Introduction: Plywood Laptop Stand

Hi, and welcome to my instructables about a simple laptop stand I made from scrap plywood. I do a lot of work on my laptop and after hours of drawing or typing I find my neck really starts to ache due to my bad posture. Rather than using a pile of books or buying a stand I decided to design and make one.

Design Brief

I wanted to make something that was cheap/free easy to transport and looks good. I've also not got a great deal of time at the moment because uni work is building up so the design also had to be easy and quick to realise.

Step 1: You Will Need

At the moment I am very privileged to have access to an amazing workshop at uni. As such I use tools that get the job done as quickly and easily as possible. However, you could make this project with more basic tools i.e. a jigsaw rather than a bandsaw; sand paper and rasps rather than belt sander etc.


  • Scissors
  • Bandsaw or Jigsaw
  • Disc sander
  • Belt sander
  • Orbital sander
  • Gentleman's saw
  • Square file


  • Spray adhesive/PVA glue
  • Plywood roughly A3 paper size (420 x 297mm x 18mm)

Step 2: The Design

Having a look around online at the stands already being made helped me decide how I would make my own. I decided to go with a simple interlocking cross made up of two pieces of plywood. I liked the idea the cross can be taken apart and put in my backpack for easy transportation.

I drew the design on Rhinoceros 3D to work out the dimensions and angles and from this model I was able to produce a template. I have attached the template should anyone want to make it themselves.

Step 3: Material

I managed to find a decent bit of 18mm plywood in the scrap bin at uni. To use the template from the previous step you should make sure your material is also 18mm thick. If you plan on using something different and would like me to adjust the template for that thickness leave me a comment.

Step 4: Transfer Template

Roughly cut out an 'A' and a 'B' piece and stick them to the plywood.

Step 5: Cut Out

For this step I used the bandsaw however you could use a jigsaw if you don't have access to a bandsaw. To round the corners nicely I used the disc sander.

Step 6: Mark Up

Now that that the pieces are cut out it is possible to line up the other 'A' and 'B' piece to trace on the cuts to be made. With the interlocking cuts marked on both sides a line can be drawn on the top face to connect the two cuts.

Step 7: Cuts for Interlocking

Referencing the marks cut out the two gaps to achieve the interlocking. I found using a gentleman's saw and a rasp to be the easiest way. I also found that it was a case of trying to fit the pieces together and then filling a bit more until it fitted nicely.

Step 8: Sanding

Although in the 3D model I made the feet of the stand stood flat this was not the case in real life. As such I had to use the belt sander to flatten the feet. I also used the orbital sander and sand paper to neaten everything up.

Step 9: Finishing

The final step was just to give the stand a coat of wax.

Step 10: Done

And there you have it, a simple, inexpensive, easily transportable, elegant laptop stand. I hope you have enjoyed this instructable. No more sore necks :)

If you have enjoyed this instructable please consider voting for it in the trash to treasure contest, thanks.

Happy making!


Rue Shamrock made it! (author)2017-03-20

Howdy. I had a chance to finish the second set of legs that were cut at the same time as the first set this weekend. I kept the shape of the legs but without the interlocking to gain the extra width I needed for my 14" notebook to prevent tipping or sliding forward. Then before adding a dowel to support the two legs approx. 9" apart, I picked up a piece of 1/2" plywood scrap (note it was a cheap 5 layers one) that was 5/8" wide and same length as the notebook (13.5"). I cut two slots approx half of the thickness, to fit the thickness of the legs, setting the desired 9 inches distance I wished to maintain. Now I have my version 2, three pieces, still portable and now more stable to support my laptop!

Have fun making your own!

P.S. If you do not want the third piece, my first picture shows that just the two legs would support the static laptop as well.

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-03-20

Nice job, thanks for sharing your making experience again. It looks great! In the first image (no cross piece) is the stand stable? I always wondered if this style of stand is liable to collapse if nudged sideways...

Rue Shamrock made it! (author)Rue Shamrock2017-03-20

Hi Henri,

With no cross piece, the "legs" are prone to flip or fall side ways. However, once the laptop is on, the added weight will stabilize the legs from toppling to the sides. The only issue would be to be gentle with the laptop case opening and closing. The cross piece I added makes the stand more robust and would allow the opening and closing of the laptop to be "rougher" or "faster".

Thanks for sharing the original design. I enjoyed having these stands around or simply stored them in pieces when they are not being used.

jessyratfink made it! (author)2017-03-16

This looks great! Pretty sure I have enough scrap laying around, too. :D

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-03-20

Thanks! You should definitely try it :)

Rue Shamrock made it! (author)2017-02-25

I finished my Plywood Laptop Stand with a wipe of the Danish (light walnut colour) Oil. The plywood layer contrasts are striking. See pictures.

Again for my 14" Asus Laptop I should have added another approx. 1.5" to the length of the two pieces provided by Henri. At this size meant for 13" Laptop, my 14" laptop could slide forward and requires a bit of balancing act. For larger laptop sizes, adjust according.


Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-26

Thanks for sharing, it looks great! When I have time I will put up templates with extended dimensions for 14" and 15" laptops

Rue Shamrock made it! (author)2017-02-19

I like the simple look and want to make a set from my scrap plywood. However, I am struggling with not having access to A3 or 11" x 17" printer and paper. Would you be able to save the PDF file to 2 "letter" size sheets or provide dimensions of the pieces for me to recreate? Cheers.

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-19

Hi, thanks for your interest. I have uploaded the template as two "letter" size sheets and as two A4 sheets. Hope that helps :)

Rue Shamrock made it! (author)Rue Shamrock2017-02-19

Thank you kindly for this extra effort. I like portable and simple wood designs and this one looks great!

Rue Shamrock made it! (author)Rue Shamrock2017-02-25

Just had the chance to make this laptop stand from the 2 PDF sheets of "letter" size printouts. A caution for those who will be making this stand from home using power jig saws, hand saws, files, and sand paper - I found the compound angles of the cross cut slots and the 4 legs to be tedious iterative trial and error process. You would really need the industrial belt sander for the four legs - at least two at a time. Else, make sure you have plenty of patience with hand saw and file, working one leg at a time and look out for chipping of the edges. My Asus laptop is 240 cm by 340 cm with power supply on the right hand side. With the laptop opened for the screen to face me, I found the depth of this stand just a bit short which tend to cause the laptop to slide off the front.

I AM GLAD THAT Henri PROVIDED THIS INSTRUCTABLE LAPTOP STAND TO MAKE. I really like the portable quality of this laptop stand. I have another set of legs which I may simple add a wooden dowel cross piece to have the extra depth for my laptop.

For anyone who wants to make one of his/her own, I would recommend longer pieces (to create perhaps 3 to 5 cm more front to back depth for my Asus Notebook) based on your laptop width and Centre of Gravity (C of G) change based on the screen tilt. Plywood with industrial belt sander is the better way to go to flatten out the legs.

Happy Woodworking...

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-25

Hi Rue,

I am so happy to hear you made your own, and great to get some feedback on the challenges you faced with the design - sorry if it didn't go as expected. Something I didn't include in the instructable was the fact I actually made one before the stand you see here. That one was a bit short and I revised the design because I experienced the slipping/tipping you describe. I guess your laptop must be larger than mine (13 inch MacBook Pro). I would have to agree that without a belt sander it would be difficult to level off the feet.

Thanks for the feedback :)

dijoh made it! (author)2017-02-25

Hi from the Black Forest,

nice idea.

I use a pice of a thin light weighted aluminium pipe with length arround 40 cm (15 and 17 inch laptop) inside of an old roller blind. See below. It would also be possible to make 2 wodden ramps which could be vertical 'clicked' over the pipe.

Have a good time!


Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-25

Hi Dieter, thanks for your comment. Would love to see your idea made in to an instructable :)

terezkaterka made it! (author)2017-02-22

Dobrý nápad. Skladné, ľahko prenosné.

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-22

Ahoj! Dakujem za váš komentár :)

David Catriel made it! (author)2017-02-20

Excellent and simple. Thx for posting! Would also love to try something like this out of copper or PVC ...

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-21

Thank you! Yes that sounds like a great idea, and certainly looks like you'd be the guy to do it - nice copper work with your photo frame instructable :)

sarawelder made it! (author)2017-02-19

very elegant... the ability to take apart for transport is a great idea!

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-19

Thank you, glad you like it :)

sandalwood1 made it! (author)2017-02-19

Elegant in its simplicity. You've got my vote!

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-19

Thank you so much :)

JK2001 made it! (author)2017-02-19

This looks like a great idea for building speaker or amplifier stands out of recycled pallet wood for musicians.

WendyM133 made it! (author)2017-02-18

Looks terrific, now I just need to find someone who has the tools to make one for me. :)

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-18

Thanks! I hope you find somone :)

seamster made it! (author)2017-02-17

Perfectly simple. Love this, thanks for sharing and for including the pdf template! :)

Henri.Lacoste made it! (author)Henri.Lacoste2017-02-18

Glad you like it, thanks :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey! I'm Henri and I love making things. I'm currently studying to become an architect
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