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Cool your lap and your laptop. Or use it on a bed or couch. Easy to make & FREE..

Step 1: Trace and Cut Part 1

Gather two or three corrugated plastic roadside signs.

Ask permission, or if it is clearly road spam you can reduce visual pollution by recycling it.

Mark a rectangle which is smaller than your laptop, but which is somewhat larger than where the rubber feet are attached.

Use a box cutter, razor blade, hobby knife or snips to cut out the first rectangle. Remember to wear safety glasses and do not press too hard if you are using a knife. Just cut over and over until you cut through. Cut on a cutting board, or use another sign or two to cut on. Do not use the kitchen counter or table. You know you will suffer if you do.

Now turn the first rectangle 90 degrees and mark a second rectangle so the corrugations (stripes) run at right angles. Yep, you will be making plastic plywood.

Step 2: Trace and Cut Part 2

For the third rectangle, trace at an angle so the corrugations are roughly diagonal.

You do not have to be too accurate with any of your cuts.

Also cut four or five small rectangles, at least 1 by 2 inches each.

These small rectangles will be the the risers where the laptop feet will stand.

Step 3: Stack and Weld

Stack the three big rectangles in any order.

Optionally you can put a flat rectangle of Aluminum foil between two of the layers.

Use a few pieces of cellophane tape to temporarily hold all three layers firmly together.

Next, place the small rectangles on top so they line up with your laptop feet and tape them in place temporarily too.

Now use a soldering gun, soldering iron, hot nail and pliers, whatever you have, to poke holes right through all four layers. Use care, common sense, caution and do not work on or near flammable materials.

Wiggle the hot soldering iron slightly. This will weld the layers tightly together.

Step 4: Ready to Use

Now you are ready to use your laptop lap cooler.

Place the lap cooler on your lap, bed, couch or desk.

Place the laptop on top so the the feet stand on the small risers.

Check to make sure none of the risers are blocking fan or exhaust vents on the laptop bottom.

Step 5: Test Your Temperature

For Windows or a Mac, there are plenty of free utilities to check temperatures.

In Linux Mint, I usually open a Terminal Window and type:

watch sensors

And then I open the System Profiler and run a benchmark to make the processor heat up.

Even running Blowfish my laptop processor only heats up from 35.5C idling to 55.5C and then quickly cools right back down again.

This freebie laptop cooler works just as well as my store-bought fan pad. Plus unlike the fan, I can use it on my lap or on a couch or a bed.

Step 6: Your Ideas Please

You will probably think of simple ways to make this project even better.

For example you could round the corners with a pair of snips.

The pad is strong enough that you could make a fold out tilt stand for it.

Maybe you could add little sliding storage drawers for flash drives or SD cards.

Would duct tape around the edges make this work better?

Or perhaps you have already built or seen something like this, or better than this.

Leave a comment and share your ideas.
There will be plenty of election signs to recycle. I made a recycling bin from them and, in my small way, my political comment.
and make sure you are in a "well ventilated area" as you will be melting/welding the plastic.
if you use a proper soldering iron, with a small tip, YOU WILL RUIN THE TIP!
I made this since I use my laptop on my bed a lot. So far it's worked great... Simple, lightweight, and portable. I used scissors since I couldn't find my box cutter (it's packed somewhere from my move), which worked fine except there were some jagged edges. I also found that the middle bent a little under the weight of my laptop when used on squishy surfaces like a bed. I covered the edges and reinforced the center with duct tape and that solved both problems.<br><br>I think I'm going to use this sign material for more things... It's lightweight and easy to cut in straight lines, plus there's tons of it for free after local elections! Thanks for the awesome Instructable!

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