Introduction: USB Headphone Stand With RGB LED Lighting
I had to clean up my desktop a bit because it was just a mess, so I made this headphone stand inspired by Hearthstone!
Step 1: Cut the Wooden Base Shapes
I'll use pine wood, as other types of wood is kinda hard to come by here in Norway. I'm going to create a base first, which will consist of three layers - two made of wood and one in the middle made of acrylic glass. I'll deal with the wood first, and cut two circles out of it. As you can see, I'll have to use clamps to keep it firmly in place. The shape of the circles aren't exactly perfect at this point, but I'm going to fix that up later so I'm not cutting too accurately here. They're all 18 cm in diameter.
Step 2: Cut Out a Back Piece
I also need some sort of rod to make a hook that I can hang a headset on, and I decided to use wood and a metal bathroom hook for that purpose. To make the design a little more interesting, I'm making the wooden back piece concave instead of straight. I'm using the jigsaw again to cut it out, as I find it to be the easiest tool to use. I made it 25 cm tall from the point where it meets the base, which is about 5 cm thick, so the whole thing is 30 cm long.
Step 3: Acrylic Piece for Base
It's not possible to write on this type of plastic with a pencil, so what I usually do in these cases is I take a marker and just tape it to a compass, and then you can make a cirle. Doesn't look super intelligent, but it works. I'm using a scroll saw to cut the acrylic, as it's easily controllable. Again, 18 cm diameter.
Step 4: Create Slot for Backpiece on Acrylic
To be able to fit the back piece, I had to make a slot for it on all the three layers. I just marked it up, making sure it's all centered, and then used the scroll saw again. I added half a centimeter extra on the acrylic layer only, as it would be problematic to try to sand or file that away later and it won't be visible anyway. The wood pieces have to sit flush with the back, though, so I won't add the extra space on those.
Step 5: Make Holes to Line Up the Base Pieces
Before I continue I have to drill a small hole through the center of each piece because I have to be able to line them up perfectly, and now I can do that by pushing a nail through. Nice.
Step 6: Cut Out the Slots on the Wooden Pieces
Now I have to add the slots to the wood pieces. As I added a bit of extra space to the acrylic I have to adjust that, as I want the wood at the top and the bottom to sit flush against the back hand that'll hold the headset. I can now use the acrylic to mark up where to cut the wood. The scroll saw does a good job with the wood as well, so these circles are fixed in no time. In the pictures you can see what the pieces look like this far.
Step 7: Make the Base Pieces Sit Flush
Now I'm going to sand down all the pieces using a sheet sander, and then it's time to give each layer a different look and function. I'm just clamping them together so I can sand them down and try to make them as flush as possible. If I had an orbital sander I think that would be more efficient, but I'm using what I've got.
Step 8: Construct the Logo Design
I'll deal with the top layer first, as this piece requires the most work. This is where I'll create the Hearthstone logo. The logo contains a lot of geometric shapes, which makes it easy to construct and recreate by hand. I found that it was nice to have a print out anyway, as I can use it as a template to measure the distances and size of the shapes while I'm drawing it. I mostly used a ruler and a compass to make it, and then just cut out the center spiral and drew around that afterwards. That way, everything is proportionate and accurate.
Step 9: Route Out Inner Circle
Along the way I thought that it could be cool to try to route out the inner circle to give the design some more depth, and also to give myself some experience using a router. It was way easier than I'd thought, even though I was kinda scared of ruining the wood. With some touch-up sanding, it turned out great, and I just had to draw the inner spiral again.
Step 10: Remove Mass From Center Spiral
Next I had to cut out the spiral. To get clean, straight holes I'm using a drill press to remove as much mass as I can. A minor damage happened while I was drilling - the wood cracked along the grain, so I just added some duct tape to the back while finishing the drilling, and I'll just remove the broken piece afterwards, fix it up and glue it on later.
I didn't really wanna take any chances with the drill press after the cracking incident, so I cleaned up the rest with a Dremel. When I was done with the rough shape I filed the indents in the design, and then I glued back on that broken piece using regular wood glue.
Step 11: Using the Woodburning Tool
Finally I could finish up the design with a woodburning tool. I just taped the piece to the table so it wouldn't budge, and then I could start drawing. I haven't used this tool before, so I did bump the upper part of the pen onto the wood a couple of times, which left some unwanted marks here and there, but most of it was removable with the sander. After cleaning up with the vac it looks quite nice.
Step 12: Sand Down the Acrylic
I have to sand down the surface of the acrylic glass as I don't want to be able to see the underside of the stand, and also I need to make the light visible. The sides of the glass still look very rough, and altogether it looks more finished if the edges are smooth. I started sanding with wet sandpaper at grit 600, and worked my way up through 1000, 1500 and 2000. After that, I finished off with some rubbing compound and wax polish, which made it real nice and shiny.
Step 13: Create Sockets for LEDs
I want the acrylic to be edge-lit, as it makes the light look brighter. Three holes placed around the spiral should suffice. I marked up where I wanted the holes, predrilled it and used a hole saw bit to create the holes. Last picture shows what the acrylic looks like when it's finished.
Step 14: Fixing the Bottom Piece
Now that I've got the top and middle pieces finished, I can fix the bottom. I'm marking up the holes first so I know where the light should pass through, and then I know what I have to make space for. After that I drew a circle, adjusted it a bit, and then drilled a hole as a starting point for the jigsaw.
Step 15: Fitting the Back Hand
The next part was a bit tricky and grindy. I had to try to create a perfect socket for the back hand to slide into, but it had to be so tight that you had to hammer it in place, but not so tight that I couldn't get it to fit. It's just a bit of trial and error.
Step 16: Giving the Back Some Shape
When I got it to fit snuggly I could start shaping the back piece. I want the back to complete the circle, so I'm marking up where I have to remove mass first. A line down the back will help to remind me of where the center should be, and where I'm not supposed to remove anything. I went over the whole thing with a planer first, then a file. At the top I made it rounded.
Step 17: Adding a Hole for the Hook
I have to drill a hole at the top that will fasten the bathroom hook. Predrilled first, then drilled a hole as thick as the screw, and finally counter-sinking to fit the screw head. It's placed 2 cm from the top.
Step 18: Staining the Wood
Finally we've come to the most satisfying part, which is staining the wood. I know a lot of people prefer the lighter shades of wood, but I really enjoy those dark wood shades, and as I can't get a hold of any nice types of wood like walnut, for example, wood stain will have to suffice. But, with two layers I think it looks great and it makes the woodburning a bit more subtle.
Step 19: Glue It All Together
When the stain was dry I could finally assemble it all! As I'm gluing wood on acrylic, polyurethane glue probably works better than regular wood glue, as it's made for wood on other materials. I'm trying to add a very small amount, as I don't want any glue spillage around the edges. After adding a couple of clamps, I used wood glue to attach the back piece - and I really had to hammer it in, as it was quite tight.
Step 20: Add Bathroom Hook
It's dried for 4 hours, and I'm actually done with the woodworking now. But before I continue to deal with the electronics, I'm just gonna add the metal handle to the top.
Step 21: Connect LED Controller to LED-strip
The only thing that remains now is to make it light up, and I'm gonna keep the electronics simple. I found this USB LED controller which is just what I need for a desktop headphone stand with RGB LEDs that take 5 volts as input. I'll fasten that to an RGB LED strip. I always like to add a shrink tube to secure the wires, so I'll do that - after I've made sure that the arrows on the LED controller and the LED-strip line up. Nice, I'll put that away for just a bit, because I need to make a slot for the wire first.
Step 22: File Path for Wire and Glue LED-strip
Making the slot will require a ton of filing, but I didn't want to take any chances with the Dremel or something similar at this point, so I tried to be patient.
As I said, I wanted to make the electronics as simple as possible, meaning solder-free LED-strips - using hot glue I glued one piece at a time, let it dry in between, and tried to wrap it as elegantly as I could without crossing the spiral on the top layer. Doesn't look fantastic, I know, but that's not too important to me. I just made sure to test the light every time I made some weird twist to make sure nothing went wrong with the LEDs. One thing to notice is that the censor on the LED controller is hidden underneath, so whenever I want to change the colour or lighting effect I'll have to lift it up and point the controller at it, but that's not an issue to me, at least. Now I can flip it over, plug in the light, and enjoy the view!
Step 23: Finished!
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and it was fun to try out some different woodworking tools such as the router and the woodburning tool. Overall a fun project, and it definitely cleaned up my desk a bit and made it look a lot nicer!