Like to lounge around and watch movies on your couch but tired of holding up your iPad? Make a metal iPad stand from metal trash!
Step 1: GET a WELDER
You can make one from something other than metal, but where is the fun in that? So the tool to sticking metal together is a welder. You don't have to get anything fancy, as most intermediate or beginner welders will tell you they are better grinders. I would recommend getting a fluxcore welder rather than the arc (stick) welder, as it is much more easier to get started with when you don't have to worry about scratch start and feeding electrode. I got mine off of craigslist for 60 dollars and purchased an auto-darkening helmet with it. You'd want an auto darkening helmet, as it is much more convenient for a beginner. The cheapest fluxcore welder from HF or HD will allow you to make this project. The rest of the tools are very basic that you might already own. A metal hacksaw (or grinder), a vice, a hammer, and some kind of sander or file.
Step 2: COLLECT SOME METAL!
Anything will do: rebar, saw blades, ballast blocks, piece of rail, rods, square stock, steel bike frame, etc. So long as it is steel it will work.
There will be three types of segments to this project:
-a heavy base (so iPad doesn't fall over)
-legs/frame rods to elevate the thing off the base
-hooks to keep it in place
Step 3: DECIDE WHERE THE IPAD WILL HAVE SUPPORT AND MAKE a FRAME
I think the system of two hooks on each side and one in center is the most basic, but if not made very tight (which i'll give a tip on how to fix later) will wobble to the left corner or the right corner. You can also have two at the bottom and one on the top. Or perhaps two on bottom and one on each side. Or a wider on in the center at bottom, or...
How I make hooks is by taking a half to one inch strips in width by 1 inch in length and stick it into a vice and hammer it in half until it makes an L. Sometimes I take a longer piece and hammer it in a vice around a bar until it turns into a J so the hook also has additional back support. I round off all the corners on a sander or file them so they don't jab into your screen - eek!
After you have made the hooks and tested that the iPad thickness will fit into them, its important to make a frame to attach the hooks to. I like to make the frame a hair bigger,and attach the hooks to on the outside. Start with the basic frame and reinforce it as you wish after you have it tacked. Attach the hooks to the perimeter, cooling the frame with water and checking with your iPad to assure it fits, (it's ok if its a little loose). If it's too tight cut the hook off and re-tack it a bit higher and recheck before you apply final welds. Try not to overheat your work piece, because that will end up warping your final frame.
Step 4: CHOOSE THEME AND APPLY INSPIRATION
Now that you have a frame with hooks you can choose a theme. It will help you decide on what base and leg you will make to support the frame(which you will end up decking out as well once you get a vision). I prefer to think of items or styling from movies I've seen, so some basic and fitting are: Mad Max (everything is dangerous and made from garbage), Wallie (garbage collecting and nourishing robot), Back-to-the-future mad scientist? Voltron?
Or perhaps think of a video game you like?
Or just some kind of Jules Verne universe?
You'll figure it out once you examine all the junk you have in you pile, the more - the merrier, though.
For bases, I like to use heavy metal, but in some stands I combine it with concrete. There is just something so cool about combining the two, and it's so perfect as concrete is quite heavy if you are unable to find something heavy enough to hold down an iPad on a leg...
Once you have selected/made your base, and welded/stuck the leg to it, tack the frame to the leg, and test out the lean aangle. Once you are happy with it, weld all the tacked areas fully.
Step 5: APPLY PAINT OR LEAVE AS IS
Sometimes it's nice to make things match your interior by applying a bit of color, or sometimes it's nice to leave the object as you found it and keep it's unique look! Whatever the case, decide what you are going to do, because you have deserved to kick back and watch something on your iPad in your new iPad stand!
Step 6: THANKS FOR VIEWING THIS INSTRUCTABLE!
If the iPad is too lose within the frame you have made, or within any of the hooks, apply some sticky Velcro tape (soft part) to the inside of the hook(s)!