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Make a stylish, modern and sturdy stand for your phone.

The result is a serious build, standing reliably on your desk, and catching the attentive eye.

The slant will dramatically improve the readability of the screen.
- The limited slant obtained here, below 45°, is good for intensive usage, e.g. if you are a mobile app developer.
- For, say, desk clock usage, a much steeper slant would be better.

You can complete this project in just 2 to 3 hours, not counting the waiting time. A good starter if you are new to concrete molding:

The secret resides in using a Tupperware (or similar) box as a mold.

Step 1: Choose the Right Box

It is all about finding the right box:

A - The box I chose. Quite matches the width and height of the phone, and is tall enough. Could be even a few cm taller, and a bit narrower, but that's the best box I had on hand.

B - Is like A but lower. The stand will not be tall enough, providing insufficient slant.

C - Quite ideal dimensions, but (1) is recessed on the sides, which will generate a somehow strange shape, and (2) being hard plastic, may be difficult to demold.

D - Good material (Tupperware) ideal for demolding. But, way too wide, and not tall enough.

The shape must be slightly conical (i.e. bottom area is smaller than top area) so that demolding is possible. In fact almost all boxes are conical (to be themselves demolded during their own fabrication).

Step 2: Needed Stuff

Concrete

Use the finest mix you can find. Ideally, screed concrete, consisting of cement and sand (no gravel).

If you only have construction/coarse concrete, no worry, you can sieve it.

It may be challenging to buy concrete in small quantities. 10 kg bags was the smallest quantities I saw. Do not use repair cement, as it will probably not be good for this thickness (not enough sand).

Other materials and supplies

1. Very important: Oil, to allow demolding. Ideally, mineral oil (e.g. for sewing machine).

2. 20 cm of iron wire, of approx 1 mm thickness.

3. Concrete sealer. Appears as a very fluid liquid, and aims at hardening the concrete surface, making it ready for applying paint or varnish.

4. Some leftover piece of styrofoam, 1+ cm thick.

5. Optionally, (spray) paint or transparent (matte) varnish.

Tools

1. The selected box, as mentioned in the previous step.

2. Some object to rest the box tilted. I used a sanding block, but you can also use a pile of magazines.

3. A spatula, or an old knife, to mix and spread the concrete.

4. Optionally, sandpaper.

5. A sieve, if needed.

6. A paintbrush, to apply oil and sealer.

7. A cutter and ruler.

Step 3: Sieve the Concrete

Even with screed concrete, I found that the sand grains were too coarse in average, because I wanted a fine grained surface as a result.

So, with a kitchen sieve, you may want to filter away the coarse grains.

Step 4: Mix the Right Amount of Concrete, and Tilt the Box

Oiling

VERY IMPORTANT: oil the whole inner sides of the box. Only this will insure a proper demolding, without damages.

Mixing the concrete

Caution:
- Wear an old coat or t-shirt, as concrete splashes leaves unremovable gray spots.
- Wear eyes protection.

Then, fill the box with concrete, to approx 1/3 of the box content. Gradually add water while mixing your concrete, to obtain a quite fluid mixture, which will guarantee that the top surface will be level. After a short time, the bottom will be thicker than the top.

The top should have the consistency of a thick syrup.

Tilting

Tilt the box as shown:
- The surface should be slightly below the top edge (on the left),
- and at least 2 cm (0.8 inches) above the bottom edge (on the right), in order to become sturdy enough.

Step 5: Create an Iron Reinforcement

This reinforcement will ensure that the resting part (that we will add in step 7) will be well bound to the bottom part that we just poured.

With iron wire, create a somehow flat spring, approx 2 cm thick. I used a thin chisel to roll the wire around and easily obtain the desired shape.

Insert the wire into the concrete, leaving the half above the surface. It should not touch the box.

Step 6: Let Partly Dry

Remove bubbles

Small bubbles may appear on the surface. We don't like them. You can tap on the side of the box (e.g. with the handle of the spatula/knife) in order to help them raise and pop. You may have to do this during approx 10 minutes.

After that, readjust the placement of the reinforcement iron wire, if needed.

Wait a bit

Now, let the concrete dry for approx 4 hours, or until the surface is no longer shiny but still moist, and touching it leaves no mark.

If you do not plan to paint the concrete in the end, you should not wait that long, and do the next step while the concrete is still soft, in order to avoid a visible joint mark on the side.

Dispose the excess concrete

Do not pour excess concrete in the sink, it is sure to nastily clog it irreversibly: imagine solid concrete in the pipe!

Carefully dilute the excess in a lot of water. Only then, you may throw it in the sink.

Step 7: Create the Rest, and Wait 3+ Days

Make the phone rest

Shape the styrofoam. Its mission will be to hold the additional concrete that we will use to create the rest.

One side of the styrofoam must be nicely straight. Its length must fit the width of the box, plus a little margin giving a slight compression, in order to stay well in place.

Place the styrofoam piece, so that it the iron reinforcement is free.

Mix a small amount of concrete, and pour it behind the styrofoam piece.

Really, really wait

Wait for the concrete to be completely dry.

At least 3 days. Be patient, do not ruin your work so far.

If the surface feels "fresh" (i.e. below room temperature), it means that evaporation still takes place, so it needs some more time to dry.

Step 8: Demold and Sand

1. Carefully demold the piece.

2. Remove the styrofoam with a cutter.

3. Wash the piece with water and soap, to remove any traces of oil.

You may want to rectify wherever needed, with some sandpaper. Rinsing the sandpaper often will help a lot.

Depending on your taste about the surface finish, and only if you plan to paint the piece, you may want to rectify some places with putty.

Step 9: Apply Sealer

This part should not be neglected: the sealer will stick the sand grain together, taking effect down to a few millimeter below the surface (because concrete is porous and the sealer very fluid).

Without sealer, the surface will erode very easily: just rubbing the surface would leave dust on your fingers.

It needs a few hours to completely dry.

Step 10: Paint Job

The final step is to spray paint the piece. Unless you decide to leave its natural color.

Use high quality spray paint, possibly quite sparingly: 3 thin layers should suffice. After all, the texture of the concrete surface should be still apparent.

Once completely dry, you may either find that the bottom side is smooth enough and will not scratch your desk, or decide to stick some (thin) rubber/felt pads.

Step 11: Done - Enjoy the Finished Product!

The final result appears really like a piece you can trust. After all, it's made of concrete!

Whether or not to paint the surface, it's really up to your taste. Some like the natural grayish color. I personally think that color adds elegance to concrete.

For a first-off proof of concept, I must say I'm quite happy with the results.

Step 12: Thoughts and Room for Improvements

But let's take a critical look at the results:

1. The slant could be steeper, around 45°.

2. For phones with the USB/charger plug on the bottom edge, charging becomes clumsy. Unless you grind a groove, or better, mold one, in step 7.

3. The USB cords are often way too long, creating some clutter on the desk. It would be nice to have a way to roll the cable for a few turns.

4. The shape is quite nice, but it could be even more stylish.

Anyway, for the small effort it took, I think it has the "bang for the buck".

But stay tuned, I have another design in mind!

<p>I like the idea of a concrete stand. The ones I have 3d printed are too light. You have given me an idea though. I'm going to print a mold of the design I want and then cast it in concrete. This means I can incorporate the lip as well as include any other little feathures that I waent.</p>
<p>I've been wanting to try that for a while. In addition to molding with concrete, I've thought about trying resin or epoxy too.</p>
I recon demolding might be an issue with resin or epoxy, especially with undercuts. One advantage with a printed mold would be that you print the walls thin and you break it off once set. Sort of like a disposable mold. <br>Maybe another option is to 3d print a positive and then coat it in pourable silicon that hardens and become an easy to remove mold.<br>It all sound like fun, keep us informed of any experiments you do.
<p>3D printing an concrete is indeed a combination that also haunts the back of my mind.</p>
<p>Hey. That is a really good idea to keep your mortar in a tool box. I am going to have to start doing that.</p>
<p>Today I just received my 2nd prize from <a href="https://www.instructables.com/contest/concrete2015/">https://www.instructables.com/contest/concrete2015/</a>. 9 kg of concrete stain and pigments. This will make my trolley toolbox nicely full ;-) </p>
<p>What kind of concrete is that? I love that nice, clean look of the concrete in the stand.</p>
<p>Enjoy! </p>
<p>Yes, this toolbox has wheels and is ideal for storing approx 25 kg of cement.</p>
<div>Cool phone stand! I would make one for my tablet, but I don't want to lug around a 30lb. concrete block! :)</div>
very, very nice. one suggestion for the cord issue is to.embed a wireless charger in the back. I wondered about making this in concrete and ended up going for wood instead, but after reading your article I think ill give it a shot! <br>Check out this awesome Instructable. <br><br><br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Cellphone-Stand-With-Hidden-Wireless-Chargi
<p>In my next version (not yet published), I made a chamber and a groove, for the cable. </p>
Cool! I guess this is a lot easier than trying to fit a wireless charger, because getting the thickness of the wall between the charger and the back of the phone is tricky (and the wall would also be very fragile since it's thin).
<p>I do app development, so I need USB connection to link to the development system.</p>
<p>Also cool phone stand.</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>

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