Introduction: DIY Notebook Stand/Cooler

Picture of DIY Notebook Stand/Cooler

I'm using my MacBook Pro intensively. The temperature rises very fast while compiling programs or editing videos. To improve the air circulation and the heat transportation I usually put a book under on edge. But I need a smaller and more transportable solution. Therefore I built this notebook stand with a simple wooden staff and some sealing rings.

The holiday season is coming and you might need a small gift.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

What's needed?

- A wooden staff. The diameter determents the height of the air gap

- 3 sealing rings made of rubber. The diameter should be a little bit smaller than the diameter of the staff. You can use rubber bands as well. In this case it's easier to fit the right size (Thanks to MikeNykoruk and others for this idea)

- A saw to shorten the wooden staff and the make small grooves for the rings

- Some sort of measuring device (carpenter's rule)

- Pencil for markings

- Piece of sandpaper

Step 2: Sawing and Grinding

Picture of Sawing and Grinding

First cut the staff and make it a little bit shorter than the width of your notebook. Use the saw to engrave three grooves for the sealing rings (~1mm depth). Cut one groove directly in the middle and one on each side of the staff, with a little margin to the edges. Tip: Use the saw parallel to your working bench and slightly roll the staff.

Use the sandpaper to grind the edges of the wooden staff and to widen the grooves a little bit. Now you can put the rings over the staff a place each in one groove.

Step 3: Done

Picture of Done

Your stand is finished. Now you can place it under the your notebook. It fits perfectly in my notebook bag.


BioKY made it! (author)2016-12-23

Fantastic. Normally I work in my bedroom and the living room because it is the only place where I could place the laptop knowing that it won't overheat.

They didn't sell sealing rubber rings in both the wood shop* and the local hardware store nearby so I used rubber caps.

*I don't know how it is called.

Dwargh (author)BioKY2017-03-28

That's great!

It won't roll away now ;)

Stish (author)BioKY2017-01-05

Wow it looks great. I think you got more stability with your rubber caps. Nice work.

mickeypop (author)2016-12-04

PC laptops are forever getting warm and i have found it is always airflow that proves to be the issue. Those cooler boards don't cool well and never as much as just plain air space underneath. Being the engineer i tested and got an average 22-26% cooler with the spacer than the fan boards.

I have been using similar to yours for years now but with minor differences.

I use a 1" PVC tube with end caps. I grind off a bit of the side of the caps so it will not roll and only glue 1 cap so pens rulers etc.. can be stored as well.

all in all they are great to have....Good instructable - hope allot find it


Oooh, love the storage idea! My first thought was, what a great place to keep my earbuds that I use sometimes when viewing videos.

Crucio (author)mickeypop2016-12-07

I like that storage idea, too. But you can combine the two projects (use O-rings instead of grinding) and have the best of both worlds.

mickeypop (author)Crucio2016-12-07

the problem with your combining idea is it still has no flat side to keep the rolling under control.

Grant you the o-rings "give" some traction, but they still leave it round and can still roll out from under the laptop.

The flat cut-away on the caps deal with that issue so the rolling is gone.

If the o-rings are added they lift it up enough to roll again and defeat the point of making a flat side.

jyo001 (author)mickeypop2016-12-06

If you travel with your stand, do you store items inside the tube?

mickeypop (author)jyo0012016-12-07

I have a mechanical pencil, eraser, yellow highlighter, 12" ruler and extra leads, all on the tube

Stish (author)mickeypop2016-12-05

Very nice idea with the PVC tube. You should write an instructable about it. I thought about cooling boards as well, but I need a portable solution, that's why I use the stick.

zposner (author)2016-12-08

Does it roll out from under the laptop

Stish (author)zposner2016-12-08

It works for me and doesn't roll out or around at all. There are some great ideas in comments how you could deal with this problem if it occurs.

suziehotrod (author)2016-12-04

I got a dowl rod the appropriate diameter and drilled out two wine corks and glued and stuck them on the ends. Provides a lot more air flow.

Crucio (author)suziehotrod2016-12-07

I bet it looks nice, too. Upload a pic if you can.

KimberleyH (author)suziehotrod2016-12-05

I like that idea. I was looking for something small that would tilt my wacom tablet at an angle, that would work.

peterjens (author)2016-12-04

If Apple made these, there would be an Apple logo and $129.99 price tag on it.

Crucio (author)peterjens2016-12-07

Seriously, though, an apple logo on the ends of the dowel would make great finishing touches to this really nice project. A simple marker or, even better, wood burning tool could achieve this in no time.

skagit (author)peterjens2016-12-06

lol...wonderful comment

Stish (author)peterjens2016-12-05

Well then I'll put a pear on it and sell it for 99$ ;) ...but not in rose gold

Yonatan24 (author)Stish2016-12-06

But... Don't forget the lightning USB connector. The piece of wood will also have to be charged for some reason...

mickeypop (author)peterjens2016-12-04

probably more like $199.95

Apple never sells cheap

jyo001 (author)2016-12-06

This is great!

maniacse (author)2016-12-06

I am using 4 boxes from mints (TicTac), but those are not aligned and not so nice as this one. But it works.. :)

thepoisonivy (author)2016-12-05

This is cool...hey a pun...sort of. I will make this, however, because there is literally nowhere in my house that is level, I will sand down the rings to give them a flattish plane and hopefully prevent rolling. I love Instructables like this - brilliantly, deceptively, simple hacks for things that actually make a difference in my day-to-day...Danke!

MikeM127 (author)2016-12-05

Great idea! Simple yet effective!

Stish (author)2016-12-05

Thanks for all the feedback. I wasn't expecting that much for this small piece. There are great hints in the comments. I've updated the description accordingly.

mbonifax (author)2016-12-04

good .. easy and consistent

I made one with a "long" sea shore stone and few "O" ring (too)... heavy enough to leave it on the desk ;-)

Stish (author)mbonifax2016-12-05

...and even more pretty than my wooden thingy. Great idea.

VancoD (author)2016-12-04

<looks at stick>
Suddenly hungry for churros.

Great idea tho!

Stish (author)VancoD2016-12-05

Thanks. Isn't this the greasy cookies from Spain? Looks similar to it :)

rocrem (author)2016-12-04

Yeah, but for the new macbookPro you would need a dongle ;-)

Stish (author)rocrem2016-12-05

Yes, it comes with bluetooth. Everything is better with bluetooth

XTL (author)rocrem2016-12-04

Its OK, this one is wireless....

dewey302 (author)2016-12-04

Very cool Where do I download the driver?

Stish (author)dewey3022016-12-05

The drive comes with a 2 year contract for just 14.99$ per month. It's a freemium pricing strategy :D

NancyK63 (author)2016-12-04

Thanks. I hadn't realized my laptop had air inlets on the bottom. I'll try this. Another problem I solved with my overheating laptop turned out to be with Windows Update running constantly, but that is another story. :)

Stish (author)NancyK632016-12-05

Let me know if it works.

PaulA209 (author)2016-12-04

Drill a hole thru the dowel and insert a pen/pencil when in use.

Stish (author)PaulA2092016-12-05

Very nice. It would fix a possible rolling problem and a pencil is by the hand when needed.

Awesome idea!

violetsmuse (author)PaulA2092016-12-04

Smart idea, brilliant! I'm forever misplacing my pen...

Modern Rustic Workshop (author)2016-12-04

Is there any way you increase airflow to ventilate and cool it even more?

You could use a bigger diameter or this idea from suziehotrod:

I got a dowl rod the appropriate diameter and drilled out two wine corks and glued and stuck them on the ends. Provides a lot more air flow.

MikeNykoruk (author)2016-12-04

Good Idea! The rolling "problem" of the round dowel could be solved with by belt sanding to create a flat side. Finding the correct size rubber rings might be difficult, but using a few rubber bands instead could work. There are many ways to skin a cat and everybody is an Art Director! LOL Great concept, thanks!

Stish (author)MikeNykoruk2016-12-05

I like the idea to grind one side and to use rubber bands. The rubber bands make a easier for everybody to build it at home. I will add this to the description.

Stish (author)2016-12-05

Thx :)

RigoC (author)2016-12-04

Cool and simple. I wonder if quarter-round with rubber bands might not work better though.

tomasina (author)2016-12-04

Like the idea. A while back I had similar need. I used the smallest diameter piece of pvc w/sticky hook velcro placed strategically in three places @ the back/bottom of my laptop so as to avoid the air vents. Then wrapped the pvc w/sticky loop velcro in the corresponding places.

Bill WW (author)2016-12-04

Great, and your design raises the cooling fan inlet so air can get in. On my Dell the fan inlet is pretty much blocked right there at the back.

itslisa (author)2016-12-04

If you take the cut off end and split it into two pieces, you could rubber band one to each end. The rubber bands would help with the sliding (like the O ring) and the added dowel would keep it from rolling.

About This Instructable




Bio: Born in Berlin in 1985, engineer, contrarian, 'The Big Bang Theory' fan, my blog:
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