iPad / tablet tripod mount

I bought an android tablet a few months ago and ended up using it to shoot some timelapses of some stuff in the workshop (example). I made a quickie bracket to hold it on the tripod.

I also made some quickie tablet stands for the tablets by cutting an angled slot in a piece of 2x4, and cutting the middle out with a bandsaw.

The camera on this tablet isn't the greatest, plus I got a scratch on the housing right where the lens is. So I bought an iPad for twice as much money. The camera on that is 8 megapixel instead of 5, behind glass instead of plastic and generally better image quality.


I wanted to make a tripod mount for the iPad, but I wanted to make sure the tablet wouldn't fall out or get damaged if I knocked over the tripod (the iPad is more expensive, and dropped on a concrete floor, the glass would probably break). My idea was to have a piece of plywood with L-shaped rails along the edges for it to slide into.


The speakers are on the right side, so I cut out part of it there to let the sound out.


I still wanted the buttons on the top of the iPad to be usable, but I didn't want to cut away that much of the rail, especially near the corner. My first idea was to use short pieces of dowel through the rail to extend the buttons, but how to keep the dowels from falling out?

Then I had the idea of making little circular disks that sit in holes in the side of the rail.


Gluing on the rails.


I also drilled a hole for the camera and cut a slot for where the second microphone hole is on the back of the iPad.

I later bevelled the edges of the camera hole a bit with a knife and painted the edged of the wood black so reflections wouldn't contribute to camera lens flare.


Then trimming the holder to its final size.


I cut some notches in the corners to put rubber bands on to keep the iPad from sliding out to the side.


Trying it out, my wooden button extensions didn't work. I had 1 mm of play for the iPad in the holder, and the little wooden disks couldn't move far enough to reach the buttons. So I made a shim to tighten up the iPad's fit. I glued that shim on just with glue stick in case I need to make adjustments later.


On the previous tablet holder I just tapped the 1/4-20 thread for the tripod mount straight into the wood like this, but I happened to have some 1/4" threaded inserts of the right size kicking around, so I just used on of those.

After installing the insert in a block of wood, I cut it to the right shape...


... then glued it onto the back of the holder.


Then I realized I forgot the most important feature of any sort of apple product holder — a hole for the logo. What's the point of paying all that extra money for an Apple product if you can't show off the logo?


And here the iPad holder is in use, for shooting a timelapse of installing more lights on the ceiling in this basement workshop I set up so I don't have to heat the big garage workshop on cold winter days.


I'm using some LED strip retrofit kits from americangreenlights.com. I was sent a bunch of these for old shop in 2015 in exchange for a video and writing about them. They offered to send me more for my new shop in exchange for another video, but I'm not into doing product for videos anymore. I saved the LED strips from my old shop when we moved and still had just enough for this shop and my big garage shop. But every time I show some of these strips, like in this video I get asked what LED strips these are. These LED retrofit strips are more expensive than the ones you could buy at a typical hardware store, but they are a bit more efficient and last much longer. For commercial applications the extra cost pays for itself in saved labour for replacing fluorescent bulbs or cheaper LEDs, especially if the lights are hard to get at. But an annoying feature of them is that it takes about three seconds for the light to come on after flipping the switch, so I always combine them with a few LED bulbs that turn on instantly.


See also:

Simple light stands
from discarded lamps

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