Wood products shops making accessories for electronics have to hustle as new technology releases arrive. The release of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - Apple's most popular phone ever - requires a slew of new wood case design. Each phone model provides unique challenges - changes in dimensions, positions of ports, etc.  Because Apple is secretive about its new phone models, wood case makers don't have a chance to engineer their products prior to introduction. 

www.Grovemade.com in Portland, OR,which has been selling iPhone wood cases since 2009, is still developing its iPhone 6S/Plus models.An early arrival on the iPhone case scene, Grovemade originated phone cases in bamboo, then diversified into fine hardwoods like walnut. Grovemade precision cuts cases on Haas CNCs, and hand finishes each one. 

Grovemade CNC production

Grovemade customers are clamoring for new model cases to fit the latest iPhones. "We understand you're eager to get the new case and we're just as eager to make these available. However, we also want to make sure that when we release a case it fits perfectly and has been thoroughly tested...we definitely know that the case itself and the timeline may not work for everyone but we're really grateful for all the patience and support from our loyal customers," the company said recently at Facebook.

Another example of a business centered on iPhones is KERF, founded in 2013 by Ben Saks, and "rooted in a passion for craft and an exacting attention to fine details" exactly like the phone. Saks, a designer, says he was unsatisfied with existing wood iPhone cases.

Kerf cases in spalted maple and bercote. 

While working at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture, he spent an evening in the wood shop and created the first KERF case. Over the course of six months, the KERF design was revised, tested, and revised again. In 2014 Dan Lynch, a Pittsburgh native and avid woodworker, joined the Kerf Team, become a partner. He makes use of cutting edge parametric design to implement continuous improvements to the Kerf product line. Perhaps for this reason Kerf has its cases on the market. 

The Pittsburgh, PA, business takes its name, naturally, from the term for the thickness of material removed from a saw blade which it measures in 1/1000 of an inch. "This standard woodworking term is important to KERF’s philosophy, as it represents the precision needed to make our cases."
Kerf cases in production
Kerf Cases use a patent-pending technology to hold a phone inside the case using friction, so no part of the front of a phone is obscured. Machined from a single piece of wood, the case is precise to 1/1000 of an inch and slips on and off. The approach involves lining the inside edges with thin cork, which grips the phone with a high coefficient of friction. The cork compresses slightly when the iPhone is inserted. It also serves as padding and absorbs shifts if wood experiences thermal expansion.
Kerf Sycamore wood case for iPhone 6 Plus
A Sycamore Wood case for the  iPhone 6 Plus is a good example of KERF's offerings. Priced at $249, it is machined from a single piece of quarter sawn wood and lined with natural cork.
Resin stabilized and dyed using a two-color process, it is hand-sanded to 1200 grit and rubbed with a two part finish. Adding to its earth-loving bona fides, the Sycamore is reclaimed from a storm damaged tree. 
Kerf sources hardwoods "that no other case maker can offer; we specialize in highly figured, quartersawn, and live edge cases." 

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