If you search on the Internet for a $5 iPad stand, you’ll find several variations of a block of wood with a slot cut into it. I had some scraps of mahogany 1×6 left over from another project I’m working on, so I decided to make my own. The 1×6 was $29 for a 9 foot plank, which comes to $3.22/foot. I used 9 inches of it for this project, so $3.22 times 9/12 comes to $2.15 worth of mahogany. Not that the price really matters much, but I get to make my wife something nice and it doesn’t cost a lot so everyone wins!
So with the math out of the way, the next step was pretty simple – especially since I have access to a beautiful table saw at the local school’s shop. I don’t have a table saw at home, so it would have been more complicated using a circular saw at home. I angled the blade at 45 and made 3 cuts on one end of the board, very close together, going about half-way through the thickness of the board. I then angled it at 22 degrees and made the same series of cuts at the other end of the board. If I needed to worry about accessing the Home button while the iPad was in portrait orientation I could have drilled a hole about 3/4″ across near the edge of where these cuts would be. We typically just set it up and watch TV so we’re not interacting with it much while it would be propped up. I can always drill or file a notch in there later if needed. My version of this stand also doesn’t account for a charging cable being plugged in while the device is in portrait orientation, but we don’t need that so I didn’t worry about routing and drilling trenches for the cable.
Next I used a very small chisel to remove the wood from the inside of each series of cuts, making 2 complete grooves in the wood. A few minutes with some medium-grit sandpaper (I think it was around 100?) to take the sharp edges off, and I was all set!
Photography note – Yes, that’s the same block of wood… the 2 different colors are not from staining or any top coat, just different lighting. The finished product was photographed at home, while the in-progress version was photographed in the shop under fluorescent lights.