Project Brief: Wireless Doorbell

My wife conducts weddings. One location where she does this has a cheap wireless doorbell system, and the plastic case for the button itself got corroded and ugly.

So, I disassembled the plastic button to get at the actual circuit board. Then I selected some nice wood stock and measuring devices, and started designing.

First, I cut the button piece. This was cut from recovered Red Oak (it had spent some years being a wine barrel). I used supports, but it was a one-sided cut.

Next is the main body of the piece, cut from lighter wood. This is a two-sided cut: the basic shape of the button holder is the one side, and the hollowed out interior with areas for the button and circuit board is the other. I don’t have a flip-jog, but the accuracy from the two sides on this project didn’t need to be outstanding.

You can see there were two attempts here. The first time, I used an 0.0625" ball cutter. The thin cut around the edge got clogged with chips, and skipped. The second attempt, I used an 0.125" ball cutter and vacuumed a few times during the process.
Next, I flipped the piece, and did the hollowing cut. This used an 0.125" end mill. I don’t know what this lighter wood is - I had selected soft wood from the Carbide Wizard, but I think perhaps I should have chosen hardwood. Part of the way through the finishing phase, the cutter bound briefly and the servos skipped, resulting in an aborted cut. It was tsill usable, however, so I didn’t both to redo it.

I sanded the bits down a bit, and tested to see that the button portion had clearance. Yup! They work.

Now I separated the main object from the larger piece using an X-acto. I smoothed the edges, and treated the pieces with polyurethane sealant. I slotted in the circuit board, and it all fit together nicely.

(Not shown are the screws and the mounting hardware that loops around the circuit board in the slots by the battery.)
Finally, I put it up at the facility.

My final conclusion is that it’s kind of ugly, but in a much more homey/craftsy way than the corroded plastic it replaced. And hey! It works!


I don’t think its ugly at all. With a little time the patina will make it look nice and rich.

A coat of epoxy resin would have been nice to protect the wood and give it some shine. Looks good to me though.