The Inspiration Station was a project born out of a graduate school project as a means to collaboratively promote literacy in the classroom. It also benefits our classroom culture and frankly... I always wanted to do this!
Depending on what tablet you use your frame will change accordingly- but this guide will hopefully get you started on the process.
Step 1: Materials!
1) Tablet: Kindle Fire You'll need an Andriod tablet for this to work, if you have an old one laying around somewhere awesome! I used a Fire tablet because of its super low cost ($50!) and while I love making my classroom look pretty... I'm still a public school teacher ;)
2) Kreg K4 pocket hole jig: Absolutely love pocket screws, and Kreg makes it so darn easy!
3) Drills: One supplied with the Kreg brad point drill bit and the other a square head bit for putting in the...
4) Screws: 1 1/4" Kreg screws which were sized perfectly for the....
5) Wood: 3/4" x 2" #2 Pine- Any wood will work for this and dimensions might vary based upon your tablet. For the Fire tablet, I needed a 38" strip. Pine was chosen because it's what I had laying around and it's very easy to work with. I also used a small strip of red oak for the back of the frame to hold the tablet in.
7) *Not in the picture* I forgot to include a router with a straight bit, a miter saw and wood glue
Step 2: Prep the Wood
Once again, depending on your tablet your dimensions will vary. But using a table mounted router with a straight bit- I removed a 1/4" wide by 9/16" notch with a depth of (whatever your tablet is).
Next, you'll need to measure the width and height of your tablet and subtract the routered inlay. You obviously want your tablet to fit in snugly without too much play. Measure twice!
Step 3: Cut and Test
All pieces are cut at 45 degrees respectively and tested to make sure they fit!
Step 4: Getting Jiggy With It (who Hasn't Made That Reference?)
2 out of the 4 pieces receive their pocket holes.
This was my first time making a picture frame with the Kreg system, so I made a quick test frame to see how they would work. I found that I could really only secure each corner with 1 screw. If I had made the frame with 3" wide wood, I have no doubt you could get 2 screws in per corner.
Anyway, when in doubt... use some woodglue to help strengthen the joint.
Step 5: Screw This Frame
Using 2 quick clamps to hold down the frame- use your drill to drive in the screws (use your torque setting ;) )
My first attempt was to use corner clamps- but I found that the wood would rise up a 1/16th of an inch or so everytime I put in a screw. So clamping the wood to the table was the preferred method
Step 6: Power
The Fire tablet has physical buttons at the top of the device in which you need to access. So I used a router to carve out some access to the power button and the USB plug/wire
Step 7: Almost Done!
To keep the tablet from falling out, straps were added to the back and secured it with 2 wood screws that were inserted 90% of the way. The remaining 10% left exposed will be used to attach picture wire so we can hang the thing later.
The frame was finished up with just some wax polish because I was in a rush and wanted to keep it natural.
Step 8: Application
The Inspiration Station software was created using the MIT App Inventor. We are still tweaking some elements of the app, and we will eventually put it up on the app store. For the moment- the app simply works by uploading pictures from your device and it automatically plays in the app. For the moment, this is desirable because it gives us great control over the content as these are used in classrooms.
To download the application- click below:
Inspiration Station App (for Andriod)