I spend a lot of time on trains at the moment. My commute is insanely long, and the way I cope with this is listening to podcasts, and more recently, watching video podcasts.
I particularly like This Week in Tech, and the generally very amusing NSFW show.
However watching video on my mobile either means me holding the phone all the time, or balancing the phone on top of something the tray table thing that flaps from the seat in front trying to achieve some viewing angle.
So enter the inspiration for making a phone stand. As usual it’s not that I couldn’t but something specifically for this purpose, which is lighter, more portable etc etc. But why buy some mass produced piece of plastic when you can make something custom from wood!
I decided on a design which was a small frame, with two little ‘legs’ that could be added to form the stand, and removed again to pack it away.
As ever I started by sketching (very roughly) in my Makers Notebook (which is awesome)
The frame was just two lengths of squared wood which I turned the central length down to a cylinder, leaving each end as square blocks.
Then I turned two short cylindrs with tenons on each end so that I could drill holes in the blocks and push-fit everything together into a frame.
Then I just turned some little shaped legs, tappered cylinders with little feet at one end and a tenon at the other which would then also just push into holes at the base of the frame.
I would show a picture of it with my phone in place, however my phone is what I use to take all the pictures and I would have to go find another camera to do that, which I don’ t have time for right now…
The whole project was no more than a couple of hours work, and in truth I only intended it as a prototype, so I didn’t spend a great deal of time on finish etc. However having put it into use, I have found it to be great, very stable even when the train rocks back and forth and provides just the right angle for me.
I have been wondering about some kind of clips that would hold the legs in the centre of the frame when not in use. However, for the moment the pieces just live in my jacket pocket ready to use whenever I need.
One again I have found the trick of using a fixed spanner to size up the tenons has been a very effective and quick way of getting a really good fit on projects like this, I really should have bought myself a set years ago.