is critical though.
H6PDyVhl.png


Lastly, I dropped in the coil. It is not held in place with any glue or screws. The coil has a ferrite backer and the magnets end up being close enough to hold the PCB in place. They don't actually contact the magnets, but I doubt it matters as the coil appears to be insulated. The USB cable slides up through the bottom through the channel that was cut earlier in the front block.
O2HXpN3l.png


Turn it over, plug it in, and you are set.

The only other thing remaining which I plan on doing, is ordering some nano-suction polyurethane material to held hold the stand to the desk. But that's just peel'n stick and should be easy enough for most people to figure out.
 
Last edited:

AliLaPointe

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2007
290
42
A side hustle

This is really great work. I feel like you could have a little side business on your hand, a kickstarter even haha! In any case, if you ever feel like banging out a couple extra of these, let me know. Even if it's just the pre-drilled wood and I have to buy the other components, I would be interested in buying it. Great work!
 

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
This looks AWESOME!:cool: it looks so relaxed. you should make a tutorial for this :p

it looks awesome mate, keep it going. :)

This is really great work. I feel like you could have a little side business on your hand, a kickstarter even haha! In any case, if you ever feel like banging out a couple extra of these, let me know. Even if it's just the pre-drilled wood and I have to buy the other components, I would be interested in buying it. Great work!

I briefly thought about it....briefly :)

I just enjoyed making it for myself and felt like sharing so anyone could replicate it at their leisure. Thanks for the kudos though!
 

martjeuh

New member
Feb 26, 2010
4
5
This is really great work. I feel like you could have a little side business on your hand, a kickstarter even haha! In any case, if you ever feel like banging out a couple extra of these, let me know. Even if it's just the pre-drilled wood and I have to buy the other components, I would be interested in buying it. Great work!

I totally agree, i love this design! Keep us in touch when you decide to make some more :angel:
Awesome job!
 

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
I totally agree, i love this design! Keep us in touch when you decide to make some more :angel:
Awesome job!

I also have one more thing to add, which is an NFC tag in the center recess. That way I can use Tasker, etc., to do things like keep the phone from sleeping while on the charger. Alas, my NFC tags have not yet arrived.
 

zuberio

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2010
303
210
Mississauga, ON
This is awesome :good:

I'm definitely going to make one for myself - already ordered the charger circuit from your AliExpress link :D

Based on some SketchUp measuring off scaled images from ifixit's teardown of the N5 and the top view picture of your charger coil - it looks like the N5 has 1/4" diameter metal disks around it's Qi coil - so wouldn't it have been easier/better for you to use 1/4" diameter neodymium magnets instead of 1/2" ones? This would have allowed you to place the coil a little over a millimeter closer to the phone because the magnets would be against the ferrite backing instead of the coil.
 

kidgenius

Senior Member
May 9, 2009
69
318
This is awesome :good:

I'm definitely going to make one for myself - already ordered the charger circuit from your AliExpress link :D

Based on some SketchUp measuring off scaled images from ifixit's teardown of the N5 and the top view picture of your charger coil - it looks like the N5 has 1/4" diameter metal disks around it's Qi coil - so wouldn't it have been easier/better for you to use 1/4" diameter neodymium magnets instead of 1/2" ones? This would have allowed you to place the coil a little over a millimeter closer to the phone because the magnets would be against the ferrite backing instead of the coil.

I think they are 6mm discs (which is darn close to 1/4")

I went with 1/2" in the hopes that I could have a little more lee-way on the positioning/placing of the phone whenever I put the phone on the stand. I'd be curious to see your updates with a 1/4" magnets.
 

Slupie

Member
Aug 18, 2010
23
0
Very nice workmanship and attention to detail. which QI charger did you use?

Nice workshop and PM66.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 145
    So, ever since I found out that the Nexus 5 had the metal disks in it to to help align the phone with the official charger, I've been determined to make my own stand. My goal was to design a stand that would hold the phone at an angle on my desk, use only magnets to hold the phone, incorporate a Qi charger, and also to look super-clean. Well, I just finished it last night. It works well and I think it turned out good. Hopefully you guys like it and if anyone wants more info or pictures, I'll be happy to provide it

    Stand without the phone. The wood is a piece of walnut, oiled and waxed, with no magnets or charger visible from the front.
    bS5OjkF.png


    Stand with the phone stuck to it, you can see the "Charged" appear on screen and the battery charging icon, indicating that the phone is connected to the Qi charger, and you see the bottom of the phone is not resting on the desk. It's held up entirely by the magnets. Sorry for the photo quality on this one, it was taken with my GNEX.
    bopPFPq.jpg
    143
    This looks AWESOME!:cool: it looks so relaxed. you should make a tutorial for this :p

    it looks awesome mate, keep it going. :)

    Thanks!

    Here's a run down of how I made it.

    Materials:
    Wood: approx 1/2" x 12" x 2 5/8"
    Magnets: 1/2" x 1/8" N48 Discs
    Qi PCB/Coil, either buy direct or yank out of another charger.

    I started with a block of walnut which was 1/2" thick, 12" long, and just a little narrower in width than the phone itself (about 2 5/8). I made it narrower than the phone, because my fingers naturally extend past the sides of the phone when I grip it. This makes it relatively simple to center the phone, left-to-right, on the stand. I started by cutting the 12" board down so I had one piece that was 6 1/4" long which would be the face, and the remaining piece would be used as the base as well as some waste area to dial in the hole depths with the drill press.

    Next, I had to lay out the holes for the magnets. The metal discs in the phone back are 49mm from the top edge of the phone to the center of the upper-most disc. The 4 discs have their centers at the corners of a 36mm x 36mm square. This began with finding the center-line of my block of wood, and then drawing parallel lines, at a distance of 18mm on either side of the center line.
    5MdzLpjl.png
    aZ3Efyfl.png


    Then, I drew perpendicular lines at a distance of 49mm + 5/16" reveal (~2 1/4") from the top. And another line, 36mm further down from that.
    PIy4ypcl.png
    qNlhpRPl.png


    Lastly, I had to find the center of the square so I could accurately drill for the coil.
    1zccHSRl.png


    Then, off to the drill press to drill the holes. I drill the 4 holes for the magnets first, using a 1/2: Forstner bit. You could also use a brad point bit, or a twist bit, but the entry hole wont be as clean with the latter. Then, I used a 2" Forstner bit to drill for the coil. I drilled each hole about as far as I could go without the spur (center point) of the drill exiting the face of the board.
    E1Tb4Jel.png
    Guu2k4ll.png


    When all was said and done, the result was this:
    WOl79uKl.png

    The deeper you can get the hole, the better. This really is a game of millimeters. When I drilled the holes initially, a single magnet in each hole wasn't enough to hold the phone. But, with two magnets in each hole, the phone couldn't detect the charger through all the wood. I drilled the the larger hole as deep as I dared, because air has a lower permittivity (easier for EM fields to pass through) than wood. Still, even with a bunch of wood hogged out, the distance was still too much. I had to make the magnet recesses even deeper in the hopes that single magnets would hold the phone, thus allowing the charging coil to sit super low in the block of wood. After having drilled those magnet recesses as deep as possible with a drill bit and not being able to drill any deeper, it was time for a more risky manuever.

    HGsjj3Kl.png

    That's a 1/2" carbide end-mill chucked into the drill press. I bored straight down, getting the holes to withing 1/32" of the face of the block of wood.
    SAFETY WARNING! This worked for me and I didn't, at any time, feel that I was in harms way. The wood, router bit, and drill press did not, at any time give any indication of any impending problems. Still, router bits are designed for the significantly higher speeds of a router, and drill presses are only designed for axial loading. If you are going to ever put a end mill in a drill press, please do not induce sideways loading on the bit. Go read up on drill presses and tool tapers and why this would be a bad idea. Do this at your own risk! END OF SAFETY WARNING

    Next, I laid out the recess for the PCB of the charger. I took the coil of the charger and affixed it to the back of the PCB using double-sided foam tape. Then put the coil into the hole and traced around the PCB.
    5FiKDHxl.png
    vZFDweYl.png
    bRkf6rLl.png


    Then, with chisels and a router plane, I excavated the waste. You can use a router, drill bits, whatever you want to eliminate the waste. I also cut out a recess for the coil wires that looped up to the PCB, and I also included a 1/2" thick slot to accommodate the USB plug and cable. After this was all done the piece looked like this:
    zLEPhBxl.png


    Next, came the base. This is from the same block of wood as the front, so the color and dimensions all match the front block. Both ends received a bevel of whatever angle felt "right". I held the front block on my desk and angled it back until it was pleasing. This then was set as the angle for all the bevels. If I had to guess....it'd be about 15-20 degrees.
    cxXFgdFl.png


    I also had to cut a 1/4" in groove, from front to back, to accomodate the USB cable. The base ends up looking like this (as a note, the top face in the picture will be resting on the desk. I turned it bottoms-up to show the groove)
    9aJhPUQl.png


    Next, I glued the base to the front using an extra thick/gel super-glue, as this was a fairly difficult piece to clamp. Traditional wood glues would be difficult, but not impossible, to use. Using the same glue, I glued the magnets into their recesses. I made the polarities all line up, so on the face, all the magnets have the same North-South orientation. I don't think this is critical though.
    H6PDyVhl.png


    Lastly, I dropped in the coil. It is not held in place with any glue or screws. The coil has a ferrite backer and the magnets end up being close enough to hold the PCB in place. They don't actually contact the magnets, but I doubt it matters as the coil appears to be insulated. The USB cable slides up through the bottom through the channel that was cut earlier in the front block.
    O2HXpN3l.png


    Turn it over, plug it in, and you are set.

    The only other thing remaining which I plan on doing, is ordering some nano-suction polyurethane material to held hold the stand to the desk. But that's just peel'n stick and should be easy enough for most people to figure out.
    10
    impressive! charger model?

    Just ordered the coil/board itself. But, it appears to be the same coil used in any of the cheap chinese Qi chargers based on some of the other pictures around here.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/QI-w...arging-accessory-DIY-wireless/1325747887.html

    Only $12 shipped. Takes about 2-3 weeks to arrive from China
    9
    Hey - just wanted to post photos of the stand i drafted up and had 3d printed based on yours
    This was a great little project and should look awesome on my desk - thanks for the great idea!
    4
    I would say if your going to make a small batch maybe just fab the wood and let the people that order one get the coil and magnets separate

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

    I'll probably start with a set of ready-made ones, and if there is enough interest, I can do just the wood frames and let people supply magnets/coils. It avoids the double-shipping charges (shipping to me, and shipping to others). Heck, I probably could even offer a choice of woods. Walnut, Cherry, Maple I have on hand, and I could provide others, depending on demand. That wood though wouldn't be cheap. Probably like $25-30+shipping (nothing set in stone yet of course). I'll keep you guys posted after my first batch....