Ipad hard shell cases cost at least $40 to buy new. I was in college at the time and $40 was a lot of money. I decided to try my hand at building one out of scrap wood from my shop space.
¼ inch wood sheet
Wood burning kit
I started by measuring the Ipad size and tracing it over the ¼ inch wood sheet. I then traced a slightly larger outline outside the Ipad outline to provide space on either side of the Ipad for foam padding. I used the table saw to cut two identical pieces to the size of the outline. Then I cut three strips of wood that were slightly larger than the height of the Ipad. These pieces would form the walls of the case. I set the three strips of wood along the edges of the ¼ sheets and sandwiches the sheets above and below the strips of wood. I then adhered all the pieces together using a generous amount of wood glue. I used clamps to press all the pieces together and then left the frame overnight to dry. The next day I sanded down the edges and any excess wood glue. This is when I discovered a weakness in one of the ¼ inch sheets at the top of the case. The wood had a split and as a result could not handle as much weight. I cut another strip of the ¼ sheet and glued it onto the weak area. When that was done, I coated the surface with the polyurethane finish and let it dry overnight. I then glued thin strips of foam to the inside walls of the case to protect the sides of the Ipad and to make it fit snugly in the case. Just for fun, I used the wood burning kit to personalize the surface with a design.
As with any project, there is always room for improvement. If I went back and completed the project again, I would have used a more durable wood. As you can see in the first picture, the surface has sustained a series of scratches from rattling around in a backpack.
Percent Recycled: 95%
-Scrap wood from shop
-Foam from trash bin
-Polyurethane finish new from store