Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wooden iPad/iPhone/iPod stands

Online one could find many different iPad stands that people have made.  When I bought my iPad (mini), I bought a smart cover - which folds into a little stand.  This stand works most of the time, but often the stand collapses.

Looking online I found many simple designs, like the image on the top of this page, and I decided to design one of my own out of wood.

Like most of my wood working builds, I created my plans using Google SketchUp.  These plans were meant only as a guide for myself.  I didn't use any accurate measurements since I wasn't sure what thicknesses of wood I had on hand.  (In all honesty, I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to design this - it was too early to go rummaging through my wood stockpile).   All I had was the length, width and height of my iPad.

Once daylight came along, I went into my garage and found 2 pieces of leftover plywood.

I drew out the length of the pieces...

...and cut them to size using my table saw.

Next I marked where the vertical piece of wood would attach to the base.

Since I want my iPad to be propped up at an angle, I set the miter gauge on my table saw to 15 degrees.  I also lowered the height of the blade so that it cuts half way through the wood.

Then I cut the 2 angle cuts.  The image below shows that my initial cuts were facing the wrong way.

I readjusted the wood and cut the angles in the proper direction.  I made a few passes with the table saw so that it was easy to smooth out the bottom of the cut with a chisel.

Next I raised the height of the table saw blade and made more 15 degree cuts to the front and back of the base.

Then I cut the top of the vertical piece of wood at the same 15 degrees.

When the vertical piece is inserted into the base, all surfaces are flush.

Next I cut one more smaller piece of plywood at the same 15 degree angle.

This smaller piece will rest at the front of the stand, holding up the iPad.

After a short while of cutting, all the pieces were ready to be put together...

...but I figured it would be easier to sand everything while apart.  So I took all my pieces and sanded, and rounded the edges with my tabletop belt sander.

Next I attached the vertical to the stand using wood glue and brad nails.

Then the front was attached, also with glue and brads.

Then I continued to sand the edges with my mouse sander.

Once everything was sanded, I filled in all the spaces and gaps with wood filler.

Once the filler dried I sanded once more.

Then I cleaned it up and tested it with my iPad.

The stand works well, so next I stained it.

After a few minutes I wiped the excess stain and let it cure.

Then I sprayed on a few layers of gloss clear coat.

When the gloss had dried, I brought it inside and tested it by watching some Twilight Zone.

And I'm done!

I love this stand!  So much so, I think I'm going to make a few more.  This time I will make 2 smaller ones, for my iPhone and iPod.  I rummaged through my scrap wood and found some pieces that will be useful.  2 of these pieces are plywood (same as the iPad stand).  The other 2 are pine.

To start, I cut one of the plywood pieces to size and then I lowered the table saw blade and mitered it at 15 degrees. 

This stand will more-or-less be a miniature version of the iPad stand.

Then I cut the vertical and it fits in place nicely.

Next I cut the front.

Then I took the pieces over to the belt sander and smoothed each piece as well as rounding all the edges.

Next came assembly with glue and brad nails.

For the second stand, I used pine and decided to make this a vertical one.  I cut the pieces like the other 2 stands, however I do have one snag...

In order to have the iPhone/iPod plugged in while in the stand, I needed a space for that plug on the bottom.  To do this I carefully made 2 cuts into the front with the table saw.

Then using a hand saw and chisel, I cut out that front piece.  Unlike the other 2 stands, this one will not have that front piece of wood that holds it in place.  The 15 degree angle that the cuts are made are not enough to make the iPhone/iPod fall down.

Next I gave the whole thing some rounded edges with the belt sander.

Then I glued and nailed it together.

Next I added some wood filler to both small stands.

While the filler dried, I tested these 2 stands with my iPod.

When the filler dried I sanded.

Then I cleaned them up and prepped them for staining.

I used the same stain as I did for the iPad stand.

Once the 2 smaller stands were wiped and dry, I applied a few coats of glossy clear coat.

And I'm done!

The vertical stand could use a little more room for the cord, but it still works.

This was a fun little project using leftover wood.  Now I have nifty stands that look great and will last for all of my iStuff.

Thanks for reading!

Update:  My girlfriend really liked the vertical iPhone stand, but as described earlier, it's difficult to have it docked and plugged in.  So I cut some wood and raised the bottom.  I attached them with glue and brad nails.

When the glue dried I sanded the edges smooth.

I was all out of the stain I had originally used, so I tested some brown spray paint to see how it looked.

Spray paint is definitely not as nice as stain.  Once the paint dried I filled some areas with filler.

Then I let it dry.  In the image below all my other tarps were being used for other drying projects, so the bottom of this stand dried while clamped in my table top vise.

When the paint had dried I sanded it to make it look worn and bring back some of the wood grain that was covered.

Then I cleaned it and added some polyurethane.

The end result is very good!

Now it holds the iPhone while plugged in!

Thanks for reading!

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