Picture of Cherry Wood iPad Docking Stand
When it comes to an iPad stand (making one, buying one or adapting something), the possibilities are endless if only for the simple plainness of the function. Your iPad can be propped up in so many different ways.

But when you've decided on wood, I think it comes down to sculptural form, proportions and wood species (color, grain, texture) in addition to the basic holding functionality. Otherwise it's just a block of wood (if not cradle, frame, easel, hanger, ledger, arm or whatever complexity). I saw the one made by drbakker here (as well as those commercially sold). This is my attempt. This is my first upload.

I enjoy elegant and simple things. My personal requirements also include fitting inside a small bag, being low cost (or free), being attractive and being very durable. This docking stand is home made for my own use with no profit motive so feel free to help yourself in "borrowing" my ideas.
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Step 1: The Piece of Wood

Picture of The Piece of Wood
I was lucky to find a scrap piece of cherry wood in my workshop. Cherry is a hardwood with fine grain and polishes nicely to an amazing smoothness. As a woodworker hobbyist, I do NOT consider softwoods such as fir to be furniture grade. This is just me.

Step 2: Board Width

Picture of Board Width
The board I found measured almost six inches wide (S3S), making it perfect. The wider the better for supporting the iPad, but anything wider than the iPad's width I think would not look right.

Step 3: Board Thickness

Picture of Board Thickness
And this is 5/4 board, meaning it's nominally five quarters of an inch thick at the lumber mill. Actual thickness varies by species. This piece actually measures about an inch and a sixteenth. If too thin, like 4/4 or 3/4 stock, there may not be enough "bite" to hold the iPad. If too thick, then it may obscure the iPad's screen or get unnecessarily heavy and bulky. Wood species and direction of grain should also be considered.

Step 4: Angle of View

Picture of Angle of View
I downloaded a free app called Plumb Bob to determine my desired iPad display angle. I found that I like 20 degrees (from vertical).
Beautiful stand!

I was curious - you think it'd be possible to cut a slot with a table saw or router as a chase for the usb cable? I'm going to give this a go with some left over butcher block countertop this morning...
veryken (author)  backpacker20042 years ago
This is admittedly the biggest little challenge. Little as in insignificant -- because in actual use, the docking cable connects fine from the left in landscape mode. Unless, of course, you really insist on portrait mode. So an underside channel is possible, but I would recommend a much thicker board to avoid kinking the cable. And then you might as well consider adding four short legs instead.
Looks great!

Maybe instead of using a spacer, you could cut a groove through the middle of the bottom of the board to allow the cord to lie underneath it? The board might not be thick enough, though. :)
veryken (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks for the early comment!

Yeah, cord management was a consideration. My prototype (the 2x4 scrap) had a channel on the underside. But sometimes the cord comes from the right side, sometimes the rear-left, sometimes directly rear. Then it comes down to how much kink the Apple Dock Connector cable can repeatedly take. I took a pic to illustrate...