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Sometimes you just need to MacGyver something together...

Submitted by think|haus for the Instructables Sponsorship Program.

I'm working on a project involving a whole lot of Android tablet time with an external monitor. Reaching out to poke a touchscreen that isn't in the same general area as the display was beginning to make my brain hurt. Also, the developer of the tablet has oriented it such that if the external monitor is in use, the cable exits out of the "bottom" - this means that most traditional tablet stands do not work. 

You will need:

* tablet to measure
* measuring system of some kind
* knife (optional cutting mat)
* chunk of cardboard
* marking device
* duct tape!


Step 1: Measure and Layout

I'm fairly certain that all projects start with measurement and layout. 

In this case, we end up with:

* 7.5" wide
* 5" tall
* 1/2" thick

My target is to have the tablet at a near vertical angle and roughly the height of the monitor. In my office, the bottom edge of the monitor is 9.5" 

If you fiddle about with the numbers, you'll end up with a side view something approximately like the picture. 

Step 2: Transfer Measurements to Cardboard

I used a piece of double ply cardboard with the corrugation of the two layers parallel -- this allowed me to neatly fold the cardboard along two vertical lines. 

TIP: As a short-cut to keeping things well designed, I planned for the "bottom" edge to be a factory cut edge - those vertical folds are exactly 90 degrees to the bottom edge. This will significantly reduce wobble. 

Lay out the "to cut" areas as you normally would. My grade 7 shop teacher taught me to mark the area that is scrap. Just to be sure. You should too. 

And I almost forgot to have a hole for the cables to exit!!

Step 3: Get to the Cutting

Cutting cardboard is always entertaining. 

Easy to cut roughly. 

Difficult to cut smoothly / precisely. 

In this case, close enough is good enough. If this tablet becomes a regular part of my desk set up, I will laser cut something more precise. 

Don't let perfection be the enemy of Done. 


Step 4: Test Fit and Improve

With everything cut out, time to do some test fitting!

As you can see, everything fit together properly. 

When usability testing was done, a major flaw was uncovered. 

If you poke the screen, the whole thing just falls apart. 

Those two folds in the cardboard are not a way of rigidly holding the angled sides at the correct angle. 

What else would a Hamiltonian [1] do? 

Duct Tape!

A strip of duct tape works well as a tension structure between the two sides of the angles. You may well want to fold the tape in half (with the exception of the ends) so that the cables and other desk cruft doesn't stick to the back of the tape.


[1] Hamilton Ontario is the home of Steve Smith - better known as the star of "The Red Green Show"

Step 5: Enjoy!

And just like that - you've spent 5 minutes building a tablet stand for your desk.

Sometimes, just getting it done NOW is what you need to do. 


<p>This is SO something I would do, and have done in the past. There are times you need something to be sleek and elegant and finished. Other times, you need to test an idea or just get something done temporarily. For those latter times, pretty is unnecessary... functional works!</p>

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