Introduction: Curved Wood Laptop Stand

In this guide I'll show how I made my curved laptop stand out of Rosewood veneer. When at my office I usually plug my laptop into a monitor and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. Only trouble is my laptop still takes up a lot of space, I would stand it up and lean against a speaker but it would often fall over. By standing it upwards it'll take up a lot less room, still give me access to all the ports and look cool as well.

This project ended up taking way longer than I thought it would, partly because I didn't have a thick enough piece of wood to make a mould, or a bandsaw. But it was a good exercise in making something with limited tools. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Make sure you watch the YouTube Video for a detailed guide on how to make this.

For this project you will need;

Real Wood Veneer

Plywood

Jigsaw

Wood Clamps

Wood Glue

Masking Tape

Orbital Sander

Boiled Lineseed Oil

Step 1: Prepare the Mould

I started by making the mould that will shape the laptop stand later. This would have been much easier if I had one thick block of wood, and a bandsaw to cut it. Unfortunately I don't have that, so I made best use of what I had, a lot of 9mm plywood, and a standard jigsaw.

I worked out the size of the curve I wanted to hold the laptop, and how much veneer I had. I started cutting down the plywood into strips that would be big enough for the outside of total size of the stand. I then glued these together in 2 sections, stuck my curve template down to it, and cut along that line. This then left me with 4 sections, 2 top curves and 2 bottom curves. I then glued the 2 tops together, and the 2 bottoms together. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is, just watch the video it will be a bit clearer.

This is where one clean cut would have left me with a perfect line, however as mine were not perfect I had to sand them down so they were level.

Step 2: Cut Veneer

The veneer I had was just over 1m long, and around 17cm wide. It was this beautiful piece of 0.6mm thick Rosewood. I started by cutting the veneer down into 3 equal length sections. When cutting veneer sheets, the best way to get a clean cut, is to use a very sharp knife and make lots of light passes and eventually cut through the wood. If you try to cut in one pass you risk splitting the wood. It's not the end of the world, I managed to get one split, I glued it back together with some superglue and a tiny piece of sellotape.

Once I had 3 sheets of even length, I cut this down out to make 9 even sized bits. Again, sounds more complicated than if you watch the video.

I took my digital callipers to find out exactly what size I needed to make the opening for the laptop. I have a MacBook Pro but I have a thin plastic case to protect the front, so I had to measure what thickness it was. I think made another template on the computer to help me mark this onto the veneer. If anyone wants these I am more than happy to upload them for anyone to use, just let me know in the comments.

Step 3: Glue Up & Sand

Now that I had all 9 individual sheets with the laptop hole cut out, I started the glue up. I decided to use standard wood glue as it would give me a little time before it starts to set. I choose the best looking piece that had a nice white colour running to the edge, and started from the bottom, added glue, then stacked upwards adding glue in-between each layer. I wanted to use a lot of glue to make sure it was super strong, and in the end I think I might have used a little bit too much!

I clamped down the mould and left it a good 24 hours to allow the glue to dry completely. I then removed the clamps and carefully removed the stand from the mould. There was quite a lot of wood glue everywhere it was hard to remove from the mould. I started to pull all the excess glue from the veneer and sand down all the edges.

I then used some boiled Linseed oil to finish it. This will add a layer of protection and it really makes the grain pop out and show how beautiful the wood is.

Step 4: And You're Done.

So there it is, it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I think it was totally worth it in the end. Now I have made the mould I can make more of these using any other sheets of veneer. There's lot of tools that would have made this so much easier and quicker, a CNC machine to cut the mould, a laser cutter for the veneer. But this way you can see that this sort of thing is possible with minimal tools.

If you like this please head over and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. If you make one of these yourself please share photos it would be great to see them!

Comments

author
emilyboda (author)2017-06-30

This is great! I bought an IKEA napkin holder for this exact purpose years ago, but it still has too large of a footprint to be helpful so now we just use it for its designed purpose. I'm curious, why the velcro on your laptop? Also, do you have an instructable on how you made your laptop look so battered?

author

Hi Emily, thanks for viewing! Yes have a go this is easier than I made it look I'm sure! Firstly, the velcro is to attach an external hard drive to my laptop. I have the matching bits attached to various hard drives that I can attach to the laptop screen and not fear of dropping them!

Secondly, my laptop is so battered as I travel a fair bit. My main job is as a filmmaker so I end up traveling a fair bit and travel with my laptop so it gets a little battered, but I perfer to think of it as well loved, even though its less than a year old!

author
corradini (author)2017-06-26

VERY nice! How do you keep the laptop from sleeping while it's closed - (I'm guessing you have to go into power management and disable that)?

There are a couple of other ways to do this, as I'm thinking about it. You could bandsaw some thin strips instead of buying veneer. And rather than using a mold (sorry, American spelling ;-) - actually I'd call it a form anyhow - you could just use a couple of stop-blocks nailed/clamped to a board or workbench (like this: n_________n ), and arch the strips between them while gluing 'em up. They'd naturally form what's called a 'catenary' arch, like a suspension bridge. You could steam the strips first - there's lots of stuff online about doing that with a PVC pipe or similar, or maybe just put in an oven for a while with a big pan of boiling water - as long as you get them to the form reasonably quickly.

Nice work!

author

Thanks! yes just in the settings, basically set when its plugged into mains supply never go to sleep. Works well for me.

Yes in my head the mould/mold/form was really simple, and I think I massively over complicated it! I did a test with a sort of peg board idea but it just wasn't strong enough :) Thanks for liking though

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Bio: I love creating and making things. From leather wallets, wooden rings to DIY projects. I also make videos of everything I make, have a look ... More »
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