Introduction: K'NEX Typing Stand
Occasionally, I still need to type something off a sheet of paper. This simple typing stand has a slightly curved front surface, top and bottom clips for either US Letter or A4 paper (in portrait orientation), and a 3-point base with a relatively small footprint.
As with many K'NEX creations, some parts can be excluded or swapped for other parts without affecting functionality. Below is the inventory of parts that I used:
- 11 rod, green (16 mm)
- 18 rod, white (32 mm)
- 4 rod, blue (54 mm)
- 11 rod, yellow (86 mm)
- 6 connector, orange (2-way straight)
- 4 connector, light grey (2-way)
- 2 connector, red (3-way)
- 4 connector, green (4-way)
- 10 connector, yellow (5-way)
- 6 connector, white (8-way)
- 4 clip, dark grey (with hole end)
- 2 spacer, light-blue (half-width)
- 2 rod, green (16 mm)
- 7 rod, white (32 mm)
- 1 connector, red (3-way)
- 4 3D connector, purple (4-way)
- 4 3D connector, blue (7-way)
I list the base pieces separately, because the base is inessential and could be anything that matches the mount points of the stand.
Step 1: Assemble the Top Hinge
Step 2: Assemble the Tension Rods
The connectors at the end are rotated in preparation for connecting to a rod in step 5.
Step 3: Assemble the Back Plate
Note the loose clips and spacer on the white rods.
Step 4: Assemble the Front Plate
Step 5: Assemble the Stand
The top hinge has a longer rod and a shorter rod. First connect the length of the longer rod to the top of the front plate. Then connect the end of the shorter rod to the top of the back plate. The slots of the connectors of the top hinge should point away from the front plate.
Connect the rotated two-way connectors of the tension rods to the bottom rod of the back plate, separating the rotated two-way connectors with the spacer. The tension rods should be between the front plate and the back plate, and the protruding connectors of the tension rods should point away from the front plate. Connect the other end of the tension rods to the top hinge. The tension rods should bend inward a bit.
Slide a yellow rod through the holes of the protruding connectors of the tension rods, separating the protruding connectors with a spacer. Secure the yellow rod using the loose clips of the back plate.
Step 6: Assemble the Bottom Supports
Step 7: Attach the Bottom Supports to the Stand
The stand has four 8-way connectors at its bottom, two on the right side and two on the left side. Attach a bottom support to each side. For US Letter paper (first three images), each inline rod of a bottom support should be connected to the top slot of the corresponding 8-way connector. For A4 paper (second three images), each inline rod of a bottom support should be connect to the bottom slot of the corresponding 8-way connector. In both cases, the angled rod of the bottom support should point away from the front plate. A bottom support should extend beyond the front plate further than it extends beyond the back plate.
It's easier to connect a bottom support with its angled rod pointing outside the stand. After the inline rods of the bottom support are connected, rotate the bottom support (around toward the bottom of the stand for US Letter paper, around toward the top of the stand for A4 paper) so that the angled rod points inside the base, until the tip of the angled rod ticks into place.
Step 8: Attach the Clips
Each clip should be able to slide a bit along the length of the rod to which it is attached.
Step 9: Assemble the Base
The protruding connector is at the back of the base.
Step 10: Attach the Base
The protruding connector at the back of the base should point away from the front plate.
Step 11: Attach the Feet
Connect the length of a white rod to the side slot of each of the 7-way 3D connectors at the front of the base; these are the two front legs. Connect the length of a white rod to the only available slot of the protruding connector at the back of the base; this is the back leg.
Push the legs all the way up, so they extend the minimum possible distance beyond the bottom of the base. Each front leg will just touch an 8-way connector at the bottom of the stand.
Step 12: Add Paper
Because the front surface isn't solid, backlight will project a silhouette of the stand onto the back of the paper, making it difficult to read (depending on the brightness of the light and the thickness of the paper). Simply add additional sheets of paper or other backing, in order to create an opaque surface.