Thursday, December 29, 2011
iPad stand from 18th century French bookstand
This stand is cut from a single board, uses no hardware, the hinge is marked out and carved by hand, then the ends are ripsawn down the sides of the board to the hinge.
Roy Underhill, of the PBS series The Woodwright's Shop, wrote a great article in Popular Woodworking Magazine (February 2011 #188) about Roubo and the original bookstand called "Roubo's Folding Bookstand". I recommend you buy a copy of the magazine at http://www.popularwoodworking.com/feb11 to read this.
As a woodworker it was impossible for me to read this piece without trying to make the hinge. The first one I made from a square piece of pine actually worked! Needing to find a use for it I designed an adjustable laptop stand where the hinge is part of the adjusting mechanism (see http://buildingdesks.blogspot.com/2012/07/adjustable-laptop-stand.html).
My iPad stand is closer to Roubo's bookstand design in shape than my adjustable laptop stand. When opened the back is tall to support the back of the iPad, whether used vertically or horizontally. The front is shortened to provide a lip that supports the base of the iPad, and gives your fingers somewhere to sit when not working at the touchscreen.
Unlike the elegant curves used on the legs and back of Roubo's bookstand, the iPad stand is rectangular with the only decoration being chamfered edges. This was a practical decision as well as an aesthetic one. The rectangular legs keep the stand stable if used on a less-than-flat surface, and the back gives good support to the iPad in use.
Since first writing this piece, the episode of The Woodwright's Shop on making Roubo's bookstand has become available to view online - see http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/3100/3101.html.
Posted by David Randall