Intro: Funky Industrial Smartphone Stand From Spare Parts
I had a bunch of spare parts, some JB Stik, and Sugru laying around, so I decided to see what I could come up. This stand is made from materials that most tech geeks have laying around, or would normally throw away, which makes it perfect for me - I never throw anything away.
Step 1: Materials Needed
Most of the things you'll use to build this are scrap. The Sugru and JB Stik you might have lying around, and if not they'll probably be the only items you need to buy. I didn't use most of the stuff in the picture.
You will need:
Basic tools - the only tools I used were pliers and an allen wrench (for the bolts). You might also need a drill.
JB Stik steel putty - I could have used the Sugru, but I didn't want any joint flexibility where the JB went.
Sugru - This stuff is awesome. You can get some here. Used for feet and cushioning.
PCI slot covers - I don't know any geek that doesn't have at least 50 of these laying around.
PC Fan grate - snagged out of a dead PC
4 Small bolts with nuts - Make sure these aren't too long, and fit through the fan grate mounts. The cooler they look, the better.
Step 2: Pick Your Parts and Assemble the Main Structure
You want to pick the parts you're going to use at this point. I had a pile of PCI covers to go through - you want to find at least 2 identical slot covers for the main visible structure. Mine happened to have cool square holes all the way up the length, which gives a nice look to the finished product. I also had 6 of them, so I was able to use the same material for the entire stand.
You're going to need a total of 5 slot covers, so pick them out now. 2 will be visible, 2 will become back legs, and one will form the main tray that the phone will sit on.
Lay your fan grate down on your work surface, and put your slot covers on top of it. The grate will be the main structural support for the back of the stand. If you have to drill, mark where you want the fan grate now, and then carefull drill your holes. For mine, I hand-tightened the top bolts through the same square hole on both slot covers - this saved me time drilling, measuring, and I had no risk of getting it wrong, lucky me!
The bottom two mounts of the fan grate weren't positioned right to just slide the bolts through, so I took a pair of needlenose pliers and just twisted that tab out. Insert the last two bolts, square everything up, and the main structure is done.
Step 3: Assemble the Tray
The tray where the phone will actually sit is another PCI slot cover wrapped around the attachment tabs of the two used for the main structure.
Lay the new slot cover along the attachment tabs, which already form two small shelves, and measure. I had the holes to guide me, since I was using the same type of cover, but if you don't, you'll need to carefully mark where you're going to bend this one so that you don't waste it.
You want probably a half to 3/4 inch extra length off the end of both of the attachment tabs. I just grabbed two pair of needlenose and tweaked the cover for the shelf until each end broke off and only left me with the length I wanted. You want to bend each end around the attachment tabs of the back structure. Make sure the bends are good and tight, and you won't need anything else to secure them.
Step 4: Make the Legs
For the legs, you're going to want something that lets the back of the stand lean backwards to hold the phone at an angle. Again, we're going to use slot covers for the legs. You'll use one for each leg.
For me, the optimum angle was going to have the legs resting directly beneath the top bolts. It also happens to give a good strong connection point with very little chance of slippage.
Take your slot covers, and measure what it will take to to have a 90-degree bend at the bottom and rest where you want at the top. For mine, this was just past the first square hole, which was about 7/8 inch below the connection tab - you want to measure this from the connection tab end of things, because that's got to go.
Put your 90-degree bend in the same place on both legs after taking all of your measurements. Dry-fit the legs and make any adjustments needed to the bend, length, etc.
Once you've fit the legs and made sure that everything is good, stick them down with the JB Stik. Let it cure completely (I let it cure overnight) and then make any final tweaks to get the stand sitting flat. Add some more JB if you need to after your adjustments, and let that cure for an hour or so.
Step 5: Sugru It All Up
Time for the Sugru.
I want to make sure my phone is nice is cushioned, and isn't going to get scratched up on this all metal stand, so it's Sugru to the rescue.
I decided since I had the slot covers with holes, that I wanted to keep the holes on the tray. I also decided NOT to Sugru the bolts on the fan, because they just look too cool on their own. Yes, Sugru is a verb. I'm not worried about the bolts scratching my phone, because I have a gel skin on. If you don't have cool bolts, or you just want extra cushion, you can apply a dot of sugru to each bolt head.
Instead of full covering the tray, I made a ladder on it. This will protect the phone in portrait or landscape. I also ran a small lip of it across the front of the metal to help hide the bends at each end of the tray.
The rest of the sugru is for feet. I didn't do a lot of measuring, and I don't want the table getting scratched by this industrial stand, so I sugru'd the feet also. Do this by making 4 small, equally-sized balls. You can roll the balls out on a work surface that has been lightly doused with slightly soapy water. You don't want a pond, just a surface that the sugru won't want to adhere to.
Pop all 4 balls onto the bottom of the legs. Stand the stand up on the slightly wet work surface to flatten them out. This will even up any inconsistencies in your bending abilities, and will flatten the balls into feet.
I wanted some extra texture on the feet, so I bent up some thick-ish copper wire to press into the sugru. Be sure you wet your wire before pressing it lightly into the feet. You want this to be a light press so you don't ruin your nice flat feet. Then, for extra grippiness, you'll want to add some small texture to the pads also. Paper towels will work, if you have some rough ones. Anything with a bit of texture will do it - you just want to rough it up a little. I used my fingerprint. That's a pretty grippy texture. I wish I had a gecko.
Step 6: All Finished!
Let the sugru cure for several hours. For me, this meant about 5 hours before I put my phone on the stand to take these pictures. I took it right back off to let it cure for a full 24 hours before use.