TUCKER, GA - iPhone 4's all-glass backplate has the potential to ruin the elegance of Apple’s design through breakage, scratching and dropping. The antidote is furniture-grade walnut, birdseye maple, ebony maccassar and other fine woods, says a Tucker, GA shop, Material6 . 

Encasing Apple products in wood is not new. Grove llc, Portland, OR produces bamboo cases for  Apple's immensely popular iPad2. The handcrafted bamboo case joined Grove's line of iPhone4 cases. 

But the slim profile of the latest line of iPhone 4s has added to the challenges. Device owners are removing the original case and replacing the blank backs with wood or colorful acrylics, risking voiding their warranties to avoid monotony of gunmetal grey, black and white electronic devices.

Beyond phones, the advent of new tablet readers and computers means a marketplace for personalized cases is exploding. Amazon Kindles and Barnes & Noble Nook readers, similar to Apple iPads in shape and profile, have established millions of prospects looking to distinguish their readers, for aesthetics, or more practically, to avoid picking up someone elses' from a table.

Carved Products, Elkhart, IN, has been custom crafting beautiful wood cases for iPhone and iPad for some time. "We don't use any stains or dyes, we let the beauty of the wood shine through," says owner John Webber, who makes his living as a web designer. He sells his wares on his own site, and through etsy.com

Recently he expanded offerings to include cases for Kindle Fire readers. Offerings include paldao, sycamore, redwood burl, ash burl, and bamboo, with plain finishes,  standard or custom carved designs.  Weber uses a CNC router and laser engraver, and aslo works in walnut and reconstituted mahogany. He sells wood cases through Etsy and at his own website.

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