Instructables
Picture of DIY CONCRETE :: Concrete iPad Stand
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This Instructable will demonstrate how to make a concrete iPad stand from a plastic popcorn bucket, it's inspired by a project from the Easy Concrete Projects book. No previous experience working with concrete is necessary, but you should be comfortable cutting thin plastic with a hand saw, shaping styrofoam, mixing and pouring concrete, cutting away the plastic form, sanding the base, and making the shelf that supports the device from wood or tile.

Time Required: 1-2 hours + 2 days to cure

Weight: 4-6 pounds

Materials:
Plastic Popcorn Form ($1 section at Target)
Sacked Concrete Mix  - NON-Aerated, 5000 psi is ideal (one 60lb bag will produce about 12 of these forms)
CHENG Pro-Formula Mix (1 cubic foot box per two 60lb bags)
CHENG Sealer
CHENG Wax
Styrofoam (small scrap pieces)
Wood (.5" thick)
2 Part Epoxy

Tools:
Ruler
Permanent Marker
Clear Packing Tape
Hand Saw (Japanese style with fine / medium teeth)
Razor Blade / Utility Knife
Sand Paper / Handheld Diamond Polishing Pad
Slotted Screw Driver / Phillips Screw Driver
1/16" drill bit
Silicone (100% silicone, window and door sealant)
Rubber Gloves
Safety Glasses
Buckets for Mixing
Plastic Scraper
 
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Step 1: Measure, Mark + Cut the Concrete Form

Picture of Measure, Mark + Cut the Concrete Form
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1.1 Mark two adjacent corners at 7½” and the other two at 6¾”.  Draw four lines connecting the dots with the permanent marker. This is the cut line.

1.2 To help support the plastic container while cutting, cut a styrofoam block ( about 3¾" x 3¾" ) and push it in the opening of the form.

1.3 Starting from one corner, gently saw back and forth to start a straight cut. Go slowly at first, alternating back and forth between corners until you can connect the slices and cut through. Repeat on the remaining sides until the cut is complete.

1.4 Clean up the edges of the plastic with some rough sand paper ( 80-100 grit ) and be careful not to scratch the inside of the form (any scratches WILL be transferred to the concrete).
MimArt1 year ago
I'm confused - I love the monolithic look of this, but the finished pictures show the top being open for pencils, etc. Would this space be achieved like the knockout for the stand? Attaching a piece of coated wood or Styrofoam to the bottom of the 'popcorn cup' mold and securing with a screw? How thick can the upper edges be? Will the upper thinner edges be at a different cure rate than the solid bottom? Also, different aspect:any luck with coating molds with vaseline? Would it make swirly texture, allow for mold release and possibly seal concrete? I suppose it could be scrubbed off with detergent...
CHENG Concrete (author)  MimArt1 year ago
You're exactly right about the top being open. This was accomplished by pre-drilling a hole in the bottom of the popcorn form and then screwing a rectangular foam block in there. Taping the foam will keep the residue off of the concrete. Some silicone under the foam will help it stay in place and keep concrete from getting underneath it (and forcing it up), but a long screw (2") should work just fine. If you don't pre-drill the plastic, it will probably crack and split.
There are no issues with it curing at different rates depending on the thickness, but covering it with plastic while it cures is a good idea because it keeps the humidity inside. I'd recommend light vegetable oil as a form release instead of vaseline because it will be easier to apply with a brush or paper towel. You really only need a very thin layer.
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Hiroak1 year ago
How would you get the air bubbles out so you didn't have all the holes? Some type of shaking device?
CHENG Concrete (author)  Hiroak1 year ago
Any vibration is better than nothing. For a small form like this, just tapping on the sides, shaking it around, and dropping it lightly down on the tabletop will work.

You can also use a palm sander and touch it to the sides of the form. For stronger forms you can try thumping it with a sawzall (without the blade).

Check out this instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Concrete-Vibrator-for-Small-Forms/

For larger projects in the shop we'll use table mounted vibrators, like the Vibco US450T seen below. These are overkill for small projects, but they work very well.

You'll never get all the air bubbles out, but you can always fill the holes in later with slurry (cement and pigment mixed with water to a toothpaste consistency).
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very clear and complete explanation. and certainly this support not goes with the wind.
very clear and complete explanation. and certainly this support not goes with the wind.
Simple and elegant... I must do this one.
nitsuj10981 year ago
Cool project, I'm going to have to try it! I just ordered the Cheng countertop book. I can't wait for it to get here!
Aaron_812 years ago
The form I got had reinforcing ribs in the corners that caused a bit of tear out, but over-all quite pleased. I had been doing some wiring and simplified the process by casting the wire self in the concrete.
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CHENG Concrete (author)  Aaron_812 years ago
WOW Nice work on that wire shelf!

Did you just drill two holes in the form and tape the wire in place?

I drilled small holes in the form that were tight enough to need to force the wire through and used a block of Styrofoam to hold the wire in place with the desired spacing. I also bent the wire a bit inside the form for additional security that I doubt is needed, but it is not pulling out without destroying the concrete.

After making a few I tried marking the fill lines on the inside of the form and skipping the cutting of the plastic down. This is not quite as smooth on the base, but a little work with a flat file just after demoldling worked easily and was faster, for me, than sawing the plastic.

Thanks for noticing, I love your work.

Aaron_812 years ago
That should be shelf...
laugh medic2 years ago
Love your design! To cushion the back, I'd suggest using clear or nearly clear silicone bumpers. These are found in home improvement stores in the same area as one would find the felt bumpers used to quiet closing cabinet doors and drawers. Yours is the sort of project that makes me love instructables.

Well done!
tim_n2 years ago
Nice - though something soft like a bit of felt to cushion the back would work to stop it scratching during use, but would distract from the look you're trying to achieve. Maybe stick felt to the ipad? :)
HMBeck2 years ago
That is awesome! The glass and grey concrete go so well; especially with the white iPad!
CHENG Concrete (author)  HMBeck2 years ago
Thanks for the comments!

The 'stone' Pro-Formula and the green glass look great together, but a wood shelf looks good too, and it's a lot easier to cut if you don't have a tile saw!

Here's a version with the shelf made from beech wood holding a samsung galaxy tablet. All the best,
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bertus52x112 years ago
Very, very nice!