Despite of the handful of infotainment systems and hands-free features our car offers, most of us have that uneasy feeling of incompleteness when we cannot use our phones during our daily drive. Of course there are available car phone mounts sold everywhere but sometimes their designs are just not what we want them to be. I have looked for many models but I haven't seen one that met my preference in terms of design and ergonomics, specifically on where it is to be mounted. I don't want to attach it to the air vent nor do I want to mount it at an awkward position and be an obstruction. That's why I designed and created my own mount using simple things like PVC! You can start from here and then modify it to fit your requirements.
Things I used:
- 1/2 PVC Pipe
- 1/2 PVC elbow
- hose clamp
- suction mount
- cushion for phone (I used a badminton racquet grip tape since I have extra just lying around. You can use cloth or electrical tape. Plenty of room to be creative :-D)
- screw driver
- measuring tape
- oven toaster (I don't have much tools yet so I got resourceful)
- chopping board (go figure!)
- pot holder
Step 1: "All Hands on Deck"
So basically this car phone mount has three parts - the Hand, the Arm, and the Elbow. We will name them as such so that it will not be hard identifying each part when we go to the step-by-step process. Each part also has a function. The Hand "holds" the cellphone. This is where your phone will be inserted. The Arm, like our arm, connects the hand to the elbow (duh!). And lastly, the Elbow. This is where the suction mount is clamped. So with these three parts come also three easy main steps!
Step 2: The Hand and the Arm
- Measure the width of your phone. Mine is ~3".
- Cut a portion of 1/2 PVC pipe 2'' longer than the width of your phone plus give an extra 1.5" for the arm. So if my phone's width is 3" plus 1.5" for the arm therefore I used about 5" of 1/2 PVC pipe.
- Cut or saw the Hand section in half, lengthwise. (Picture 2 is the cut portion). The Arm remains as is.
- Preheat the oven toaster.
- Using a pot holder (always safety first!) hold the Arm and insert the Hand into the oven for 1-2 minutes or until it becomes soft and malleable.
- Take it from the oven and immediately press it against a flat floor/area using a chopping board to make it flat.
- At the lower section of the Hand, remove a small portion. Just a little bit bigger than the thickness of your phone. This portion will "hold" your phone.
- Insert the Hand into the oven again but this time the top portion only (the extra 2").
- When the top portion is soft enough, shape it by bending it to a letter "S." This shape will help secure your phone. I literally put my phone while I bent this part.
- When you have the desired shape dip it in cold water to harden the PVC. (Repeat the preceding processes if you feel like it's still not the right shape).
- Paste a rubber cushion at the Hand for the phone's protection. Again, I used a badminton racquet grip because I have extra clippings.
This design enables you to clip on/off your phone using only one hand so you can do it without having to stop or taking off both of your hands from the steering wheel while driving.
Step 3: The Elbow
- Saw portions of the elbow connector so it collapses when you put a hose clamp. You can use any shape, I used a 90 degree elbow.
- Attach it to the suction mount using a hose clamp. I got this suction mount from my dashcam. (Backstory: The suction mount ruined my window tint when my car was parked under the sun. Also with it I can't put my dashcam behind the rear view mirror so I just decided not to use it anymore and used zip ties instead.) Anyways, tighten the hose clamp so it locks in place.
Step 4: Arm to Elbow
- Connect the Arm to the Elbow.
- Mount it inside your car, at the window, at the windshield, or anywhere you want it. As for me, I mounted it in the dashboard gauges since it has a glass-like-plastic which the suction mount is really attached to (pun intended).
So there you have it! My own PVC car phone mount whose hand is now always full. ;)