Making an iPad/tablet holder from a bookend

A few years ago, I got some old metal bookends that were being thrown out. These are the bent metal type that are common in libraries. Some of them were slightly unusual in that rather than just being L shaped these had a tongue(?) going out on the bottom for extra stability. Painted in a grey finish they were scratched and had some surface rust.

I wanted to build a couple more iPad stands. I had built one before and had used timber. It was ok, but not as stable as I wanted. I started with this one by cutting off some of the tongue part and bent it into an L shaped lip to hold the iPad at the base. This was the most challenging part as it is fairly thick metal and was a little difficult to bend. Using a vice, I was able to start the bend and then removed it from the vice and tapped the edge with a hammer to finish it.

Bending the upright part to form a better viewing angle was quite easy. I gave it a sand with an orbital sander and finished with matt black spray paint. I added some stick on feet.

All up it was about an hours work.

I tried to think how I would have done it if the bookends didn’t have the tongue part. I came up with two ideas. One was to look for some U-shaped metal channel and rivet that on as the lip. The other is to make the lip piece from timber and screw it on from behind. Dark timber and the matt black paint would probably have gone well together.

The only concern I have is if the iPad fell forward, would the screen hit the lip at the front and break the screen? To avoid this for I cut a piece of plastic tubing, slit it down the length and placed it over the lip of one of the stands for extra protection. Our iPads have covers that also provide reasonable edge protection.

We have two in the house and have been using them for about a year. One gets a lot of use in the kitchen. They have proved to be useful items.

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