Fast, Cheap, Amazing. Pick Two.

This Instructable is part of a longer exploration of material reuse that I'm calling the Offcuts Series. I hope you find my little project interesting—most of my dimensions were discovered along the way, so making a recipe to built the exact same thing didn't make much sense. However, if you do decide you want to make an identical piece, let me know in the comments and I'll throw a printable PDF in with the dimensions for you.

After working here at Instructables HQ for awhile and staring at a monitor that sits about a foot low for comfortable viewing, it became clear I was going to need to take matters into my own hands if I wanted to be comfortable. What better way than to build my own laptop and monitor stand?

There are many thoughts as to the best way to go about this sort of project, and many trees felled printing books about 'proper' ergonomics. The main targets I wanted to it were pretty simple—keep the centerline of the monitor at bang-on eye level when I am sitting with good posture in my chair, and do my best to center the laptop's screen next to it. In service of these goals, the criteria I chose to stick to were pretty few:

1. Upcycled/reused materials.

2. Simple forms.

3. Minimal fasteners.

Step 1: Materials & Tools


I started out with the idea that all of the materials, aside from fasteners, would be recycled or reused. My last project, the Work/Play TV Tray, used only wood that I found lying around in the shop here at Instructables HQ, so it made sense to follow some similar rules this time.

For this project, I decided to use only wood from a couple of things that I had lying around—a quickie monitor stand built by Mikeasaurus that he'd given me, and a shipping crate that found its way into my hands.


At least for getting the crate and monitor stand apart:

Small Prybar

Nail-pulling Pincer Pliers

Prying chisel

Cutting & Assembly:

Bandsaw (You could easily use a hand saw)

Table Saw (You could easily use a Skil or other circular saw)

Hand Jigsaw

Drill Press (not necessary for this project, but nice to have!)

Cordless Drill

Cordless Driver


<p>Mini tripod-ish thing ;)</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>could you plz send me a printable PDF in with the dimensions so that i can make exactly the same ones.. my mail id vskc_k@yahoo.com </p>
<p>Man, you've taken Ikea to another level! XD ahaha! Great one!</p>
Love it
<p>I'd recommend cutting holes, or even the center 2/3 of the board the laptop rest on to encourage cooling. I know my Macbook Pro gets pretty hot sometimes. Hey, maybe install a biscuit fan on the back. </p>
<p>You sure gained a lot of desk space, even behind the laptop. Thank You.</p>
<p>hehe. I noticed in this series of photos that your project could be mistaken for the makings of a wooden computer. (see attached screenshot)</p>
<p>I have been working on a wooden computer case, sort of on the side, for a while now. You may be seeing one come up at some point in the middle-distance-future....keep an eye out!</p>
<p>Brilliant. I always feel like an idiot when I see something this obvious an I never thought of it.</p>
<p>Looks great!</p><p>I did something similar, though far less elegant, and found that the support for the laptop benefited from a board across the back of that main plywood plate. It made it more stable.</p><p>Also, I didn't do this, but was tempted to use a drill and jigsaw to cut slots in the back of that plate for better airflow from the bottom of the laptop. Might be overkill, but it might also prolong its life.</p><p>Again, great job! Thanks, Jim</p>
<p>I have a possible suggestion to make the monitor stand do one more thing: add a small rotating hub on the post so that you may rotate your monitor to portrait mode when you desire. (the hub would look like a metal lazy suzan, it is found in many hardware stores. They come in many sizes. You need the smallest one. They have mounting screw holes on the metal parts.)</p>
<p>Great idea! I don't ever have the need to rotate my monitor, though. All of my work is done in landscape.</p>
<p>I would bet $5 that the height you've set the monitor at is what made Jon Chalk think of the rotation. I agree, you should try adding that so you can work it into your plans nicely / flush mounted. Nice stands by the way. </p><p>If you've only ever needed to work in landscape then you're not having the maximum amount of fun provided by a computer. Try Propellerhead's Reason or Adobe Photoshop Editing in portrait mode with 2 monitors going.</p><p>It's pretty key however (not the least which for cord management) that there's a hard stop at certain angles (90, 270, etc.) and that it's not too fast moving. This rules out the inexpensive lazy susan, I would think.</p>
What about that chair in the last picture? Is there any instructable or you bought that?
<p>It's a chair we have hanging around Pier 9. I don't know much about it, other than it looked really nice in the shot. I'll ask around. </p>
Thanks! I'll be waiting! And about the stands, nice job man!
<p>Found it! It's the P9L Lounge Chair, by Instructables author and former Artist In Residence, alepalan<br></p><p>His author page:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/alepalan/">http://www.instructables.com/member/alepalan/</a></p><p>The chair:</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/P9L-Lounge-Chair-made-with-CNC-Router/">http://www.instructables.com/id/P9L-Lounge-Chair-m...</a></p>
Thanks bro! It's an awesome project! Like we say here in Brasil: Valeu mano!!!
<p>Thanks for the compliments!</p>
<p>What a clever idea.</p>
<p>Thanks! </p>
<p>Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>Looks awesome!</p>

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