A couple of weeks ago, we came across a great post by Charles Starrett on iLounge called iLounge reader creates all-wood iPod mini, accessories. We were blown away!
Not only did Australian Josh Darrah create a wooden iPod mini, he also carved a classic iTrip mini.
Our crack investigation team (me) reached out to Josh for an interview. Unfortunately, management didn’t feel the need to send me to Australia, so I had to settle on email.
D. You are clearly a gifted wood worker, when did you begin carving?
J. Wow, thanks so much for the compliment. I’ve been carving little wood projects just for fun for around 9 years now. I started carving little chess sets that I’d lose interest with after making only the king and half a rook, wooden rings as gifts for friends, hardwood covered photo albums that were waaaay too heavy, a few gandalf styled long curved pipes when I was all crazy ‘into’ the lord of the rings books, and recently some bonsai display tables.
D. Who or what turned you on to wood working?
J. Most of my family are artistically creative, so luckily i’ve always been surrounded by people making things. My stepdad is a carpenter by trade, and my grandad has always been a keen maker of things and had such a perfect set of old tools in his shed. I guess that’s what helped me eventually to start making things from wood and realise just what a perfect medium is can be. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but now I’m one of those people who simply loves working with wood.
D. What got you inspired to encase an iTrip, iPod and dock in wood?
J. I think it was just as simple as a random thought one day. I was holding my ipod mini and had the thought ‘‘ooh, I wonder what this would look like with a solid wood case…’’. So I guess there wasn’t much inspiration aside from the fact I just plain love wood? I then was given a new ipod nano for christmas last year, which of course meant that my poor old first ipod would now be sent to retirement village tech box with my old discman. But that also meant I could now have the courage to try the wood mod on my mini. The idea of having the ‘soul’ of my old mini (ridiculously corny and sentimental I know) in a nice piece of wood was just too fun of a thought to not try out.
As for the itrip mini, there was no way I could ignore modding it in wood to match the ipod, especially because it was the trusty sidekick to my mini for all those years of driving and free fm band searching. The wooden dock was made one night simply because I was project-bored and dying to make something else out of wood.
D. Why did you choose light red cedar for your iTrip over a different type of wood?
J. Since I had already chosen the darker australian red cedar for the ipod, I wanted a wood colour for the itrip that would stand out yet complment that dark cedar. I also loved how the itrip was pretty iconic with it’s pure white colourway back in the day, so I grabbed a much lighter block of red cedar to pay a little bit of tribute to that white old housing.
D. Was tearing open the products unnerving, or are you comfortable with your wiring talents?
J. I’m actually zero-skilled with wiring talents, and I don’t even own a soldering iron. I wish that it was more unnerving for me when I was tearing open the products to mod them though. I paid the price for being so blasé because I was so excited to get to work on the mod. In the first 30 seconds of taking apart the ipod mini, I snapped the headphone jack right off the logic board. It was horrible. I didn’t learn my lesson and in the carving process in that I actually got sawdust all through the ipod and broke the click wheel’s sensor ribbon. I was such a little kid about it and ended up finishing the case with completely broken internals. Luckily I found a great repairer through ebay (ipod remedy) and they were able to fix everything up for me.
But when it came to the itrip I was able to be more careful. Since I had an old busted itrip to use as the test build, I was able to make the shell perfectly to fit and then just slide in the second working itrip’s internals.
D. Do you have any future plans to create other wooden versions of Griffin products?
J. I don’t have any plans to mod other griffin products with wood as yet, but if I see something and it gives me an idea, I’d love to get straight back into another wood modding project. That is unless Griffin has some product they simply want to donate?….ha ha.
D. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our community?
J. I hope that readers enjoyed my little project, and here’s to people who continue to create, mod and share. I love getting to see what other crafty people get up to. Thanks again for the interview, it’s been a pleasure.
Thanks for the interview Josh. Next time I hope we can meet in person.