Tabletop Tablet Stand

Cast this design in a supporting role.

Designed and built by Tom Whalley

Overall dimensions: 5"w × 51⁄2"d × 5"h (with back support angled)

Dock your tablet in this handsome holder, which you can make with scrapwood. The fold-out back support angles the electronic device for easy viewing while allowing you to rest the stand on a desk, table, or kitchen countertop. Fold the back support flat to store the stand away.

Start with the back and base 

1 From 1⁄2" stock (I used cherry), cut the back to the size in Figure 1. Mark a 5⁄8" radius at the top two corners, and then bandsaw and sand the corners smooth.

2 Mark a pair of centerpoints on the back where shown, and drill a pair of 5⁄8" holes, 1⁄4" deep.

Center a brad-point bit above the indented centerpoint, and drill the through hole using a backer underneath to prevent tear-out.
Hold the dowel in place in the V-groove jig with finger pressure; drill a centered 3⁄8" hole 5⁄16" from each end of the dowel stock.

3 Cut the blank for the base to 9⁄16 × 11⁄4 × 5". Using a zero-clearance insert and pushstick, make the two cuts on your tablesaw, where shown in the Base Cutting Sequence, Figure 2. First, set the blade height to 5⁄16" and adjust the fence to 5⁄16" from the blade. Now, with the blank face down as shown, make Cut 1. Next, raise the blade height to 13⁄16" above the table, and set the fence 1⁄4" from the blade. Place the base blank on edge, and cut the groove (Cut 2).

4 Cut, drill, or drum sand a 1⁄2"-wide arched notch, 3⁄16" deep, into the top center of the base to allow access to the tablet’s on/off button. Sand smooth.

5 Mark a 1⁄4" radius at the top two corners of the base. Now, bandsaw and sand the radii smooth.

6 With the back edges flush, glue and clamp the base to the bottom edge of the back. Finish-sand and apply the finish. (I used Watco Danish Finish, Natural.) Avoid getting finish in the 5⁄8 holes.

Add the support

1 From 1⁄4"-thick stock, cut the back support to 11⁄2" wide and 41⁄2" long. From 3⁄8"-thick stock, cut the pin support to 11⁄2" wide and 1" long. Rout or sand a 1⁄8" round-over along the bottom edge of the back support. With the top edges flush, glue the back support and pin support face-to-face, as shown in Figure 1.

2 Using the support detail for reference, mark the curved cutlines on the two support pieces. Then, mark the hole centerpoint using an awl or finish nail to slightly indent the location. Center a 3⁄8" brad-point bit over the centerpoint, and drill through the support (Photo A). Bandsaw or scrollsaw the support profile to shape. Finish-sand and apply finish to the support.

3 Make a simple V-groove jig from a block of wood. Install a 3⁄8" brad-point bit in your drill press. Next, mark the through-hole locations on the ends of a 6"-long piece of 5⁄8"-diameter cherry dowel, referencing the pivot supports in Figure 1. Now, place the jig on your drill-press table and center the bit at the center of the V. Place the dowel in the jig, centering the through-hole mark under the bit. Holding the dowel and jig firmly in place, slowly drill the through-hole so as not to chip the hole edges (Photo B). Repeat using the other end of the cherry dowel. Finally, crosscut a 7⁄8"-long dowel support from each end of the dowel. Finish-sand.

4 Cut the pivot dowel to length from 3⁄8" walnut dowel. Finish-sand the pivot dowel or the 3⁄8" hole in the pivot support so the center section rotates easily in the support. Next, glue the pivot supports into the 5⁄8" holes in the back, aligning the holes by temporarily slipping the pivot dowel in place.

5 Remove the pivot dowel, fit the back support between the pivot supports. Apply glue in the pivot support holes, and re-insert the pivot dowel, centering it. Let dry, and finish the dowel.

About Our Designer/Builder

Urbandale, Iowa, resident Tom Whalley has been a woodworker for over 40 years and is the past president of the Des Moines Woodworker’s Association. His award-winning designs have been featured in several national woodworking publications.

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