Commercial, pre-built down-view desks and adapters are available but expensive.
Here is one way that you can make a down-view monitor contraption that is adjustable and portable. And cheap.
Step 1: Main Idea
However, my funny friend Lax has been testing out the down-view theory and, for Lax' situation at least, it has seemed to help.
We'll keep this 'able posted with Lax' analysis and, in the mean time, you can build your own adapter.
Step 2: Architecture
It consists of four basic pieces:
- A top (which the monitor rests on)
- A bottom
- A lip (to keep the monitor from slipping down into your lap)
- A stabilizer (two triangle wedgies) (used to adjust the angle of the monitor)
Step 3: Architecture, Cont.
I tried to apply the same colors throughout the 'able to help keep the parts identifiable.
Step 4: Tools & Materials
- Electric drill
- Circular saw
- Jig saw or pointy or drywall saw
- Plywood for top and back (Plywood mostly comes in huge honking sheets but you can have the people at the hardware store cut it in half so it can fit in your car; there are also some sheets that are not as honking)
- Non-mortised hinges
- Golf Tees to use as removable pins
- 1x2 strips for lip and stabilizer
- 2x4 block for stabilizer triangle wedgies
- Wood glue
- 150, 220 grit sandpaper
Step 5: Cut Top and Bottom Sheets and a Lip
Then cut a 1/2 board to the same width as the top and bottom.
Since I have problems with spatial reasoning and visualization, I used PhotoSlop to emphasize/highlight which piece is which.
So the cinnamon color is the bottom, cyan is the top, and lemon is the lip (just as in the architectural cartoon)
Step 6: Hinges
(PS - anyone know how to get a screwdriver out of a door hinge?)
Step 7: Hinges, Cont.
But who ever heard of Doors with out Jim Mortise? Anyway, these just seem easier to use.
Step 8: Apply Hinge to Bottom Sheet
Close a hinge, place it atop the
Mark the holes of the outer part of the hinges.
In the second figure, (profile), you can see (sort of) how the hinge is slightly indented and "wraps" down the side of the
Step 9: Apply Hinge to Bottom Sheet, Cont.
Repeat with the other hinge.
Step 10: Attach Lip to Hinge
Position the yellow strip along the edge of the cinnamon sheet near the hinges.
Step 11: Lip to Hinge, Cont.
Step 12: Lip to Hinge, Cont.
Step 13: Lip to Hinge, Cont.
Watch your mark.
Step 14: Lip to Hinge, Cont.
Tip: if the screws are too short, use a piece of cardboard to hold the screw like a pair of tweezers while inserting screw.
Step 15: Bottom, Lip Hinged Result
Step 16: Attach Top Sheet to Lip
Step 17: Attach Top Sheet to Lip, Cont.
Step 18: Attach Top Sheet to Lip, Cont.
Step 19: Attach Top Sheet to Lip, Cont.
Step 20: Attach Top Sheet to Lip, Cont.
Why? I'm a klutz and have found that when dealing with awkward angles, it's sometimes easier to glue and clamp things together before trying to screw them together. Or just skip this step.
Step 21: Attach Top Sheet to Lip, Cont.
Now use a drill and screw the lip into the top sheet.
Step 22: Progress So Far
Step 23: Important: Make a Handle
- Close the stand
- Sketch outline of a handle at the opposite-of-the-lip-side of the top sheet (see how hard this is to explain for even a simple idea?)
- Use a large drill bit and drill a hole at each of the corners of the handle outline. Go all the way through the top (cyan) to the bottom (cinnamon) sheets. Why? The hole will help guide the saw when cutting out the rest of the handle. Sort of.
- Use a jig saw or the kind of saw they cut drywall with (can't remember the name right now but it's small and skinny and can fit in tight places) and cut out the rest of the handle.
- Use some 150 and 220 grit sand paper to smooth the handle
Step 24: Optional: Botox for the Lip
But, at the same time, I didn't want the lip to block any view of the monitor in case the monitor wasn't as deep as the lip.
So I wanted a way to make the lip bigger but yet have it be smaller if needed.
Step 25: Optional: Botox for the Lip, Cont.
In the photo, concentrate on the yellow strip (with the drill) -- that is the original-sized lip.
Above that strip, notice another yellow strip with what looks like a golf tee sticking out of it on the right side.
So this is basically just a wider strip with a long notch cut out of it and held in place with golf tees on each end.
I used golf tees so that they could hold the larger lip implant in place yet are easy to remove and allow the implant to be removed easily as well.
Step 26: Stabilizer
NOTE: I'm not sure the triangles are all that important, you could just use two 2x4 blocks
Step 27: Stabilizer, Cont.
Lay out the triangles and cross piece.
Why? The purpose of the cross piece is to allow the user to be able to move the triangles up and back easily (changing the viewing angle) without having to adjust both triangles at a time. I just found that during the prototyping stage it was a hassle to get one side up and then trying to get the other side up to the same height. But whatever, no big deal.
Step 28: Stabilizer, Cont.
Here, I made the hole large enough for a golf tee so that I could both:
- Twist the little triangles to the sides for a smaller angle and so that I could lie them flat when carrying the adapter (more on that in a bit)
- Be able to remove the triangles from the cross piece if I changed my mind and thought the cross piece it was dumb
Step 29: Stabilizer, Cont.
Step 30: Stabilizer, Cont. (Optional)
So in this step you can line up the nubs on the back of the stabilizer, mark where the nubs hit the lipdrill a few holes in the lip, and, when carried with the handle, the stabilizer will sit recessed in the lip.
Step 31: Add Rubber Feet to Back Piece
Step 32: Final Project Complete
Second figure shows the adapter with a larger angle. Again, note how the triangular shape of the stabilizer triangles don't really do much; you could just use rectangles here.
Step 33: In Action
Here are a few 15-second clips of putting the thing together and breaking it down.