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Recently I bought myself a tablet (Nvidia Shield, if you must know). I wanted to use it as a cookbook substitute while preparing the Christmas dinner, but I didn't have a stand for it and having it lying around between chopped onions, cups of chicken stock, and goose gizzards didn't sound like a good idea, so I needed to fashion a stand for my tablet in the five minutes I had while preheating the oven.

I came up with this contraption that required only a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the tablet itself, a ruler, and a utility knife. You may notice that this

Step 1: Planning

The sketch shows the overall shape of the stand. It's not to scale, and sorry about the shaky hands. The important dimensions are:

  • a - slightly narrower (about 2-3 cm. or 1 in.) than the tablet's shorter dimension.
  • b - slightly taller (about 5 cm. or 2 in.) than the tablet's longer dimension.
  • d is 1-2 mm. wider than c.
  • f should be 1-2 mm. wider than the tablet's thickness.

The dashed lines indicate bend locations. The length of the T-shaped "cross-member" and the location of the rectangular opening above it will determine the stand angle; I was aiming at 65-70º.

Begin with finding a suitable piece of cardboard. A shoe box cover worked for me, but it could be anything sturdy enough. Draw an outline of the tablet to establish the base dimensions. Draw the vertical and horizontal axes of the tablet shape to simplify the layout. Dimensions don't have to be very precise, so the ruler is optional.

Draw the stand outline, using the dimensions a-f explained above as a guide. Again, you don't have to be very precise.

Draw the bend lines: one approximately in the middle (you can use the horizontal axis) and another about 1 cm. (1/2 in.) from the top.

Step 2: Construction

Using a utility knife and a ruler cut the cardboard according to the layout.

When bending cardboard, place the bend line at the edge of the table, then place the ruler on top and apply some pressure -- this will help you to get a straight bend, especially with thick cardboard.

To get the "wings" of the T-shaped horizontal link through the opening at the back of the stand, you can fold them temporarily. When working with thinner cardboard, you can simply twist the "T" to get it through the opening.

Fold towards the front of the stand the "brackets" that will hold your tablet.

And this is it.

<p>No duct tape required, by the way!</p>

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