Introduction: Inexpensive IPad or Tablet Stand
I recently bought an iPad 2 because a) as an occasional commercial pilot and CFI, I've found it's the new thing in flight planning, and b) Computergeeks.com had some refurbished iPad 2s on sale in conjunction with the release of the iPad 3, at a price I was willing to pay.
As in aviation, any time you stamp some specialization on an item, the price goes through the roof, and when I started looking at cradles/stands for iPads, I was disappointed. "There must be a better way," I thought.
Here it is. For an initial investment of about $9 USD you can create a sturdy stand for iPad or other tablet, and for an additional $3 USD each you can create more, all out of existing products.
Step 1: Acquire Stuff
Items for the stand
Small metal display stand (at your local fabric and crafts store [in my case, a local Jo-ann Fabrics] - $3). NOTE: While you're at the store, feel the stand for any roughness. I was lucky enough with the first two to end up with smooth metal, and not have to sand. The stand used for this Instructable, not so smooth. Caveat emptor.
PlastiDip aerosol spray (at your local hardware store - $6). You may find this under other names along the lines of Tool Dip.
Grip mat remnants (optional - found, or bought at your local department store kitchen section)
Spray area (cardboard box--I used a big sheet of corrugated cardboard)
Paper clips or other items to hold stand off of spray area
Extra fine sandpaper for metal (may be optional)
Step 2: Prep and Spray
If needed, smooth the surface of the metal stand with extra fine sandpaper. Clean surface thoroughly of dust and let dry.
Read instructions on the PlastiDip can. If you leave out the step involving clearing the spray nozzle after spraying, the Dip clogs the nozzle pretty well.
Set metal stand on paper clips or other objects to raise it up from the spray "booth" floor. (I speak from experience--PlastiDip bonded the stand well to the corrugated paper)
Spray thin coat of PlastDip onto stand. Let dry for a minimum of four hours. Go do something else in the interim. Spray another thin coat. Let dry another four hours. Apply a third coat (and a fourth coat if you feel it's necessary). Let dry for four hours between coats, and before use.
Step 3: Ready to Go, and a Tweak
That's the gist of it. This stand is sturdy, padded by the PlastiDip, and holds a back-cased (and book-type-cased) iPad 2 very nicely. I also made one for my wife's Android tablet.
If you want additional protection for your investment (highly recommended if you only sprayed two coats), you can drape a piece of grip mat over the stand, and under the front "legs."