Introduction: Tablet Tray Case

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

My 6th Generation iPad gives me a faint electrical tingle when it is charging and I touch it while touching something electrically grounded.* I wanted a wooden tray that can also function as a travel case, yet, all jacks and controls for the iPad are fully usable and accessible. What I am showing here has worked out better than I expected.

* See my previous Instructable on grounding for better sleep and other things. I frequently ground myself, even while working on my iPad.


Materials: 1/4 inch plywood, 1/4 x 1/2 inch hardwood, Wood glue.

Tools: Table saw, Miter sled, Hole saw and drill, Files, Belt sander

Step 1: Plywood for Case Bottom

Cut a bottom for the case. Mine is a little oversize, but not too much. I made mine 9 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches.

Step 2: Cut a Strip of Hardwood

I made mine 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch high. I needed about 28 inches in length minimum.

Step 3: Fit and Cut Hardwood Strip

I needed to fit the hardwood strip around the iPad, but leave openings for the earbud 1/8 inch stereo jack (first photo), for the charging cord (third photo) and for the on/off switch and volume up and down buttons (second photo). I used a miter sled on my table saw to cut the corners for a nice appearance (See the first photo.). The opening for the charging cord had to be wide enough that the speakers are not restricted. I used a hole saw to cut away part of the case bottom at the charging jack for a better grip on the charging cord. I made a semi-circle cutout with a round file at the 1/8 inch stereo jack for a better grip when removing it.

Step 4: Make a Top and Smooth Edges

I used a belt sander and a file to knock the edges off of corners and smooth rough edges. I also cut another piece of 1/4 inch plywood to fit over the screen of the iPad. It fits nicely flush with the top edge of the hardwood strip (second photo).

The plywood could be painted or otherwise finished. I left mine natural. I have already traveled with it on a road trip. I placed the iPad with this case into a soft bag so the loose top cover was held in place by the outer layer of the bag. It worked fine and protected the iPad. I could have used a cord to tie around the case, or a large rubber band. I have some latex surgical tubing and I want to experiment with that.

i really like this case. It makes my iPad feel less likely to slip from my hands and land on the floor. Also, I no longer get a tingle when using the charger while electrically grounded.