Introduction: Minimalistic Laptop Stands Made Out of Bamboo and Bike Inner Tube
- Parts of a bamboo chair and bike inner tube pieces are used as materials for design experimentation..
- The Alchemy Goods Inner Tube Reuse Contest was the motivation to write down this instructable , however I made these stands a couple of years ago and we use them around the house a lot.
- Commercial laptop stands are too plastic and too bulky for my taste. Furthermore I prefer to set the laptop at a relatively small angle in respect to the desk and I wanted something with a wooden look..
- Initially I used books for this purpose but this results in damaging them after frequent use. Besides books are not stable enough , they occupy extra space behind the laptop and it is inconvenient if you want to change position on your desk..
- In this instructable I'll design and build three laptop stands out of the same materials and furthermore I'll show you a few ways to use inner tubes in the workshop, such as making hand grips for tools and a wooden clipboard.
Step 1: Less Is More
The basic rule of this design game will be to reduce the construction to the essentials without compromising functionality.
A few things to consider:
Functionality The aim is to make a simple support for the laptop which makes it stand about 5-10o in respect to the desk. It must be stable with smooth contacts on both surfaces and allow ventilation underneath, It must also be small in dimensions and lightweight to have a place in the laptop bag.
Easy to make A few common tools and about one hour for building.
Beauty of form Simple geometric forms.Think of terms of cylinders, triangles, circles, trapezoids or whatever else may have a purpose in the construction. Take care to match materials and colours.
Recycling materials in the process, is an additional plus.
Step 2: Design
- Design as many as you can and then try to estimate the advantages and drawbacks of each one before starting to build.
Step 3: About Bamboo Chairs ....
Let us talk about materials first:
- The kind of bamboo used in furniture is compact with a minimum of elasticity. When cut in rods of small length is practically unbreakable. This is due to its porosity (see photo).Such a material is strong because the tensions applied at a point cannot be transmitted to the whole length as in the case of common wood.
- The material used here was recovered from a chair. I removed all kinds of connections and nails and I have used it in the workshop in several occasions. Its appearance cannot be improved much because the external layers are damaged from the fabrication process and when it is sanded looks worse.
Step 4: .... and Bike Inner Tubes
I use bike inner tubes either as closed rubber bands or in stripes e.g. to make hand grips. Here are two examples, a wooden mallet and a wooden clipboard I use in my small workshop at the basement.
The mallet was made of a turned wooden piece and bamboo handle. For the hand grip I used a stripe of inner tube. No nails are needed. You start covering from the upper part and when you reach the bottom, the stripe is secured with a tube ring folded in two.
In the case of the clipboard I used inner tube pieces to hold everything on it , including the clip itself (see detail). On the board I drilled two holes for each band with an opening which connects them. The band is secured in the two holes once you get it through the opening.
Step 5: Realization
Three different stands were made, one with a quadrilateral side, one with a circle section side and one with crossing rods. The contact regions were covered with inner tube either with stripes or with small "rubber band" cuts. Glue was not necessary in any of them.
All are robust and usable. My preference is the one with the quadrilateral cross section because it has the larger contact surface with the laptop, adjusted to 10 degrees.
Step 6: Epilogue
- Setting up a design target, limiting the basic materials to be used , aiming at simplicity of means and providing different solutions is an interesting mental exercise. I am sure every maker appreciates this kind of thinking.
"I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else. " Pablo Picasso