Goals of the project:
- To create a base just large enough to set the computer on.
- To hide a usb hub and multicard reader.
- To hide cable from keyboard.
- To have one less plug to attach to my computer everyday.
- A saw.
- A length measuring device.
- Jig Saw.
- Dremel Tool.
- Safety glasses and hearing protection (if using power tools).
- Staple gun
- 5/8" square wooden rods.
- Tape (preferably a combination of Duct, Gaffers or Masking Tape).
- USB hub.
- Card reader.
- Thumb tacs or staple gun staples.
Step 1: Prepare the Frame
This step requires the most planning. You must first plan out what you are going to put in the base and then determine the appropriate sizes for the pieces of wood. Remember that you should subtract two times the thickness of the wood from the length of the two sides that will be inside so that the frame is not too large. Then you should measure twice and cut once.
I used the dremel sanding bit to sand some of the frame, especially the end, and also sanded by hand in some areas.
Next you should mark where wires are to run and use the dremel to cut grooves so that the wires can pass from one section to another, or outside of the frame.
Finally, I used the dremel to drill pilot holes and screw the frame together.
I specifically used 5/8" square wooden rods to construct the frame. Due to my lack of a power saw I used a hand saw which took longer but worked just fine. I choose to not have the usb ports exposed because I wanted to stick as much with the square frame as I could to ensure durability.
Step 2: Attach a Base
Step 3: Cover the Base
I would have used a staple gun instead of thumb tacks but I do not own one.
Step 4: Place Components
Step 5: Optional Additions
I made a cover for the laptop's keyboard to have something nicer than a folded piece of paper to keep me from looking at the keys on the laptop's keyboard. (As you can see from the external keyboard I have painted over the letters to help me improve my typing speed and finally learn those symbols on the number keys.)
I made a lid which I thought I would set the laptop on. I decided that it looked better just setting the laptop on the bottom piece without a lid, but kept the lid around in case I want to have something to place over the frame when the laptop is not on it. You can see a small dent on the cover because I cut holes in the cardboard for the cover to improve ventilation should I set the laptop on it. If you do not need access to the inside of the base you could simply stretch bare cloth across the top and use thumb tacks to attach it, thus maximizing airflow.
Additionally, I have left space in the case should I decide to add a few small fans to improve cooling of the rather hot Macbook Pro. Designing the specifics of such a system is left as an exercise to the reader.
Lastly, I did add small rubber feet to the bottom of the stand to keep it from sliding on the table. Whether or not this will be important to you depends on your use and surface.