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22 September 2017
Our Flagship Product
We’ve been designing and making iPhone cases in Portland, OR, since 2009. We’re open about how we do it—yet our construction method has never been duplicated. Why? Because our cases are truly Made the Hard Way.

Playing with Lasers

Each case starts as a solid plank of American hardwood. We use our industrial Austrian laser to cut precise finger joints for the corners, cutouts for the buttons, and tiny holes for the speaker. Now it’s ready to move on to assembly.

The process is too complicated and finicky to outsource. Trust us—we tried.

Hold Fast

In assembly, we carefully glue the four pieces of the case together and place it into a custom jig—alignment is critical, because the holes need to be in their exact final location. The glue cures in a temperature controlled oven that our engineer built from an old fridge.
The end grain of wood is notoriously weak—using finger joints at each corner minimize this weakness, and allows us to create the strongest all-wood case we can.

Into the Machine

Our iPhone cases are built with incredible precision. Traditional woodworking routers aren’t good enough. Instead, we’ve modified two mills designed to machine metal parts for the aerospace and medical industries. They give us the precision we need.

We switch between seven different tungsten carbide cutters to cut the correct shape from the wood and fit test every single case with a real iPhone to ensure that it’s not too loose, not too tight, but just right.

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding

Hand sanding wood is the best way to get to the ideal texture. We have a prescribed number of steps and strokes to the sanding process for each case, moving from coarse to fine grit sandpaper.
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A Smooth Finish

Each case is hand finished with a mixture of natural oil and wax. The process is time consuming, but it highlights the individuality and character of the wood.
We hand place tiny wood buttons to complete your case. Then we do one last fit test to make sure everything is golden.

From Our Hands to Yours

As soon as they’re finished, we carefully wrap and box up the cases and ship them out our workshop door. Our shipping station is right next to our final assembly, which is right next to the lasers, which is right next to the woodshop - all under the same roof.

Each finished case is a little victory.

Choose Wisely...
Pick the all wood Bumper for a minimal look, the wood and leather backed cases for more protection and visual appeal, or the wallet case for wrap around protection and card-carrying functionality.

Further Reading

Design Inspires What You Do
We at Grovemade believe the tools you immerse yourself in reflect who you are and the meaning behind your work.

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