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Headphone Holders

This is a father+son project that I worked on with my son, Justin. This is a fairly quick and straightforward project which works great as a parent/child project.

Justin had the idea that he'd like to build a pair of headphone holders. Like almost all kids (and adults!) these days, he has some portable technology. (phone, iPod, mp3 player, or whatever it is you have in your family!)

He wanted a way to hang up his nice headphones, rather than just dump them on his nightstand. He asked me if we could build something like this, and gave me a few design suggestions. When we did a search for "headphone holders" or "headphone stands" we tended to find two styles of holders. There were a lot of minimalist stick-like or hook-like designs, as well as a bunch of curved head-shaped objects.

The more we looked at it, we thought that if it was going to be head shaped, why not make it look more like an actual head. So I designed in some eye holes. Then we added a mouth, so we would have a place to wrap up the cord.

Shown here is my prototype. It came out sort of "Frankenstein-like", I think, which was pretty cool. We next set out to make a couple more, but we're going o ramp up the design with some paint and creativity!

I glued up some random short pieces of hardwood that I had in my shop. I used elm, but you could use anything. Even some 2x6 lumber would be a good idea if you're going to paint it anyway.

The finished piece is going to be 4"x2"x13". As well there is a 4"x7" base to go underneath it.


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We took the blanks and jointed one edge and then planed them down to thickness before cutting them to final size on the tablesaw (not shown).

We used Justin's headphones on the prototype to arrive at a good curve for the top of the head. Then we used the highly scientific "tracing a yogurt tub" method to duplicate this curve onto our workpieces.
This was followed by measuring and marking for where the "ear notches" go and the mouth opening.


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Over on the bandsaw we took turns cutting out the curves and the ear notches.

We drilled half-inch diameter holes with a forstner bit for the eyes -- but only on one of the headphone holders. Our designs were diverging.
My homemade disc sander was used to smooth out the top curve, and did a great job.
The Oscillating spindle sander is also a help, and then a bit with the Random Orbit Sander, and then a bit of hand sanding.
Then we cut out more pieces from my short/scrap pile to make the bases.
We used a cove bit on the router table to add a decorative detail around the top edge of the base.
Then it was on to the painting station. By this point we were actually working on three headphone stands and not just two. (Don't ask, sometimes things just happen.)
After the base colour coat, some painter's tape was used to mask off areas for for adding other detail colours.
We used some spray adhesive to attach some "goggle eyes" to our minions which I had printed out... oh yeah, in case you haven't figured it out yet, we went with a "minion" theme for two of the headphone holders. If you do an internet image search for "minion goggles" you should find some options to cut out and glue onto your own projects.

Here are two links: one or two (hopefully these links stick around!)

After this I sprayed on several coats of rattle-can spray lacquer to seal over the paper eyes as well as give a protective coating to the whole piece.
The other holder was going with a more natural appearance with a light stain.


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To attach the base we first positioned it carefully and then popped in a couple 23-gauge brads. This helped to hold it firmly while we drilled and screwed in some wood screws. A bit of paste wax really helps with this process, even after pre-drilling.

And thanks for coming along on this trip. Here is where we ended the video. You might notice that the one holder has no base. That was on purpose as we plan to mount that one to the wall, rather than have it freestanding on a desk or table.

Finally, here is a small photo album of our headphone stands. You might notice that we made a couple more... Like I said at the beginning, this is a quick and fun project!

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive
Rust-Oleum clear Lacquer
Watco Spray Lacquer

Hitachi 10.8V Tools
DeWalt DW735 Planer
3rd party blades for DW735
Grizzly G0513ANV 2HP Bandsaw (similar model, not an exact match!)

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See Also:

Theo's Castle

iPod/iPhone Passive Speaker

X-Wing Birdhouse

Knockdown Guitar Stand