Bookshelf IPad Stand (or: How Lazy I REALLY Am...)




About: I'm an emergency physician with a desperate need to tinker with things OTHER than a human body!

I like watching movies and TV shows, primarily before I fall asleep and when I wake up, but as a perpetual student, I'm too cheap/broke to buy an actual TV. Naturally, this leads me to watch my media through my computer (which is officially my entertainment system). In my old apartment, my desk was next to my bed, and all I had to do was move my laptop from the desk to my chair in order to see properly and have full control over it. When I moved to my new apartment, of course, my desk moved all the way across the room, and I lost all semblance of control over it.

To correct this, I downloaded an app (LogMeIn) for my iPad that allows me to control my computer. Works great in principle, but do I really want to reach over the side of the bed to grab my iPad, open the case, log in, and then be able to use my "remote control" every time I want to queue another episode? Of course not!

This project was the result of that laziness. I wanted a way to have easy access to my computer via my iPad with minimal effort, particularly in the morning when I can't open my eyes for more than 30 seconds, much less get up to my computer and turn on an episode of South Park. Obviously, you could also put this somewhere else -- the kitchen for easy access to the weather, news, and recipes; the living room for control of the surround sound system you were able to buy with your actual money that you made at your actual job; the bathroom so you can read your comic books sci-fi style. The list goes on and on. Enjoy!

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Step 1: Materials

Chiggity-check that beautiful pic. Also, don't forget your POWER DRILL!!! (I LOVE POWER TOOLS :-D And yes, that is a new revelation).

Piece of wood (long and thin; 1/4" thick x 2" wide is a good one; you'll need at least 24" in length, more to be safe)
Plastic cards (for spacers; don't use old credit cards, because they have words that make them not-flat; used gift cards work best) -- NOT SHOWN
Wood screws (I used #10 x 1") -- NOT SHOWN
Book shelf (or anything else you're mounting the iPad to)

Saw (any kind will do; hack saws are a major pain in the a**)
Super glue
Tape measure
Level (if you wanna get fancy and make it straight, for whatever reason)
Sandpaper / sanding sponge / actual sand (just kidding, don't use sand, it gets everywhere)

Step 2: Making the Pieces

First, you need to cut the pieces of wood to size. You'll need two pieces of the same length for the top bar and two for the bottom. I made the bottom bar 8" long and the top 4", and I position my iPad so the volume rocker and rotation control are on top (and therefore accesible, as they are not covered by a longer bar). Once you cut the pieces to the appropriate length, sand the edges down (you do NOT want scratches on your iPad...or cuts on your fingers, for that matter...).

To assemble the pieces, you'll need to use your iPad. Place one piece on a flat surface flush with the long side of your iPad and the other on top, offset so it covers just the non-screen portion of the front surface. You'll notice that wood pieces don't quite meet (unfortunately, the iPad 2 is somewhere between 1/4" and 1/2", so you can make a secure seat for it without some custom spacers). Start cutting those cards in half and stacking them until you find the right number to make the top piece sit just above the iPad surface (not too tight, not too loose). Super glue the stacks of cards together and then glue the stacks onto the pieces of wood (see images).

Step 3: Mount the Pieces

Take a moment to figure out the alignment of the pieces, then glue them down so they don't move during the drilling (DRILLING!!!!!!).

To permanently fix the pieces to their new home, first drill a hole slightly narrower than your wood screws. NOTE, don't try to drill through the plastic spacers (yes, this may have been part of the reason my drill bit got stuck...). Also, try not to run out of super glue right before your drill unglues the stacks of plastic and splits your carefully measured, cut, and sanded piece of wood in half, thus necessitating the use of more glue, which you of course don't have because you just ran out.

Once the holes are in place, you can drive your screws in (using your powered screw driver, OF COURSE).

Step 4: The Finishing Touch

Finally, put your bookshelf back on its feet, insert your beautiful piece of tech, and voila! C'est finite!

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    8 Discussions


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    :-D Glad to hear it! I kinda write like I think, and I can never decide if that's a good or a bad thing...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    but the real question is are you what you write? or is that what you eat??? I can't remember.

    The nerdling

    7 years ago on Introduction

    when you side it in, yoiu should make it so it slides into a usb cable so it charges and syncs :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hopefully I get the iPad 3 for school :) That will mean I'll have the ONLY iPad 3 in the WHOLE school. As a bonus I will make this.



    7 years ago on Introduction

    I should also note that I have a power strip between the bookshelf and the bed, so I can keep my iPad charging while it's mounted, and it slides out easily enough when I need to take it with me.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Final unsolicited comment (I swear!): I built this for a grand total of about 5 bucks. The wood was just over a buck, the sanding sponge was 3, and the screws were less than a dollar. Obviously, I had the bookstand already, as well as the hacksaw (bought to build a bike stand, which I might put up later; super glue was also leftover from this project, I believe), and I borrowed the power drill from a friend. The cards were just throwaways I had lying around.