Wed, Nov 25, 2015

iPad POS Stand

Building a custom point-of-sale system for the tasting room.

We use QuickBooks Online for our accounting and all sales to liquor stores and hospitality licensees, but a point-of-sale system it is not. We chose Shopify since it works with our phones as well as iPads. It’s also easy and cheap to get going. It’s pretty similar to Square, but also lets us sell off our website, and it’s a Canadian company to boot. It works ok, just barely adequate for the type of inventory management and regulatory reporting we need. This post isn’t about that though, it’s about the wooden iPad Point-Of-Sale bezel and stand we made.

There are a couple on the market. This one is pretty nice, but kinda pricy.

Caliper in hand, I took measurements of my wife’s old iPad and drew them into Illustrator to make up a template that could be lasered out of wood. It’s made from 5 pieces of baltic birch plywood sandwiched together and glued. The top one is held in with four shiny chrome bolts, so it can come off to get the iPad out.

The card reader dongle from Shopify is pretty flimsy. I’m sure it’s designed to work with a variety of standard iPad cases and so it fits precisely none of them very well. This design has a slight indent for the dongle and keeps it firmly in place.

Here are the plans, which you are welcome to download as an SVG file.

After laser-cutting each piece, I glued them up. Once that had set I used a knife to cut away the little supports. They’re just to help with alignment, and once they’re cut away they provide access to the iPad’s buttons.

On the inside I glued some foam pieces to keep the iPad snug. The USB cable goes down a piece of brass pipe I found at VHS so it can be powered (and occasionally plugged into a computer, although it can sync over Wifi too).

I thought we’d drill into our bar top, but our bar is temporary so we didn’t want to make that commitment. Mike had a nice round of maple on his farm that we used instead. He drilled half-way through with the full diameter of the pipe, and then a smaller hole through to the bottom for the USB cable. The pipe can pivot so we can spin the whole thing around for customers to scribble their signature. It worked so well that we drilled the table anyway so the cord could go down.

Job done. Works great and we built it for free out of 100% scraps.

Posted on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 by Luke Cyca