Instructables

IKEA HACK: articulating tablet mount

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Browsing on a tablet is great; there's nothing like digging into your favorite site while getting comfy. I find the longer I browser the more supine my posture, eventually my pose self-levels to lethargic mass lying on my back with the tablet above my face, making my arms tired. It would be great if I could combine my thirst for Internet and laziness so I can nerd out online while on my back. So I hacked an IKEA desk lamp into a tablet mount for bed time browsing.

You can easily make your own on the cheap. Articulating tablet mounts only need 3 readily available components to work, a tablet holder with a tripod mount, a mini tripod to act as a connector to the articulating arm, and an articulating arm from a desk lamp. There's countless variations for each of these, all of which can be inexpensive, so you can customize your tablet mount to suit your needs. You probably have some of the components on hand. I made this one for under $20.

Here's how I made it.

 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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  • Articulating Arm: TERTIAL articulating work lamp from IKEA - $8.99. This lamp is ubiquitous, and this design can be easily modified to suit your needs.

  • Tablet Holder: They make all kinds of tablet holders, the one we want is a variety that has a threaded connection embedded that allows it to be mounted to a camera tripod. Tablet case with tripod mount (1/4" - 20 threads) - price varies depending on tablet, $5.98 to $13.98

  • Mini tripod: There's plenty of types of these small and inexpensive tripod mounts.
    The type we are looking for has a ball joint on the attachment end that allows a free range of rotation. We only need the rotating head part, like this one for $4.

Crimson13 made it!19 days ago

I made one! Great idea! My ipad with the holder I had, was a bit heavy for the arm, so I moved one of the springs from the lower section and doubled up on one side in the upper section. This seems to have worked well for now, but I may pickup another lamp to steal it's springs or try to find some at the hardware store. I attached the ipad holder to the arm using the connector that the lamp used, I just drilled two holes that line up with the ones in the mount and then used some pop rivets to secure it.

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mikeasaurus (author)  Crimson138 days ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing your version, enjoy the Pro Membership and digital patch!

rrrickets8 days ago

I used a lamp arm mounted on the front of my nightstand with a hand mirror. the wife likes the tv on in the bedroom and I have a hard time laying on my back to watch it so I use the mirror to comfortably watch laying on my side, plus it gives me practice reading things backwards(lol). it was actually pretty easy to make.

mikeasaurus (author)  rrrickets8 days ago

That's a great idea! I'd love to see it.

If you reply with a picture of your version I'll gift you a free 3-month Pro Membership.

jeremy loa15 days ago

I think this will good for my dental business ..

3zuli made it!1 month ago

I
made one for my Galaxy S4. I used a phone tripod mount and a small
cheap tripod head, which gives me good positioning flexibility. I left
the original power cable in place, I will later solder USB connectors to
it and will use it as a embedded charging cable.

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mikeasaurus (author)  3zuli1 month ago

Looks great! Enjoy the patch and 3-month Membership.

How's the bedtime browsing now?

Thanks! Feels much better now and it works great for watching movies or youtube.
jpagano made it!1 month ago

We used ours last night for the first time. I used the same iPad case, ($16.98 from amazon...but I had a gift card!) Instead of the ikea lamp, I used a swing arm boom mic. It gives a lot better control for positioning, albeit a little more expensive (also had a best buy giftcard and found one on clearance!)

How awesome was it last night to snuggle up with my wife and neither of us got "Tingly Arms" from holding the ipad while we caught up on our favorite show.

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mikeasaurus (author)  jpagano1 month ago

Oh man, tingly arms are the worst!

Thanks for sharing your build. I still use mine nightly. Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro Membership.

GEEEEENIUS. MUST MAKE!

Don Diego2 months ago

Brilliant! I can't tell you how many times I've dropped my little iPad on my face reading myself to sleep. I start snoozing and suddenly I'm awake. I made one.

darkchino2 months ago

Can use the cable for charge the tablet ;)

dtchacos2 months ago

Does the arm swing aroung if you touch it too hard as with the weight factor of the tablet, the arm might be imbalanced and swing towards your face.

matson232 months ago
Great build! I don't know if mine counts as a stand, I made this a while ago so I could watch netflix in bed and not disturb my wife when she's sleeping, when it's not in use it folds up out of the way...the stand, not the wife ;)
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The wife folding up out of the way when not in use might be handy too. ;)

Maybe an instructable in the making... anyone?

mikeasaurus (author)  matson232 months ago

This totally counts as a stand. I made my tablet holder for similar reasons.

Thanks for sharing your build!

Thanks for the 3 month pro and patch mikeasaurus, very kind of you sir! :)
asteadman2 months ago

Yes. I will be making this! As a person who struggles daily with chronic arthritis, this will be a perfect addition to my nightstand!

Love it... but I do have some concerns about what this means for my future. :)

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Ori Roundtree2 months ago

I have been looking for specific parts for a similar plan for some time.

How do you avoid the artists' lamp problem? Art lamps frequently begin sliding down or losing their preferred position over a relatively short time, even with the lightness of the lamp head. My Kindle Fire might outweigh a lamp head.

TLDR: What is your advice for preventing loss of your lamp arm's resistance to slippage?

A very quick method for beefing up the holding power of one of these is adding rubber bands in addition to the springs. Maybe not the prettiest thing, but it works.

mikeasaurus (author)  Ori Roundtree2 months ago

Replacing the springs would definitely help, either replacing your old springs with more robust ones or clipping your old ones a few coils shorter and stretching them to fit the free length.

I never considered modifying the existing springs. I will definitely let my brother know about this fix! Thanks a bunch.

gizmojo2 months ago
I also made the a similar modified desk lamp iPad holder but it was too heavy for the springs as well...
I didn't use the elegant tripod mount...might try again using a flexible arm
mjallo made it!2 months ago

Hi, got inspired by your design made mine out of a old lamp I had.

My sister loves it.

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mikeasaurus (author)  mjallo2 months ago

Nice build. The connection detail you show is the most difficult part of the build, and it looks like you solved it perfectly. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro Membership!

rrobinson72 months ago
Why not use the electrical components to make it into a charging station, too?
mikeasaurus (author)  rrobinson72 months ago

That's a good idea. Show me how you do that if you make one!

C0UTZ2 months ago

Can't believe I haven't thought of this before! This is perfect for my workbench where there's never enough work space. Guess who's going to IKEA on the way home from work today?

kauaileslie2 months ago

brilliant

Brilliant idea!

I might modify it to put a little LED light bar on top...

hde bruin2 months ago

I made the same thing last year. But it didn't last very long.

My iPad1 was too heavy so I had to use stronger springs. But after a while the whole thing broke off at the base because the whole construction was so light that it couldn't handle the stress.

The idea is great though... :)

57thcork2 months ago

Very clever modification with the added benefit of using it to mount a camera, video or still. Great instructible, thanks.

ddörffel2 months ago

I used this lamp to hold my webcam :-)

jeffyg32 months ago

awesome. I'd pretty much just use this to watch a movie on my iPad Mini while laying down...which is damn worth the hack

Hubiewan2 months ago
I like this one! My hand gets tired as even my 7" tablet is heavy. I will use the comment/suggestion to use the lamp wiring to plug in charger, by adding an outlet in place of the socket. Great ideas guys!
fiish2 months ago

You can buy this sort of thing from DX for about $15 delivered. Kind of goes against the concept of this site.... but if you just want to buy it readymade for about the same price or less then it's an option.

Breygon2 months ago

nice one. Just a thought - inspired by the lamp electronics. .. why not add a charging cable so you don't have to go vertical to find the charger!

Eireannach2 months ago

This is brilliant. It's so simple and elegant!

hunter9992 months ago

Haha, this is great!! Very nice how you created this from the basis of a desk lamp. Great job Mike :D