Well, finally got my lap desk set up fairly well. I looked in a number of stores, just looking for something, hopefully also not too wide, made of steel to slide into that little plastic sign and had no luck at all. And then tonight I noticed on a shelf with various junk items I never threw out, two fairly small pieces of steel (about 4x6) that I remember putting aside probably well over 10 years ago thinking some day they may be useful for something that uses magnets!
Maybe half a mm thick so not bad. Thinner would be better, assuming something thinner would still close to the same attraction. I set it up vertically inside the plastic sleeve so I can have plenty of places to set the TB (side to side doesn’t matter as I’ll always want it centered that way). Not sure of the minimum width the plate needs to be to hold the TB. Seems the strongest force is near the center but there is some magnetic grab further out. But I’m pretty sure it could be narrower. I have nothing to cut it with though.
The plastic separating the plate from the TB reduces the grab, but that a good thing. It is easy to remove the TB that way, yet the grab is strong enough that I can tilt it vertically or upside down - even shake it some - and it won’t come off! So now I can use it like my Apple keyboard and just prop it up next to my chair, on the floor when not using it.
One issue is that the plastic sign is 9.5 inches wide (that would be the height as I use it) and that is too wide to fit in my iPad bag. Even with my computer bag which is what I usually use for trips, it would be hard to zip up. So I need something to make that a bit smaller. I could probably have something just 6 inches wide and fine on my lap, but 8 inches would be fine for travel too.
As I said before, the sleeve could also hold a paper with other useful info. Maybe a chart showing the location of characters which I don’t remember yet (which I could update as I learn more of them). That way I would only be showing things I need to know rather than have a bunch of congestion in there making it harder to find the character I want.
One other issue is that I don’t think these sign holders hold up well. I can see stress marks where the plastic folds over. Only a problem if one breaks while on a trip though, since it may not be convenient to get another one at the time.
11 inches long is good to fit across my lap. Maybe could get by with 10 but 11 is better. But even on Amazon, I couldn’t find anything that long but no more than 8 inches wide so this may be the best I can do.