In this tutorial I show how to measure your materials and then design a simple shape and slotted stand and adjust the slot for a good fit. Then in part 2, I show how to adjust the file to fit a different material.
[Scroll down for video]
MAKING YOUR OWN SLOTTED STAND
[These steps are a general overview. The video goes over the details.]
Measure the thickness of your material with your calipers. Be sure to peel back the masking first.
* TIP: When you close the jaws of the calipers, apply light to medium pressure. The more pressure you apply, the smaller your measurement will be and that will ultimately make your fit tighter - sometimes tighter than will work for you. The more often you do this, the more you'll become comfortable with the pressure you need to use.
Draw the top shape and the base.
The top shape can be whatever you want it to be - a rectangle, circle, or anything else you can dream up. Once you draw it, you'll add a "tab" to the bottom that will fit into the base. This tab is simply a rectangle that fits into the slot in the base.
Once you have the top and the tab drawn, select them both and use Pathfinder > Unite to join them as one piece.
* TIP: At this early point in the design, I often make a copy of both shapes and put them in a folder named "original" or something like that BEFORE I join anything together. Then I turn that folder off so that it's not in the way, but I can still go back to it if I make a mess of things from here. Although I can use multiple undos, this is often easier.
The base can also be any shape you want - a circle, a rectangle or square, or something organic.
Draw that base shape and then draw a rectangle that is the length of the tab you made above and the height of your material you measured at the beginning. Place that rectangle inside the base shape and use Pathfinder > Minus Front to cut it out of the base shape.
* SLOT TIP 1: I suggest drawing a separate small rectangle off to the side (maybe 1 or 1.5" long and 1" tall) and another rectangle inside of it that represents your slot. This way you can cut this small piece and test the fit and adjust it if needed before cutting the rest of the project.
* SLOT TIP 2: If you cut the slot at the exact thickness of your material, the fit will be loose. That's the result of kerf. I talk about this in the video.
WATCH PART 2 OF THE TUTORIAL TO LEARN HOW TO ADJUST A SLOT IN A DESIGN SOMEONE ELSE MADE. Start at 7:20 for Part 2
>> Want more help with kerf and slots? Here's a Playlist that'll help you.