IPad Stand From Pipe Fittings





Introduction: IPad Stand From Pipe Fittings

About: Retired from biotechnology company, PhD in Biochemistry (MIT)

You can make this eye-catching iPad stand from irrigation-pipe fittings. By now it seems everyone has an iPad, a Kindle, or other eReader. Don't buy an expensive stand. Make one for yourself or for a friend. The material cost is only about $3.00! The stand works in either portrait or landscape orientations, and the tilt is infinitely adjustable from near-vertical to horizontal.

Once you have all of the parts, you can put this together in an hour. All you need is some way to cut the pipe. (Use a hacksaw or a pipe cutter.) There is no messy gluing; everything holds together by friction. Optionally, you can skewer the tilt mechanism with a bolt to add tension.

Step 1: Parts

4 Ls, $0.25 each = $1.00
4 Ts, $0.35 each = $1.40
24" of pipe, $0.33/ft =$0.66 (or 10' for $2.95)
Total: $3.06!!!
12" #8 Threaded Rod, $1.19
2 Wingnuts, $0.27 each = $0.54

  • The pipe and fittings are the standard "1/2"" size.
  • The pipe is so cheap, buy extra in case you goof.

Step 2: Cut the Pipe

Cut the pipe to the following lenghs:
3 at 33/4" (95 mm) (One is slightly larger in the picture, but I changed it.)
1 at 23/8" (60 mm)
4 at 13/8" (35 mm)

  • If the joints are loose make the 4 small ones larger.
  • You can cut the pipe with a hacksaw or other saw or with a pipe cutter. I use an inexpensive pipe cutter with a rolling knife edge; it's designed for cutting copper pipe. Other types will work, too.
  • Ts may differ in size (mine are 23/8" across). If yours are different, you may have to adjust the tube sizes.

Step 3: Assemble

Fit the pieces together, as in the picture -- loosely at first, then snug them up. (See the second picture.) If the joints are too loose, use slightly longer small pieces of pipe.

Step 4: Friction-fit Version

You are finished with the friction-fit version. Congratulations.

Step 5: Tension-rod Version

If you are worried about the iPad flopping over, add a tensioning rod. Cut a threaded rod to 61/4" (160 mm). The size should be 1/4" (6 mm) more than the platform width. (Your Ts may be different.) Drill a hole through the ends of the two outer Ts, push the cut rod through, and fasten with wingnuts.

Step 6: Portable

This shows the stand folded flat for transport.

Step 7: Enjoy

The finished stand is good for either portrait or landscape orientations. The prop can be tilted to any desired position. At any position, there is space below for the power cord. Also, there is easy access to the Home button and to the on-screen keyboard. Enjoy.

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I would use a miter saw with a stop to cut the lengths of PVC pipe . It would b fast easy work with a miter saw

I am not understanding how to do the tension rod and how it works? I would also like to see this made for a laptop stand if it would be possible. How come I can not download instructions to my computer or print out???? This is for the iPad stand.

I am not understanding how to do the tension rod and how it works? I would also like to see this made for a laptop stand if it would be possible.

I am not understanding how to do the tension rod and how it works? I would also like to see this made for a laptop stand if it would be possible.

Congrats and thanks to DHagen! Great use of that white plastic stuff. I got my parts at HD and the fittings are really tight. Good for stability, not so much for tilting the support arm. In the end, I had to turn down the "hinge pins" of the support arm. Shaved a few thousandths off the diameter and got a perfect fit. Just tight enough. Yeah, I have a lathe and most folks don't, but a bit of sanding will accomplish this, too. Or, try to get fittings from someplace else where they aren't so tight. And, HD's Ts are a bit wider so I had to make the back crosspiece 4". As jinhr says, this is a bit light weight for some tastes. Filling the thing with sand will give it more mass. I wanted to fill it with lead (fishing sinkers) until I found out what that costs these days and wound up filling the thing with BBs. Took about 1200 and you can get 2500 at Wally for $5. Stuff some rag in the ends if you don't like that rattle (that's what I did) or squirt in a little E6000 or silicone sealant to make a plug. Sprayed it black and gave it to my wife. She's happy!

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Make it mobile by adding another tee to the rear cross member, run a length of pipe down to cup holder in your car and insert pipe into a 3 x 1/2 bushing,

I just stumbled on this item: an adjustable elbow for 1 inch PVC pipe


This should make PVC projects a lot more flexible!

Nice instructable. For the tilt mechanism, does it swivel back and forth easily? I would think that you would have to pull the whole thing apart, in order to adjust the tilt angle. Am I right? Thanks.

2 replies

Thanks for looking at this. The pipe fittings have just the right amount of friction. You can force the stand to a new position without disassembly, and it will hold its postition. I added a skewer (tensioning rod) to secure the tilt mechanism, but it is not really needed.

Thanks, DHagen, for the further explanation. Again, great instructable, it gave me further inspirations on working with PVC pipe.

If you fill the pipe with sand (better than water) and seal with end caps, this stand will be much heavier and stable.

Oh! I Really like this! It should work perfectly for a digital picture frame. The shape also looks good for thick heavy books that are otherwise hard to prop at a good angle and keep open. I just made something that works out of cardboard, but this is a much more elegant design!

This is a great design! We work with special needs and this design is helpful (and very cheap). We are going to make several to give away.

We have found that the 90° elbows in the front can be used to hold a stylus for the iPad.

1 reply

Thanks, Shadowwynd.
I like your additional use for the open L pieces.

Very simple! Love it! I also really like that it works so well whichever way you want the iPad to sit!

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Thanks, Penolopy.
BTW, I have two additional iPad-stand Instructables which I will post soon.