Introduction: External Monitor Cradle for Laptop
I love my laptop but like many, the screen real estate never seems to be enough. I got myself a 24" monitor that made a big difference but had to juggle both the laptop keyboard and an external one which crowded my desk.
I came up with the idea to mount the monitor over the laptop ditching the monitor base and the extra keyboard. The challenge was make it in such a way I could remove the laptop for mobile use with out too much fuss and reinstall it again when I got back home.
Step 1: Step 1. Measure
I designed a cradle for the monitor with enough room below to slide the laptop under the monitor without closing it. If you are making one, take careful measurements before constructing. Make sure you mark where all the ports and cd drives are for access. Remove the base of your monitor.
Step 2: Step 2. Cut
Cut out the plywood. This one is made of 4 pieces; 1 base of 1/4" ply, 2 side pieces of 3/4" ply and a horizontal back brace of pine. I used scrap wood but you could make it from hardwood and finish it better. Mine's painted black to blend in. Make sure to cut out slots or holes for cable and the cd drive.
Step 3: Step 3. "Angle of View" Bolts
Drill holes in the 3/4" ply for the angle adjustment bolts. I used 1/4" bolts with nuts to set the angle and covered the ends with tape. You'll have to play wih the angle for the best viewing.
Step 4: Step 4: Assemble and Paint
Now assemble the support with wood screws and test access to all the ports, cd drive (if yours has one), and ability to slide the laptop under the support.
Once it's all done and everything is sanded, paint it with your choice of stain or paint.
Step 5: Step 5: Cables
I added a cable coral to keep all of them at bay. Your situation may vary. My laptop has HDMI out so I'm using a 3' cable to send the signal to the monitor. The others are power, printer, external hard drives and audio for speakers.
Step 6: Step 6: Conclusion
I used a bungee cord to hold he monitor tight against the cradle. I toggled the signal from the laptop screen to the HDMI out port so whenever the laptop is connected at home, the signal automatically switches to the HDMI port.
This has worked well for me and I have easy access to remove the laptop for mobile use yet have a 24" monitor at home making my eyes happy. Good luck with yours. Cost under $10. Difficulty 3 out of 10.
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