Phone Holder with Avengers Logo Inlay
I am a huge fan of the Marvel movies! I still remember seeing Iron Man in theaters and being immediately hooked. To celebrate the release of Avengers: Endgame, I made a phone holder with the Avengers logo inlayed with epoxy. This will be for my desk at my full-time job both for a little added geekiness and to show off something I made myself.
Up Spiral Router Bit
Vinyl Cutter (helpful, but not necessary)
Steps for Build
Cut Scraps to Size & Layout Joinery
Set Up Avengers Logo Template
Route Avengers Logo
Glue Up & Finishing
1 - Cut Scraps to Size & Layout Joinery
Since I’m using scraps for this build, I made sure to pick pieces I had room to break down a bit. The width needed to be about the size of my phone. Once marked, I used my table saw to rip each piece to final width.
For the joinery, I used my phone itself to mark where the through pieces would come through. This will have a few functions, so the sizing is important. Not only will this joint keep the back leg secure to the top, but the through pieces will support the phone on the stand. The middle bing cut out will allow a cord to pass through to charge the phone while it is on the stand.
2 - Cut Joinery
Before making any cuts, I rook some time to ensure all of the cuts would be as accurate and consistent as possible. To accomplish this, I attached some scraps to my table saw miter gauge. These created a fence and two stop blocks.
The two stop blocks were set so that each corresponded to one side of the joints This way, I could set the piece to one edge of the joint, then do the same with the other side on the other side of the saw blade. With both sides established, The space between would be where material is removed from the center of the joint.
Once one of the pieces was cut, I could repeat the same steps with the corresponding side of the joint. I intentionally left the pieces just undersize.d This was so I could refine the cuts and get a perfect, snug fit with sand paper and files.
3 - Set Up Avengers Logo Template
The Avengers logo has to be carved out so the epoxy has somewhere to go. The easiest way to do this would be with a CNC, but I do not have one yet. I used a vinyl cutter to cut the logo out so I could adhere the vinyl directly to the workpiece. This will give me a stencil to route out.
Because the phone stand s relatively small, there is not a ton of surface area for clamps to keep everything secure. To remedy this, I grabbed a large scrap and covered it and the phone stand with blue tape. I put the CA glue on the phone stand and sprayed accelerant on the scrap. The CA glue will keep the pieces secured tightly together, but the blue tape will let the two pieces come apart without issues.
Before starting up the router, I cut the outline of the Avengers logo by hand to give me a much better chance of clearing material out right to the line. I use da box cutter on the curves and some sharp chisels for the straight lines. While you could use any chisels you have on hand, I used the largest chisel I could on each section to get the straightest lines.
4 - Route Avengers Logo
I used my cordless router to remove the material in the logo. This is not hard to do with a guide. There are two keys to keep in mine when routing like this.
Take the plunge cut slow. I rested one edge of the router on the workpiece and kept it rotating as I plunged.
Only route one face at a time. If you plunge in a straight line, there will be material in all directions except one. This can cause the bit to bind up, jump around, and create chip out. Taking small passes at sections keeps only one face in contact with the bit and lessens the likelihood that binding will occur.
I also found it helpful to route out the middle first, then come back and carefully route the edges of the logo. This kept the edges as the one face left to route automatically and let me focus only on the line and not what else was around the bit.
Once most of the logo was routed our, I came back with some sharp chisels to refine the straight edges. The corners required this since the bit is round.
5 - Epoxy Pour
I’m using boat epoxy to add the Avengers logo inlay. This epoxy is cleat, so will show the colors I add to it very well. For this pour, I’m using both dark and light blue to give a little gradient, then a touch of white for some highlights.
Once all three colors were mixed, I did the pour. For the Avengers logo, I wanted the top to be lighter than the bottom. I poured the light blue first from the top, then poured the dark blue from the bottom. Once both were throughout the logo, I could use a stir stick to slightly mix them to give the gradient.
The white is not going to be as noticeable as the blues. I added some to the end of a stir stick and just put a line of two where I wanted it, then worked it in.
To keep bubbles from forming while it cured, I hit the epoxy quickly with bursts from a propane torch. The heat can make the epoxy cure faster if it is left on the epoxy, so quick, moving bursts are definitely the way to go.
6 - Glue Up & Finishing
Once the epoxy cured, I used a card scraper to remove most of the over pour. After most of it was gone, I came back with my random orbit sander with 150 grit to get everything flush.
Before glueing up, I continued up through the grits up to 320 on all surfaces and 400 on the epoxy. I made sure not to sand the inside of the joints though so the glue would adhere.
The glue up was extremely easy. I just added glue to the inside of the joint and pyt the two pieces together. Using a straw, I removed any glue squeeze out before it dried down on finishing sanding.
Once the glue dried, I hand sanded just a bit in spots with 400 to prep for finish. I wiped off any dust, then applied two coats of Simple Finish with Wax from Maker Brand Co. This finish is very easy to apply and looks amazing on both the mahogany and epoxy.
I am pretty happy with how my Avengers Phone Holder turned out. The finish is absolutely awesome and completely smooth. This was my first time using epoxy and, while I did pop most of the bubbles, there are a few that cured and left small holes. That aside, this will be a fantastic addition to my desk and remind me of fun times in the shop and of the next Marvel film theories.