Introduction: Make a Passive Cooling Laptop Stand

Picture of Make a Passive Cooling Laptop Stand

Make a passive (air) cooling laptop stand. The basic principle is simply getting the laptop up off the ground (or off your lap) to facilitate natural air flow beneath the laptop. Many sell for ~$30 like the one shown in the images (and may be worth the money) but while you're deciding whether to buy one, why not make one yourself?

Step 1: Gather the Goods

Picture of Gather the Goods

Here's a picture of everything you'll need. Things not shown in the picture you might need: Sharpie and a cutting board (in the picture, just forgot to label it). I happened to have an obscene amount of dry-cleaner's clothes hangers, so that's what I decided to make it out of. Go figure. :P

Step 2: Getting Started: Crimping

Picture of Getting Started: Crimping

Position two clothes hangers with hooks touching. Straighten each hook using pliers, then begin to wrap the metal around the opposite hanger (I used two pliers, one in each hand to easily bend the metal). They should both be firmly crimped to each other when finished. This step is probably the hardest.

Step 3: Adding Support

Picture of Adding Support

WARNING: Do not cut like shown in the pictures. My hands were positioned like that only for the purpose of taking pictures.

Now we'll add the support dowels running perpendicular to the initial set. Cut these new dowels down a bit to match the footprint of your laptop (e.g. my PowerBook is widescreen so i need a rectangle, not a square). Now, on each end of these new dowels, cut a 1" slit. Insert these supports on both sides.

Step 4: Wired Up

Picture of Wired Up

WARNING: Do not cut like you see in the pictures. My hand is positioned like that only to take the pictures. Always keep your hands away from the sharp side of the blade.

Cut triangle wedges (indicated in pink) out of each cardboard dowel using a knife. All cuts should be equal distance from each corner (3-4 inches out).

Next, slice open your Cat5 cable to reveal the twisted pairs inside. Choose a color you want (doesn't matter) and unravel the twisted pair. An easy way to do this is to stand up with a wire in each hand (making sure your arms are raised enough for the cable to be off the ground). Then, slowly pull the wires apart. It will twirl around while separating at the top. If you pull too fast it will tangle up. No Fun.

Step 5: Cinch the Corners

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Wrap the wire around all the corners, using the triangle wedges you cut out earlier, then with pliers, twirl the ends together to pick up the slack and make it taught. This should pull the corners together.

Step 6: Quick Fix

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Uh oh. It looks like we got a little problem. The side beams might start to bend from the tension from the wires. We'll insert some support beams in the middle to press the sides out again.

Run a wire from the Cat5 inside the center support dowels, loop it around the side dowels (indicated in blue), run it back through the middle support dowel, then tie it off around the wire hangers in the middle (indicated in blue). You can then twist the wires with pliers to finish off.

Step 7: Laptop Supports

Picture of Laptop Supports

Now we'll add the supports the laptop will actually sit atop of.

Get two more full length dowels. Poke a hole all the way through 2 inches from each end. Now, either using stiff clothes-hanger wire, or Cat5 wire, secure this support running parallel lengthwise. These should be closer together so your laptop can sit nicely on them.

Step 8: Gription

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Add the rubber grips to help the laptop stay put if the stand is at an angle. Cut a dowels to fit perpendicularly between the laptop rests. Place the rubber shoulder grips (that come on some clothes hangers) around the dowels, then secure the dowels using wire, running it through the middle, wrapping it around, then tying it off like before (indicated in blue).

Step 9: Padding

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Stretch the foam padding across the dowels. This will prevent the laptop from getting scratched from any and all of this wire that could touch it.

Step 10: Finished!

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Well, that's it. This is a cheap and industrious way to cool your laptop down if you're tired of it burning your legs or just cool down while doing processor-intensive tasks.

Comments

bedbugg2 (author)2007-07-08

this is great! but i dont have those coathangers in my country :(

oringes (author)bedbugg22007-07-11

Thanks. You usually get these coat hangers from the dry-cleaners when you get your clothes back, just for future reference.

roelor (author)oringes2007-07-11

we dont have drycleaners in our country (I think i never found one.) but good one i think i gonna make one of ptc tubes and some laps of wool and a few wooden sticks.

doo da do (author)roelor2012-07-26

I was going to suggest that , you beat me to it. Some times you have to think outside the box for the same result. Doodado

roelor (author)doo da do2012-07-27

I beat you to it by 5 years bro!

oringes (author)roelor2007-07-14

That sounds like a good idea, roeler. It will probably be stronger than mine. I'd like to see some pictures when you're done :)

roelor (author)oringes2008-03-10

I have my laptop now i need some ptc tubes...

doo da do (author)roelor2012-07-26

What you think about 3/8 PVC ?

roelor (author)oringes2007-07-14

well it wouldnt be too soon because i will get my laptop in about 1 year.. when that year is over i will most definitly build this lap cooler

jugal kishor meena (author)2012-02-11

nice...

Amberlodge1 (author)2008-02-22

As a bed-bound paraplegic horizontal 24/7 I got one of these and it lasted no time at all with real use. It needs a serious remodel before it will be reliable'. Mine lasted two weeks and with nobody to help ended up in the bin.

Paul

dimmaz88 (author)2008-02-16

Ray mears would be proud lol

bruc33ef (author)2008-02-11

This is a terrific idea. It has gotten me thinking of how to adapt it to my situation and I've thought that maybe a PICTURE FRAME without the glass and backing might be the way to go. I'll bet I can pick one up for a few bucks that'll fit just fine. Many thanks!

bedbugg2 (author)2007-07-14

what did i say wrong =(

trebuchet03 (author)2007-07-11

This is not a constructive comment.

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