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Picture of IKEA HACK: articulating tablet mount

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.

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Nymeia made it!2 days ago

since we are renovating the bedroom and have to sleep at the attic.
unfortunattelly there is no TV cable connection so i was looking for another solution and here it was :D

one trip the Ikea for the lamp and i remembered i had a tablet holder for in a car :)
only had to go to the hardware store for an M5 bolt and my creation was born :)

My wife is super happy! thank you so much for this instructable!

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mikeasaurus (author)  Nymeia2 days ago

Looking good. I bet bedtime browsing is so much better now!

Enjoy the Pro Membership!

baronworm3 months ago

I followed you steps and it worked nicely for several weeks... until it didn't. :(

The plastic collar (pictured in step 4) broke. As one might expect, I had no luck finding an equivalent part at the hardware store. At this point my only option seems to be to buy another IKEA lamp just to get another tiny plastic collar.

I'm okay doing that (as it's only an $8 lamp) but sooner or later that collar will break again.

Has anyone else faced this same problem (the plastic collar breaking) and come up with a better solution?

mikeasaurus (author)  baronworm3 months ago

Glad you tried it out, and sorry it broke.

This could probably be solved by drilling new openings into a small piece of plastic or wood.

lirvine4 months ago
This is the one I made using Lego as a connector
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mikeasaurus (author)  lirvine4 months ago

That's a smart idea!

Thanks for sharing your version, enjoy the Pro Membership

creuset5 months ago

Sorry, couldn't edit the last post, but I'll make some corrections. First, I just figured out to raise the boom mic (duh, like every rock concert I've ever seen). In the prior post, it should have read that I thought the comfortable max was 53 inches. Now it's more than decent at 60 inches high with the boom going horizontal across the bed. (See picture attached.) As you can see in the pictures, the boom now is actually taller than the Levo. I used a big jar of peanut butter (for now) to test out as a counterweight. The other handy thing I forgot to mention about the boom mic is there are already clips in place to run slim cords along the whole pole/boom--perfect for a long micro usb cord to the tablet.

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creuset made it!5 months ago

Hi there, Mikeasaurus! I originally bought a very well-reviewed (and deservingly so) high end Levo tablet stand. About $189 (but with a student discount, 25% off if you order direct).

http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-Surface-Tablets-eRead...

For that much money, the stand almost costs more than the tablet, and thus, I stumbled across your inspirational instructable. I followed the instructions and even found one of those lamps from Ikea (now $12.99). After taking apart the Tertial to a non-returnable state, I was able to test it out bedside. However it was definitely not strong enough to support a 10 inch tablet (16 ozs (20 ozs with cover) and clips (8 ozs). I liked what jpagano did with the boom mike. So I found a highly regarded boom mike for $25 on on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000978D58/ref=oh...

and also these handy clips and integrated tablet holder also for $25.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PZEMPIG/ref=oh...

Now, as you can see from the pictures, the range is a lot farther into the center of a queen bed and absolutely more sturdy than the ikea lamp. With a good counterweight at the other end of the boom mike (bag of sand. e.g.) it might be pretty solid. One of the major weaknesses is it is simply not high enough off the bed. At a decent range into the bed (and not standing straight up) a fair height is about 63 inches, barely a few inches from my eyes. As you can see from the pics which compare my boom mic against the instructable, the levo is quite a bit more comfortable (and adjustable). I'm sort playing with the idea of sleeping on the floor to make this work, but may just decide to keep the Levo.

In summary (in case this helps anyone going through the same process):

Levo $189 (or $149 with student discount): really solidly designed and manufactured. Your precious tablet will never fall into your face, and it is plenty high enough for a variety of uses. The only downside is I wish it could adjust the tablet as easily as one of those dentist's reflector lamps (which are quite pricey, even used). There's no ball joint in the levo (with good reason I'm sure), but with practice I'm getting the hang of moving it around to the right tilt.

Ikea desk lamp instructable: $38 for me ($13 ikea lamp + $25 clip/joint). Gave me the right ideas, but was not strong enough for anything heavier than my cell phone. It may need stronger springs, but it does tend to droop dangerously on its own, especially when extended into the bed. Probably better suited to a desk.

On stage boom mic + Grifiti Noodle tablet mount and clip: $50. Will need a counterweight for the 1-2 lbs of my tablet/clip and does not go high enough for my current bed. I'll continue to play with this for a few days to make it work--maybe get a taller boom?

Was it worth it to spend about $60 extra for parts I'll have to return or lose money on? As the Levo is so expensive, it probably is worth it. And plus the enjoyment of taking the ikea lamp apart was pretty fun.

Thanks for the ideas, mikeasaurus. And one good trend is that it seems like many good tablet holders and clips are coming out which are practically ready off the shelf.

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Rishiraj ji6 months ago

Please

i dont have all those things but please i want 3-month Pro Membership

please give me

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dayindenver6 months ago
What a fabulous idea!! I've nearly chipped a tooth many times from the tablet as I fall asleep.
gkwintenberg6 months ago
Have been looking for something like this for an age and a half! Great and easy 'ible sir. Sorry for the low quality pictures: p
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mikeasaurus (author)  gkwintenberg6 months ago

Glad you made it; looking good!

Thanks for sharing your version, enjoy the Pro Membership.

JamesL186 months ago

We've been working on a product idea for this too. It's a little different than the traditional design, but offers more grip that minimizes vibration.

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mikeasaurus (author)  JamesL186 months ago

That looks good! Are you making a commercial product, or just something for you?

Joefer9 months ago

Hi! I happen to make an actual 'STAND' for my smartphone using a combination of tripod and monopod ('selfie' stick). I bet this will work with tablets/ipads, too - just add the mount. Add a bluetooth speaker and you have a mini home theater system! Portable, highly-maneuverable and wireless!

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mikeasaurus (author)  Joefer6 months ago

Good hack. With the tripod you can get a few different levels of height; nice!

Enjoy the Pro Membership!

Joefer Joefer9 months ago

if you want this to work with tablets though, i suggest you make use of a better monopod, those with tightening 'screws' per segment for added stability. Add Rubber sucking discs to the tripod's base, too. I might consider doing an ible but i'm not very good with paper works :)

Susitna8 months ago
That is just what I need to hold my Nook when I am recovering from knee surgery next Febuary. I think I'll try to make a 2nd one to hold a needlework frame.

Great idea just what I was looking for. It occurs to me also that if you swapped out the tripod head for a swivel hot shoe adapter, you could mount a camera to this light arm also.

Cheers

porterhouse21 made it!9 months ago

this is sooo cool! I made it for my office desk for my Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.7

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mikeasaurus (author)  porterhouse219 months ago

Nice work. Having that at your desk is a great idea!

Thanks for sharing your project. Enjoy the 3-month Pro!

rrrickets1 year 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)  rrrickets1 year 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.

sorry about the quality of the pic's. took these while the wife was sleeping.. 1st one is trying to show the tv reflection. 2nd is turned showing the front. 3rd one is a back/side view, and the last one shows how i attached the mirror. the clamp is attached to the front of my nightstand using a piece of cardboard to prevent marring the wood. just cut down the handle of the mirror, drilled a small hole and used a long screw with a nut and washers/lock washer. easy peezy

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mikeasaurus (author)  rrrickets10 months ago

So, you used a mirror to bounce the image from another source so you can watch in bed? That's pretty clever!

I love the way you did this, thanks for sharing!

Crimson13 made it!1 year 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)  Crimson1310 months ago

Nice work! More springs are definitely a good idea, especially if your arm has a long reach.

Thanks for sharing your version. Enjoy the patch and the 3-month Pro!

mikeasaurus (author)  Crimson131 year ago

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

lackley6810 months ago

I am so excited to make this! I have an iPad mini for my art classroom and I'm teaching my students how to document their artwork for digital portfolios. I will definitely send photos!

CC-2224lCody made it!1 year ago

Thanks so much for this great idea! Finally I can watch movies and play games in my bed and on my desk (if it's occupied by the normal chaos of some potentially great projects :D I attached a QI-charger on it and use the standard powercable of the lamp to power it with a 5V charger at the other end. Like the others said: "simple and elegant" - "great job Mike" :D

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mikeasaurus (author)  CC-2224lCody12 months ago

Adding a charger is a good idea. Thanks for sharing yours, it looks great!

aoleung made it!12 months ago

Made this and been using it while lying on the couch ever since (found an adaptable tablet/smartphone mount for switching between devices - just 'cause). Quick q: the machine screw diameter for the mini-tripod mount I used is way smaller than the plastic collar. I ended up wrapping a rubber band around the machine screw to bulk it up but it's not the most elegant solution IMO (see pics). Any suggestions from other makers how to improve?

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mikeasaurus (author)  aoleung12 months ago

A rubber band is actually a clever and inexpensive solution.

jeremy loa1 year ago

I think this will good for my dental business ..

3zuli made it!1 year 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 year 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 year 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 year 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!

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