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[GUIDE] DIY kickstand case - perfectly stable in portrait or horizontal

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By CZ Eddie, Senior Member on 18th October 2013, 02:26 AM
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So, I'm a kickstand case kinda guy. Not horizontal kickstand though, I like the PORTRAIT kickstand! So I can go to my local pool hall, set the phone on the table, and see anytime someone texts me. And even type a reply text without ever picking up the phone.

You just can't do that with any current Galaxy S4 kickstand case.
At least not as well as the kickstand case I had on my Galaxy S3.

I had the black/red one and it was nice looking. But the kickstand was PERFECT. Not only was the phone super stable in portrait, but also horizontal.
There are some kickstand cases available for the S4, but nothing that comes close to as perfect (IMO) as the S3 case was in portrait mode (standing up, not sideways).

So, I tried several S4 cases and they all sucked. Every single one broke pretty quickly and none were overly stable. My old S3 kickstand case lasted a year and the kickstand in it still worked perfectly. It was just solidy built.

Anyways,I decided to just build my own. A DIY kickstand case.

First, I went to Kickstand4U website and ordered their add-on kickstand.

Then I went and found my old S3 case for about $10 on eBay. It was an UGLY color, but that didn't matter. All I wanted was the kickstand from it. These cases btw, all have either a matte black kickstand or a white kickstand.

Then I compared the Kickstand4U (left) vs. the S3 kickstand from Qmadix (center, with new S4 Spigen case on right).
As you can see, the Qmadix kickstand in the middle is larger in size, made for large phones like ours. And it's going to be more stable than the smaller Kickstand4U. I really hope Kickstand4U eventually makes a larger kickstand because otherwise, I really liked the quality & build of this kickstand. It also had notches that let you select an angle for the kickstand.

So I proceeded to take apart the S3 Qmadix kickstand case.

Then I cut out the kickstand from it.
My Dremel is old & wimpy, so I used a high power Ryobi instead.
But any newer, decent Dremel with cutting wheel will work just fine.

Then I sized up the cut out kickstand.

Then I cut out a suitable sized hole into my new Spigen Slim Armor case.
You'll note the kickstand itself is larger than the hole in the Spigen.
This is so I have a mounting surface to glue them together.

Then I used epoxy to glue the kickstand into the Spigen case.

And then I cut out a hole from the Spigen inner rubber case so the kickstand would fit and not bulge out.
I also put scotch tape on my battery cover just to make sure the back of the kickstand doesn't scratch the battery cover.
What you see in the pic is the inner rubber case, then the outer hard plastic case, then the large black part in the middle is the kickstand that's glued to the outer hard plastic case.

As you can see, the inner part of the kickstand mount and the cut-out of the inner soft plastic case is perfectly level.
So no buldging at all!

And voila. I'm freaking happy as hell. Finally got a well built, great working kickstand case.
Next time I'll slow down and make the cutout a little nicer. I learned a few tricks I can apply next time.
The cool thing is you can buy any color shell you want by itself from Spigen for $10.
You don't have to buy the whole case over again. They let you buy the shells by themselves.

Wow, that kickstand is so nice when it's built INTO the case rather than stuck on top of the case.
You can hardly see the kickstand coming out of the case.

Total cost:
Spigen Slim Armor S4 Case = $18
Qmadix Metallix Galaxy S3 case = $10
Epoxy = $3
= $31 total
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18th October 2013, 12:11 PM |#2  
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damn thats sick good job
18th October 2013, 03:10 PM |#3  
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Not bad! Was thinking of making something removable for my OtterBox. Oh, and btw, you spelled "GUIDE" wrong in your thread title xD
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18th October 2013, 06:52 PM |#4  
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Originally Posted by joshm.1219

damn thats sick good job

I'm going to head to a hobby shop later today or tomorrow to pick up some 1/8" trim to make the cutout appear more stock looking.
It's hard as heck to cut out a perfect square.

Originally Posted by elesbb

Not bad! Was thinking of making something removable for my OtterBox. Oh, and btw, you spelled "GUIDE" wrong in your thread title xD

LMAO, thanks. "Quide". sheesh

Btw, I was actually going to do this with the Otterbox Commuter case. But Otterbox put their name in HUGE letters right where the kickstand needs to be mounted. So it would have looked kind of bad. IMO.
Do-able, but a little off looking. You would have seen "OT____OX" with a kickstand in the middle.

FYI, the pic below shows the other two kickstand cases I tried on the S4.
The one on the right was more stable in portrait mode. But it was absolute junk and broke on the first day and nothing fit very nice.
The one on the left was nice as an everyday case. But the kickstand was not very stable in portrait.
I actually had two of these types of cases. The kickstand on both was designed poorly. Always falling out of the case.
The first one fell out so many times that it just wouldn't stay in any longer.
I also tried many kickstand cases on my S3 that I didn't like, such as Body Glove, Seidio, Spigen, etc.

18th October 2013, 07:41 PM |#5  
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The other nice thing about large portrait-mode kickstands is they make great carrying handles.
Kind of like what this item below was designed for.
I just slip the kickstand between my two middle fingers and everything is stable in my palm.
No needing to "grip" the phone.
This makes one-handed operation of a large phone much easier.
And also a good shoulder cradle.
18th October 2013, 10:48 PM |#6  
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Nice work!

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19th October 2013, 01:32 AM |#7  
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I struck out at Hobby Lobby in my quest to find material to make a super nice looking "trim ring".
I have a CNC friend. I may ask him if he can make up some precision cut CNC aluminum 1/8" x 1/8" trim rings to go around the kickstand cutout.

If he goes for it, would anyone else be interested in buying one or two rings for their own kickstand project? The trim ring would be for the kickstand itself, so it would work on any case you used the kickstand on.

If the cost is reasonable and he has the downtime, I might have him work up a trim ring for the Kickstand4U also, since it's a really nice looking kickstand and smaller in size, so it may be more attractive to some users for certain cases.
11th May 2014, 11:59 PM |#8  
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Thumbs up
After all this time, I still liked the case so much that I went and made another one for my new phone.
I had better looking results with my new Note 3 case.

New DIY thread:

Note 3, second generation DIY kickstand.
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