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Coburns by Fine Grain

A portable set of two hardwood pieces form a minimal iPad stand, with almost limitless adjustability

by Nara Shin in Tech on 12 November 2013

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Together, Levi Price and Eric Rea make up Fine Grain, a new design duo that formed in 2012 for their first product, the Bowden iPad case. It combines aircraft-grade aluminum, hardwood and leather to protect your iPad thoroughly without making sacrifices in the aesthetic department. Fine Grain pushes the boundaries of materials again with their newest project Coburns; two separate hardwood pieces that prop up an iPad for angled viewing, and attach to each other magnetically for easy stowing. The two-piece combo allows for numerous viewing angles—both landscape and portrait—giving Coburns a leg up over most other iPad stands on the market.

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Price, an industrial designer who grew up woodworking in his dad's shop in rural Idaho, and Rea, a computer scientist, met at Brigham Young University as college students. NOw they—as Fine Grain—are based in the small town of Provo, Utah (also home to BYU), right next to the Rocky Mountains and Coburns is also made right there, supporting local businesses.

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"Levi had the idea for the separated stand in December of 2012," Rea tells CH. "He made a rough prototype in the shop at that time. After we decided to move forward and make it an actual product, we were trying to find a way to keep then together when not in use. We didn't want to add an extra part so magnets seemed like a good choice. We just didn't realize how fun the magnets would make the stands, to spin around and play with."

For the Coburns, Fine Grain tested out 10 different types of wood before settling on two of the strongest exotic hardwoods: a local, light-colored Bird's Eye Maple and the dark brown Pau Ferro from South America. "They also complement the different color options of the iPad," Rea adds. And, because wood is softer than glass, Coburns won't scratch the surface of your iPad.

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To make Coburns ready in time for the holidays, Fine Grain needs to raise $5,000 to produce it affordably. Snag your own for $19 (they'll eventually retail for $25) by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign which launches today, 12 November. Coburns will be available in different sizes for the iPad 3 and 4, Mini, Mini with Retina and Air.

Images courtesy of FineGrain

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