Custom Peephole Cam Frames

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History

The peephole in the door to my apartment is an older style metal box that has a push-button on the outside which causes a striker to whack an internal bell. So essentially it’s a peephole doorbell. Ring makes a peephole camera doorbell, which I installed so that I could tell when packages were delivered. Like the original peephole doorbell, the Ring unit has an inner and an outer box. The outer box is the camera, peephole, motion sensor and doorbell button. The inside box contains the speaker and battery.

There are 4 apartments on my floor and our doors are literally just feet apart. Nobody ever seems to push the doorbell button. Instead, people seem to prefer to knock. Unless I am in the living room, if someone knocks on the door, I can’t tell whose door they’re knocking on. So naturally, I figured the Ring Peephole Cam would solve that issue, because here was this nice shiny button, and people seemed to notice the unit right away.

Unfortunately, the black button against the black background of the unit didn’t seem to be very noticeable to many people. On top of that, the Ring unit was much smaller than the original doorbell box, so the area around the outside of the Ring unit that was previously covered up by the original doorbell box was discolored compared to the rest of the door on the outside. The area under the original doorbell box also had a mounting hole that was now visible, so it stuck out. On the inside the door had been painted around the original doorbell box, so when I removed it, the area around the Ring unit was unpainted.

I decided to use my laser cutter / engraver to create a frame around the outside and inside of the doorbell to not only cover up the “blemishes”, but to also create a custom “Welcome” sign on the outside, and a custom sign for the inside. I saved all the parts for the original unit so I could put everything back the way it was, when I move out.

Project Goals

I had three goals with this project:

  1. Experiment with creating signs using basswood on my xTool Laserbox Rotary.
  2. Cover up the “blemishes” around the Peephole Cam Doorbell.
  3. Design things such that, when I move out, you can’t tell I ever changed anything.

The first and second goals are kind of self-explanatory. The third goal involved not adding any holes to the door. When I removed the original doorbell box, there were visible mounting holes, not covered up by the Ring unit. I decided to use one of these holes to mount the frame on the outside, as well as on the inside.

As I mentioned, I didn’t want to put any additional holes in the door, so I made use of the existing mounting hole (circled in red) that was exposed from the original doorbell. In this case, that hole is right on the center of the “C” in “WELCOME”.

On the inside, the existing mounting hole (circled in red) was near the bottom of the sign. These holes weren’t drilled after the fact. Each mounting hole was part of the design file for each sign and I am using the exact screw that goes in this hole on the original unit.

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