Introduction: Reading While Standing - Adjustable Phone Stand

About: If its practical, I have no use for it!

Whether you video-chat, try a new on-line recipe in the kitchen, or read a book on your phone or tablet you need to somehow prop up your phone for optimal viewing. So here is an easy to make adjustable phone/tablet stand for you. Make it move and tilt for the best viewing angle. The phone stand also looks pretty cool.


table saw, drill with 3/8" bit

optional: router table, v-groove bit, 3d-printer


A few small pieces of hardwood e.g. maple, cherry, walnut, padauk ... The prettier the better!

Short 3/8” dowel piece

Wood glue

1/2” dowel for the wooden screw,

or a machine hex bolt and wood insert lock nut

Step 1: Make the Base

The dimensions shown are for a smart phone used in portrait mode and looking at it while standing up. Adjust the width/height dimensions and angle to suit your needs for your phone or tablet.

Cut a 5/8” wide by 3/8” deep groove into the 3.5” by 4.5” hardwood board, 1/2” from the front edge. The tablet/phone will rest in this groove, so be sure yours fits!

Step 2: Make the Riser

Drill a 3/8” hole 1.5” from the rear edge into the base board. A drill press will assure the the hole goes in straight.

Cut a 1.5” by 4.5” board (3/4” thick) with a 50 degree angle at one end. (If you want to use the phone holder while sitting at a table, use a 35 to 40 degree angle instead for a steeper riser). This is the riser to hold the adjustment screw. Experiment with the angle to suit your need.

Drill a shallow 3/8” diameter hole in the center of the angled face for a dowel joint to the base board. The picture shows how I drilled the hole on my drill press using a hand screw clamp and a wedge. Don’t assemble the base board to riser yet!

Step 3: Round the Corners and Bevel the Edges

Round the corners of the base using my handy 3d printed rounded corner layout templates ( (Step 3). Slightly bevel all edges of the base plate.

Step 4: Make a Wooden Screw

So I think a wooden adjustment screw looks way cooler than a machine screw, but it’s a bit of extra work.

Instructions for making a wooden screw are here:

Skip to the next step if you want to use a machine screw for adjusting.

Drill a 3/8” hole through the riser board and use a 1/2”-8TPI wood threading tap for the adjustment screw. When you locate this hole make sure that the adjustment screw won’t hit the camera lenses or the thumbprint detector on the back of the phone. You’ll have to eyeball that and move the hole up or down on the riser depending on your phone/tablet. Then make a 1/2”-8TPI wood screw (bolt) as per my previous Instructable (

Step 5: ... or Use a Machine Screw

As an alternative: If you want to skip the wooden screw you can use a machine screw with a hex head, and a wood insert lock nut from the hardware store to thread thru the hole. You may wish to make a wooden knob (or hex head) and epoxy that to the machine bolt head; for looks and leverage. Finally you should cover the end of the machine bolt with a plastic/rubber tip to prevent scratches on your phone or tablet. I didn't build this alternative so I don't have any pictures.

Step 6: Assemble the Base to the Riser

Sand the base board and the riser. Glue the riser to the base board by using a short 3/8” dowel to make a strong joint. Use rubber bands as shown to clamp the assembly while the glue sets.

Step 7: Make a Bunch of Stands to Give Away!

Finish your phone stand with polyurethane, varnish, stain, or paint. On the bottom of the base install stick-on rubber/silicone feet (bumpons) to prevent slipping.

Install the screw, adjust your preferred viewing angle, and you are all set!

Happing reading ... or cooking ... or video chatting ...

Step 8: Bonus: Landscape Mode Adaptor

Get a flat skinny piece of wood for using the phone in landscape mode as shown. Simple and effective! 🤗

Make it Move Contest 2020

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2020