Saturday 30 June 2018

Smart Phone Stand


I have already made one of these quite a while back for use on my model desk. I posted a photo of it on social media and was inundated with lots of requests on how I made it. Unfortunately I didnt take any build photos as I didn't intend to write a post on it but being as my lovely wife is turning 40 very soon I thought that I would make her one as a keepsake for her as part of her prezzies:


You will need either very thin plyboard such as light ply or thick Balsa or even thin MDF would work. The approximate thickness that I used for both stands was 5 mm; the first being made from light ply and the second made from balsa. A good quality high viscosity superglue or wood glue; some low quality cheap tube superglue and that's about it to make a basic stand. For finishing I like to use a real wood veneer that's gloss lacquered to finish but you could leave it untreated or painted. The choice is yours.

To start:

Place the main board onto the phone that you intend to make the stand for. Mine and my wife's phones are of the "plus" size screen so the stands that I made are quite large. You will then want to add around 1.5 inches extra to the length of the wood from the base of the phone. Now I cannot stress this enough; make sure that the wood plate is 100% square; that is all corners are 90 degrees not the plate actually being square! Next cut a second piece of wood roughly three quarters the length of your first piece of wood and the same width. You will want to mark out three "fingers" from each edge toward the centre and then a double width "finger" for the centre. I Won't include measurements for the plate sizes because the initial measurement that you would have taken was based on the size of YOUR phone. Just make sure that once marked out with a pencil that they all look symmetrical as shown in the photos below. Next you will need to cut the "wasted" or not needed wood from between the "fingers" which should leave you with something also resembling the photos below. I should also mention that the "fingers" length should be at least twice the thickness of your phone plus the thickness of your wood. (hope that makes sense).


Once the fingers have been cut its time to get the rule out and start marking the holes on the front wood to match the fingers. REMEMBER your phone will sit on these fingers once finished so make sure that there will be enough height above them on the front plate to support your phone! I used a small drill then opened the holes to square with a needle file. Take your time on this and keep testing with the "fingers" They should be a snug fit and not forced through as this could result in either split wood or broken fingers (ouch!). Once the fingers are fitted through, you will need to mark the large centre finger and one of the thinner fingers either side and then cut them flush to the front plate. this is so that the fingers provide a good joint but also allows a charging cable to inserted into the phone when its sat on the stand.

The Design 

 If you are only interested in making a basic stand then please skip ahead to the "finishing 1" and "finishing 2" sections. If your "hardcore" then please read on:

The design on the stand can be as varied as your taste allows and as intricate as your wood working skills are. I chose a tree design as I like the look of it and the tree of life is a major Celtic symbol; being as I'm Welsh I opted for the same design  on both stands. To cut out I used a mini drill with some burr ends to rough out the shape and then finished the design with some needle files until I was happy with the finished shape.

Finishing 1

At the bottom of the front plate you will also want to cut out a small crescent. This serves two purposes; one; if  your plate is less than square then it will help stabilise the stand and two; it will allow a charging cable to come down from the bottom of the phone and under the stand giving a neater look when the phone is charging. with the finger board slotted through the front board you now have the option to look at the angle that you stand will be when finished. If you want it to lean back, then its a simple case of cutting material of the length of the wood until your preferred angle of "lean" is achieved. Both of mine is around 45 degrees which allows comfortable viewing of the screen when the phone is placed in the stand on a desk. If you skipped to this section then skip along to finishing 2, if your still a glutton for punishment like me then read on!


I will say from the outset that I am an engineer not a wood worker or french polisher but after a few youtube videos I managed to get a good result! I bought a mixed bag of veneer off cuts from Ebay for a few pounds a while ago and made the first stand using bur walnut. the second stand is I think birds eye maple but I may be wrong! either way I liked the finish on both of veneers so its a winner as far as I'm concerned. I also wanted to give this stand a little extra bling so added some cut brass rod that was polished before being glued into place with the good quality thick super glue. The front veneer was then glued onto the face plate using some wood glue and then a scrap piece of wood was then placed on top of the veneer to prevent it from curling and then thoroughly clamped in place and allowed to dry. Once dry I then carefully cut though the veneer and filed out the design. Be very careful here as the veneer is very brittle and chips easily. Once complete I repeated the process on the veneer on the back panel and the "finger board".

Finishing 2

to attach the rear board to the front; its a simple case of adding some glue to the base of the fingers and pushing them through and allowing to set firmly. (you can use superglue or wood glue the choice is yours). Once set I would advise adding a support block at the rear as this will prevent excess movement over time as you use the stand. this is simply a piece of scrap wood left over from making the stand. This can then be veneered or finished to your personal choice. Next up is a "top tip". Soak the wood fingers with the cheap runny super glue. I don't know what the actual reaction is called but wood soaked with superglue becomes unbelievably hard and its perfect for them as they are supporting a smart phone. (you're welcome!). If you've stuck to a plain design then feel free to skip to the bottom final photos; if you've gone for something more special then please read on:

The edges

On both stands I have made to date I opted not to veneer the sides as my levels of wood working are not that advanced and neither is my patience for that matter. In the first stand I opted to paint in a dark brown to match the burr walnut however I chose on the second one to stay with the gold highlights and opted for a pearlised gold paint to finish it. Both the outside edges and the edges made from the design were given this finish and once dried I used several coats of clear gloss spray lacquer until the finish that I wanted was acheived


Final Photos 

and that's it folks! whether you decided on a plain finish or a plain veneer finish or a finish with a design or painted, etc. I hope that you are happy with the finished result and its as unique as the person you have made it for. I hope that you liked this great little craft project and I'll post more projects like this as and when I make something new

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