Special: How to make an iPod docking station

Looking at the prices of dock bases from the apple brand, I'm sure you'll be interested in making a practical base by recycling materials we already have at home. We can also use it to charge and synchronise our iPod without removing it from our case.

These are the materials and tools we will need:

- The lid or top of the iPod case.
- The dock adapter included in the box.
- The iPod USB cable.
- A piece of cardboard in the same colour as our iPod, DIN-A4 size, to be able to print on it.
- An indelible marker pen.
- A box cutter or a more precise tool, such as a X-ACTO.
- Scissors.
- Contact glue or similar for gluing plastic.
- Paper glue (we can use the same as before).
- A hot melt glue gun or a tube of silicone or similar.
- A multi-purpose tool for cutting plastic and filing (you can use a file for filing and the cutter for cutting, but it will be more difficult to do so).
- Some adhesive tape.
- A rule.

Tools and materials

Step 1: Coating the inside and cutting out the box

We must print the template (download here) on the white side of the cardboard. It is important that when you print it, you print it to scale 1:1, without any reduction or enlargement, or the template will not work.

(In Adobe Reader: File-> Print, and under Page Handling, select as Page Scaling: None)

Printed template

We cut along all the continuous lines and also cut out the striped rectangle in the centre.

Cutting out the template

Cutting out the centre of the template

Once we have cut it all out (don't forget the four small stripes on what will be future eyelashes to hook them together) it should look like this:

Trimmed template

Template cut out and turned over

Carefully fold (we can help ourselves with a ruler, placing it on top of the paper, following the line, and fold) inwards along the broken lines. It will look something like this:

Folded insole

Now we have to join the two tabs as shown in the picture, fitting the one with the groove at the top with the one with the groove at the bottom, like teeth. Like this:

Assembly of the template

We put glue on the rectangle shown in the picture. We do this process on both sides.

Gluing the template

Fold the large flap inwards and press it down so that it sticks properly. Do the same on the other side.

Finishing gluing the template

Glued insole

Gently bend the sides as shown in the picture to give it a rounded shape and make it easier to fit inside the lid of the iPod case.

iPod dock template

We carefully insert it into the inside of the lid, as mentioned above.

Introduction of the template

Template and finished mould

With an indelible marker, and taking care not to move it from its place, we mark a rectangle on the plastic, following the outline of the cardboard, and then cut it out.

Setting the mould

Marked mould

Cut with the multi-purpose tool and a suitable disc along the line we have previously marked, to remove the painted part of the image. If you don't have a tool like the one shown, you can cut it with a cutter, but it will cost you more work. The cut doesn't have to be perfectly straight, because it won't show, but don't deviate too much from the line or it will show (you have a margin of about 2-3mm).

Cutting out the mould

Once we have cut the inner rectangle, we will make a mark in the centre of one of the sides of the box.

Marking the hole for the cable

With a file accessory from the multi-purpose tool, we file a small area of the case, so that the USB cable can pass through later and is not pinched, so that it has some room to move around. This should be enough:

Cable hole

We have now completed the first step. We will get this:

Finished iPod cradle

Step 2: Mount the cable

First of all we take the USB cable and insert the end where the iPod connects through the bottom of the dock adapter. Make sure you insert it on the correct side, so that the front of the connector (the one with the little drawing on it) is on the front of the dock adapter.

Cable and bracket

Inserting the cable through the bracket

We place the cable well, and holding it with our fingers, we check that it is positioned in such a way that when we turn it over we do not see any groove or space.

Rear view of bracket and cable

With the hot melt glue gun (or with silicone) we glue the end of the USB cable to the dock base, using only a little glue, as shown in the following images:

Gluing the bracket and cable

Glued bracket and cable

Once the glue has dried, we recover the box and insert the cable with the adapter through the hole in the box.

Inserting the support into the mould

With contact glue or a similar glue (used to glue plastic, or the same hot-melt glue gun) we glue the dock adapter to the iPod case. Be careful that the glue doesn't come out when you press it, because it will be difficult to remove and it won't look clean and pretty.

Gluing support and mould

When the glue has dried, we turn the box upside down and place the cable in the position shown in the following image. Then we pass the end of the USB cable that we connected to the computer through the loop that we have previously formed, following the steps in the images, to form a knot (loosely). The cable will come out through the back of the dock base, passing through the area that we have removed and filed in the previous steps.

Tie knot to prevent tugging

Inserting the cable

Loose knot

With some adhesive tape we fix the cable structure to the box, so that when we put it on the table, the cable is not loose and makes the base not stable. By sticking the tape, the cable will not move and the base will be completely stable.

Tying the knot

We now have a dock for any type of iPod and can use it with or without an iPod case.

Finished iPod holder

More photos of the finished dock and a 5G iPod nano with case:

End iPod support

Finished iPod dock

Rear view of the finished iPod dock

iPod dock

In less than half an hour we will have the dock ready. Once we have it done, we can change the interior design whenever we want. We only have to print the template again and cut it out in any other colour cardboard. We can also print the template and then print a design on top of it. Another option is to do it on cardboard and then paste a page from a comic book or magazine on top of it. Then we cut it in the same way as explained in the tutorial and we can achieve a very good finish. Truly 100% customisable.

Any questions about the dock; Link.

Full tutorial PDF in Spanish by How to do; Link.

9 thoughts on “Especial: Cómo hacer una base dock para iPod”

  1. where can i get the adapter for the dock base? i have ipod 4 touch. it is not available :/

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