If you’re like me, you use the iPad in the kitchen pretty much every day. If you’re also like me, you’ve had to become quite creative in jimmy-rigging methods to keep the iPad from falling over in the midst of following your favorite online recipe for chicken parmigiana and marinara sauce. Those days are long gone after this project, though, thanks to this DIY copper pipe iPad stand.
This super simple, ingenious DIY project takes minutes to complete, and it is an absolute lifesaver.
DIY Level: Beginner
- 30 inches (total) of 1/2” copper pipe, cut to lengths: 8” (one), 6” (two), 4” (two), and 1” (two).
- Two (2) 1/2” x 1/2” 90-degree copper slip elbows, female to female
- Two (2) 1/2” x 1/2” 90-degree copper slip elbows, female to male
- Four (4) 1/2″ copper slip caps
- Two (2) 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1/2″ copper slip tees
- Super glue (I recommend Gorilla Glue)
- Copper pipe cutter (not shown)
If you’ve never cut copper pipe before, you might want to practice cutting off a very small piece to get used to it before you start on your actual pipe. Although it’s not hard to do, you’ll probably want to get a feel for keeping the blade in line with its score line so it doesn’t spiral up or down the pipe. Place the pipe perpendicularly into the pipe cutter, the cutter blade aligned with your cut line. Turn the cutter knob to tighten. You want it tight enough to keep the pipe in position but not so tight that you can’t spin the pipe.
Spin the pipe in the cutter (or, if you prefer, spin the cutter around the pipe) so the pipe spins toward the cutter’s rotators. Every spin or so, tighten the knob so the blade moves further into its score line. Be sure the blade stays precisely on the original line. Repeat the spin-tighten-spin-tighten process until the pipe is completely cut.
Lay out your pieces in this format, with the 8” pipe across the top, the two 6” pipes down the sides, and the 4” and 1” pipes on the bottom. The female to female elbows will be at the top, next to the 8” pipe, while the female to male elbows will be at the bottom, next to the 4” pipes. I recommend dry fitting everything before you actually glue it, so you can get a feel for how snug or loose the pipe is within each fitting.
Run a decent sized bead of super glue around the inside rim of the slip cap that’s next to the female to male elbow (bottom leg).
You can see the glue makes a complete circle inside the copper cap but doesn’t ooze out the top of the cap.
Place the male end of the female to male elbow into the glued slip cap. Next, you’ll be attaching the 4” pipe to the female end of that same elbow. Run the glue around the inside of the elbow opening and glue in the pipe.
Next, you’ll be attaching the slip tee to the other end of the 4” pipe. Run the bead of glue around the inside of one of the bottom tee openings, and insert the other end of the 4” pipe.
Quickly and carefully twist the elbow and tee so they line up precisely parallel (from a bird’s-eye view, which this photo isn’t).
Next, you’ll be attaching the 1” pipe to the other bottom opening of the slip tee. Run a bead of glue on the inside of the tee, and insert the 1” pipe. Make sure your tee doesn’t twist away from alignment with the capped elbow.
Lastly, for this leg, you’ll be attaching the slip cap to the 1” pipe. Run your glue in the cap, and insert the pipe.
Great job, your first leg is done. Repeat this process for the second leg.
Next, it’s time to assemble the top of the copper iPad stand. You’ll be gluing the two female to female slip elbows to the sides of the 8” pipe. Run your glue into the elbows, and slide the pipe into those openings. Be sure the open ends of the elbows are precisely aligned with each other; you can stand them on your work surface to see if they need adjustment. Do this quickly before your glue starts to set!
Next up is attaching the 6” pipes into the open ends of the elbows. Run your glue inside the elbow fittings, and attach the 6” pipes. (Do these one at a time, of course.)
You’re now ready to assemble the legs onto the stand body. Run a bead of glue into the top opening of your slip tee, and insert one of your 6” pipes.
Look straight down, and check for 90-degree (perpendicular) alignment between the leg and the 8” pipe.
Repeat for the second leg, double checking for 90-degree alignment with the 8” pipe and also for parallel with the other leg.
Congratulations. You can now read your recipes hands-free, without fear of your iPad slipping or falling or closing or whatever.
The stand looks well even on its own. Copper does that to a kitchen, don’t you think? (Check out this DIY copper pipe paper towel holder tutorial, if you want more copper in your kitchen life.)
Next project: clean the iPad screen. It gets pretty grimy out here in the kitchen, what can I say?