Instructables

Zero gravity tablet or ereader floor stand from balanced arm lamp """Sugru Update"""

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Picture of Zero gravity tablet or ereader floor stand from balanced arm lamp
I never stop reading its probably the best way to learn something new. Though for years I've had one chronic problem that bothers me when holding a book and now a reader, it's the arm fatigue from trying to hold the material at an eye level. I'm not one of those types that can sit for a long time with a book in my lap or on a desk, having to crane my neck causes a fatigue as well. Most times I find myself doing something else when I'd rather be reading something, due to these little nuisance pains.

My mother was going to throw a couple of old lamps out, one my daughter took and this balanced arm lamp without a base sitting on my materials shelf for weeks now. Having 2 or 3 of these types of lamps already just figured I use it for something. A couple of days ago while reading down in my workshop and experiencing one of these particular pains I looked up at the lamp sitting there and inspiration struck:

"The Zero Gravity Reader Stand"
 
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Step 1: What you'll need to get started!

Picture of What you'll need to get started!
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Materials and Tools

Balanced arm lamp (the bigger the better)
Some kind of stand (this has many options even making one from scratch)
Wood or plastic blocks (While researching another project I came across some plastic off-all real cheap at a local steel manufacturer near where I live, you can get this stuff at pretty much any craft store though in small quantities)
Bolts and washers(I picked up a box at Harbor Freight for general project use a few months ago really cheap)
Spring (At H.F. as well cheap)
Drill or drill press
Drill Bit's
Cheap tap and die set (or a torch and bolt for plastic block only)
Dremel
Dremel high speed cutter bit (Part #115-01)
Masking tape
Calipers
Hammer
Screwdrivers
Socket set
Saws (I've done something similar in the past with just a couple of hand saws, It takes a lot longer but it can be done)

Optional:
Sugru (this will be my first time using the stuff so I we'll see how it goes I'll be convinced once the instructable is done and working)

fondyin2 years ago
Cool idea you have. Could try attaching a ipad car mount to the end.
WhiteTech2 years ago
Ive been wanting to do this for a small flatscreen TV, so I can move it over or under my loft bed.... any ideas?
Monoprice has some pretty inexpensive adjustable arms designed for LCD monitors. It might be possible to modify one of those for your purposes.

See http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10828&cs_id=1082808
I saw those, but my application involves more adjustablity then anything on the market, Most of those go up or down and turn, I need mine to go up, down, out then up some more (from directly under my loft bed to over it) I looked into balanced arms for lamps and got a good idea how spring ones work. Im going to see if I can make a strong enough one for my little 22" TV
LifeWarrior (author)  WhiteTech2 years ago
One of the most difficult things to get over is the balance, getting the weight to overhang issue right is a pain. When I did my rotating laptop stand I went through six different types of balancing plans till I found one that kept the thing from tilting over. The stand on this is very heavy and made it easy to hold something this small.
I know! Some of our mic stands we have are 45 lbs! I was thinking sticky or screw mount, the arms are easy enough to make, but I have no idea where to get the right springs. I want to head to Ikea and get one of thos ever popular Tertial Lamps to see how the spring balance works first hand. I need one anyway ;)
LifeWarrior (author)  WhiteTech2 years ago
My daughter has a loft bed too and we considered doing something like that for her HP All in one flatscreen. However I don't think the lamps arm would be strong enough for either of these ideas, I've been looking at different way to build something more strong and stable to hold a lot more weight though it's been a project in the works since I finished this one, I'm always open to ideas though!
You could try using stronger springs or some sort of counter-balance system. Just shooting ideas here, but let me know if they work out if you try them!
LifeWarrior (author)  andymic2 years ago
I'm currently working on another project but I'm planning this one soon. I've considered the stronger springs and the counter balance for the next try at a heavier device. I just haven't had the time to try it yet.
criggie3 years ago
How do you page down? Or does the reader auto scroll?
LifeWarrior (author)  criggie3 years ago
It has auto scroll available but I never use it I just reach up and flip the page, I thought about adding a Bluetooth module for a mouse but I just think it just saves my arm from holding it up and I thought the least I can do is reach up once in awhile and flip the page.
Is it possible to use a bluetooth keyboard to do a "next page" kind of thing? I'd love it if this were true, for truly hands-free reading. I'd like to make this for someone as a gift, and the wireless page-turn thing would be amazing.

Good instructable! I was just figuring out to make an in-bed ipad stand for reading, but this design is a lot better than what I had in mind. Thanks for posting!
LifeWarrior (author)  jumpfroggy3 years ago
I've thought for a long time about the same thing a wireless page turn. I like to get a hold of a tab that has a built in web cam. I've been thinking about an app that can scroll or turn a page by waving my hand at it. If you have an ipad with a cam look for an app that has settings that can react to hand gestures.

Just a tip: the bigger the balance arm lamp the more stability and strength you'll have, plus make the feet larger or the weighted bottom as heavy as you can find, I recently found an old floor lamp with a giant HEAVY lead weight I'm considering switching out on this to give me more floor space for tighter areas.
LifeWarrior (author)  sbogdan3 years ago
So far its been about a month since I built it and it's worked pretty good so far, I've used it a lot out on the deck sitting outside reading and a really cool thing I've found out is that it works great laying in the hammock. It lays out far enough that when I'm relaxing and reading the slight swing clears easily. Now I just have to figure out how add a cup holder to it and I'll be gold!
Light_Lab3 years ago
This is a great idea but if I build one I think I would have to add an automatic re-tractor with a snore detector. I can imagine falling asleep then waking up later and bumping my head.
LifeWarrior (author)  Light_Lab3 years ago
LOL, good point., I've actually thought about something similar like replacing the springs with retraction screws, but with my luck I'd end up misjudging the speed and end up with it shooting out at me like a punch to the face.
Wow, this is really cool! Isn't the new "head" on the arm substantially heavier than the existing light fixture was? I would think it would be prone to drifting down towards the floor. Did you address that and I just missed it..?

Great idea, you should patent this one... this could be your millions!
LifeWarrior (author)  michaelnelson3 years ago
That's funny it did originally, I forgot to mention that in the testing step, I had to tighten the bolts all around the lamp a little more and that solved the issue, from what I've read these lamps are made so so that tightening or loosing the brackets will give more ore less tension supposedly for heavier bulbs. I actually think the arm design itself is patented, and I only wish I had the money to patent some of the things I've thought up. For now though I'm just enjoying the instructables ride! Thanks for the reply
Instead of removing the cord, you could include a built-in charging ability of the stand for whatever reader you have
LifeWarrior (author)  ultratorrent3 years ago
Yes, that had occured to me too after I removed the cord, it was one of those Duh! moments for me. I thought later on I might go back and try feeding it back through the arms and trying a small single head extension cord like the ones for Christmas trees. Thanks for pointing that out
rimar20003 years ago
¡Clever!
LifeWarrior (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thanks, It was a fun build