There are many types of phone stand in the market but why should we buy if we can make one that is simple, portable, unique and free. Well, opt out the last one if you have motto "time is money" because this project does take time. Patient is needed to craft this and I myself have not pass one of several challenges in it.
I love Wall's Magnum ice cream and I always keep the sticks after rinsing. I don't know why. Just keep thinking of any popsicle project I can make with them. Few days ago I was thinking of making a keychain with it. Then I was thinking of carrying something on it. Email and bank account are what I am mostly asked about. My email address is quite long to confirm with Alpha-Bravo-Charlie... code and my bank account number has messy numbers, difficult to memorize. Then I injected a phone holder feature on it.
Now I can enjoy both Magnum and Netflix at the same time... anywhere...
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- A Magnum stick or two.
- Small file.
- Wood glue.
- Power drill.
- Drill bits from 1 mm to 3.5 mm.
- Coffee (for waiting time).
Step 2: Split the Stick
Cut the stick into half. I don't want to bring full-length sticks in my pocket.
- Measure and mark with a pen.
- Draw your mark until the sides of stick.
- When you flip the stick you will see the pen marks, join those marks (draw a connecting line) so now you have marked both front and rear of the stick.
- Scratch those lines with your penknife several times. Put your index fingers and thumbs as close as possible to the line and break it. Shave that little jagged at the middle of the breaking section with your knife or file.
Step 3: Mark the Phone Holder
Draw a rectangle mark near the "M" logo. Er, not really a rectangle actually because we have the stick curve at one side. I gave it a nickname : rectancurve for later use on next steps.
Measure the thickness of your phone (8 mm in my case) and that be the vertical line. Those horizontal lines are 4 mm in my case because I want to keep the "M" logo. Just like the way we split the stick we also need to mark the rear side of the stick with the same measurement.
Step 4: Cutting Off the Rectancurve
There are several ways to cut off the rectancurve but one thing you need to note down is : start with the short lines. Why? Because the wood grain direction is longitudinal. Your force in cutting the long line easily breaks along the line up to the edge of the stick. Pardon me if I use the wrong term in woodworking, but here is the sample picture to help you understand better.
Previously I mention about several ways to cut off the rectancurve :
- Saw Style : use your penknife/cutter the way you use a saw.
- Seesaw Style : this is what I use, move your penknife like a seesaw with gentle pressure until you reach the end of line.
- Drawing Style : use a ruler and scratch your knife along the line, over and over, front side and rear side of the stick.
Whichever style you are using (or maybe you have your own style) do it patiently to avoid breaking the stick and start all over from the beginning. Patient is the key.
Step 5: Cutting Off the Rectancurve : Continue
After we get the short lines cut, now cutting the long line is not that hard because it goes along the grain line. After few scratches at the front side and back side of the stick, you can stab your pointy knife. If you don't cut the short lines, your stabbing can cause a break up to the end of the stick just like the image I showed you at previous step, but this time the break will stop at those gaps at short lines. You still need to do this patiently and carefully though.
After removing the rectancurve, now you can shave it and test fit your phone. If you are cutting too wide then it won't work. Your phone will bump backward. It is better start with the same size of your phone thickness, or even one millimeter smaller, you can shave and fit later.
Yes, one stick (half Magnum stick) can hold your phone depends on your cut and the phone's weight. That one stick surely cannot hold my phone standing in portrait mode, but I believe a full stick can. Why should I put it in portrait when movies are designed in landscape mode? :D
Step 6: Repeat and Repeat
Repeat those cutting rectancurve steps for the next half or next stick will be easier. As you can see I keep the "M" and "Magnum" intentionally, although cutting them deeper will hold your phone better.
Step 7: Drill Holes
Mark your hole positions on your sticks. Start drilling with 1 mm drill bit at a very low speed. Then you can step up with larger drill bits up to 3.5 mm to let paracord or small carabiner through the holes. Clean the drill-cut with your penknife.
Note : Larger drill bits can break your sticks because we are drilling near to the edges. When the drill bit is jammed at the harder wood grain, the force can cause break at the softer part of the stick along the grain line just like the case when we are cutting the long line of the rectancurve.
Step 8: Transferring IDs
This is the hardest part. I have gained all information about transferring photo to wood and I think this one is the simplest in materials. All we need is print out on paper and wood glue but rubbing off the paper is the real problem. Somehow I will explain the process.
- Turn your IDs into QR-Codes. This is the idea for modern sharing information on smartphone. There are many sites offering free QR-Generators and I used Scandit which offers several types of barcode. Use any vector app or photo editor to flip your barcodes/logos vertically and print out at the size of 1 cm x 1 cm to fit in the sticks.
- Glue your printout on the stick with the ink facing down. Let them an hour to dry.
- Soak in water and rub gently with your finger until few layers of the paper off. Do not soak for too long, the ink will smear and the QR code will not work. Those tiny details in the code make it hard to apply with this method. Somehow, one of my QR Code works after a dozen tries :D
- I feel that the square white icons are ugly on the brown sticks, so cut your printings and leave as minimum white-spaces as possible on the icons.
- If you fail in transferring, you can redo after removing the ink with your mini files. After several redos you will have black stain on your stick so you can restart from the beginning of this project or simply draw something with a pen.
Other options for this IDs idea are:
- Drawing with pen.
- Engrave with engraver pen if you are good at it.
- Put stickers on it.
- Laser printing is best if you have one.
Step 9: Enjoy the Show
Bind them on a string or paracord or a small carabiner. Clip them on your keys as a keychain. You can also bind them on a plastic earphone plug and plug it on your phone as dust cover. Now you can simply show your IDs in QR-Codes when someone asking about your email or bank account or your social media accounts. You can enjoy Netflix or Youtube anytime anywhere with snacks and drinks in your hands :D
Somehow I make it stand at portrait mode by stacking four sticks flat on the table :)