[GUIDE] DIY Kickstand mod - Best portrait mode + my favorite case (Spigen Slim Armor)
So, I'm one of those folks who loves using a kickstand.
And while there are a ton of 3rd party kickstand cases on the market, they are almost all oriented towards landscape
mode (movie watching) rather than portrait mode (standing straight up).
And the few that work "okay" in portrait mode are all cheap junk where the kickstand falls apart, or the case is rather
wobbly on its legs.
The Galaxy S3 was the last Samsung Galaxy phone that had a really good kickstand case. That would be the Qmadix
Metallix Kickstand case. Unfortunatly, it didn't offer much protection and was only available in rather ugly color schemes:
But the kickstand was great! Not only was it super-stable in both portrait and landscape modes, but it's also a very durable,
well built/designed kickstand mechanism. The pivot actually uses metal instead of plastic, so it won't wear out on you
after a couple months of use. My S3 case and my S4 DIY case based on this kickstand, both lasted an entire year without any problems.
While other cases I've tried have all been wobbly or so cheaply made that the kickstands fell apart/wore out after just a
few weeks (or same day sometimes).
So here is my second DIY kickstand case based on the Qmadix Metallix Kickstand mechanism.
Preview of what it'll look like when you're done:
1) Buy a two-piece Note 3 case that you like. I used the Spigen Ultra Slim Armor on my S4 and loved it for an entire year,
so i got another one for my Note 3. I like the Metal Slate color. Which I found on Amazon for $20.
2) Buy a Galaxy S3 Qmadix Metallix Kickstand case to source the kickstand mechanism from. I got my last one from
Amazon for $10 shipped. Who cares what color the case is, as long as the kickstand is black.
3) Get a nice file set if you don't already have one. I got this one for $10 awhile back and it worked great for my
DIY needs today:
4) Break out your Dremel & cutting wheel and sandpaper rolls. You're going to need them!!
5) Get some painters tape too, so you can protect the case while you hack away at it.
6) Get a single piece of $1.00 foam board at WalMart or Dollar General. They both have it. Or an arts supply store.
Okay, now first you need to cut the kickstand out of the Qmadix case. Then grab the foam board and press the kickstand
into the foam board to get a good impression of the kickstand.
Cut the impression out and lay it on the kickstand to trace the basic shape. Ensure your right/left and up/down are even. .
Make your cutout. I used a cutting wheel & heavy-duty dremel type tool. PLEASE USE CAUTION. TIPS BELOW:
1) Do not cut all the way to the outside of the box.
2) Leave 1/4" on each side to finish out with the file.
3) Do not leave the high speed cutter in any location for too long or it'll burn the plastic. This plastic is very susceptible to
temp changes and before you know it, you'll have discoloration on spots you didn't even cut.
Use an 80 grit file to bring the edges level. Anything coarser than 80grit will just cause you more work.
Then bring the file grit up till you're at 400 and smooth things out nice.
Use an Xacto knife to cut out a section of the inner rubber piece to allow the kickstand to lay even with everything else
under the case.
At this point, you could use super glue or sticky tape to seal the kickstand to the inside of the hard plastic cover. I used super
glue on my DIY S4 case but it broke loose after a couple months. For the next six-eight months I left it free floating and it never caused a single issue.
Assememble and take cool pics to share!
Even laying upside down-portrait, it is stable.
And still works great for movie watching. Very stable!!
Here's a side profile showing that the kickstand is fairly flush with the case. Flush enough that it works great with docks.
And one of my favorite things about this kickstand is it works great as a pinky or ring finger holder. I can stick my finger
through the kickstand and swing the phone around but it never breaks free. Very cool for one handed operation!
Uh, yeah my fingers are a little gross. Been outside mowing my lawn.