Light Switch Covers

We would like to make some custom wood light switch covers. Has anyone here done this, and do you have any tips you can share?
I was thinking of planing down some wood with my planer, tracing a plastic light switch cover onto the wood as a template, then using our scroll saw to cut out the final design.
Also, what wood types would be good for this application? I'd like to use Western Red Cedar as that's what we'll be using for trim in our house, but I'm concerned it might be too soft to use as a light switch cover?
Thanks,
Anthony
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I don't see why you couldn't use just about any wood you want - just put a durable finish on it and let it fully cure.
And there's a multitude of designs other than the simple rectangular shape, all you have to do is have the slot for the switch and the screw mounting holes aligned. Not much to that.
Mike
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I think you need a metal plate on the back to meet code.
I am not quoting the code, but that is the way the ones I saw were made.
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not in the US.
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The code is somewhat ambiguious on this using words like "suitable for the lowest temterature rated conductor entering the box" (90c/194f in the case of modern Romex) NEC 314.17(C) ... and "Suitable for conditions of use". The catch all that inspectors use is that all materials used must be listed by a recognized testing lab (like U/L) Art 110.3 That is a killer for any home built boxes or covers.
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Why not use a small metal plate and cover it with the "thin" wood plate. That is what I did in one instance and it looks quite good. My plate is birch.
Phil
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I have done this at our very old church when we had to put surface mounted boxes on the baseboards. I built a box around the metal box and then made outlet covers (electrical and sound) to go over them. The process works fine as you described it. However, you will also need to hog out some area on the back in order to get it to sit flat against the wall because of where the screw mounts the receptacle to the box. A rotary tool works well for this. Just slow going.
I used red oak. Even so, I have cracked a couple. I suspect you will have problems with the cedar. Give it a try though, it might work.
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It is possible to design a "slip" cover for the plate. I have made them out of Corian and Avonite. Wasn't the greatest but they were an experiment done with little overhead or tools. You create a jig the shape of a cover to hold a certain size. Using a pattern bushing big enough to leave an edge, hollow out the center (leave about 1/8" thickness) Cut out the holes with another jig or one incorporated into the first. They did this at work with a Pin router which worked much better.
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Recently did this for a neighbor. I used hard maple about 1/4" thick. Routed back by hand leaving about 1/4" at edge, traced and cut holes with scrollsaw, crooked so suggest practicing prior. If there's a next time I'll mark prior to routing. Be careful when countersinking for machine screws.
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Does anyone know where I can buy a router template for making switchplate covers?

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Bob,
Thanks for the first hand experience on making light switch covers.
I appreciate your feedback (and others who responded as well).
Take care,
Anthony

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