Introduction: The 10 Minute Laptop Stand

Picture of The 10 Minute Laptop Stand

After putting one of those $30 prefab plastic laptop stands back on a store shelf I began thinking of an easy way of gaining similar functionality without the wastefulness or expense. Rummaging around my local hardware store I came across the materials needed to build this simple yet effective laptop stand for about half the cost of a commercial one.

Step 1: Required Materials

Picture of Required Materials

I purchased all of the materials needed for this project at my local Home Depot.

Materials Needed:

Simpson Strong-Tie OT structural joint tie 12"x12" - part# 044315774300
4 Rubber Anti-Skid Pads with included screws - part# 039003096444
3/4 inch wooden dowel - part# 049437396911
small bolt and nut

Step 2: Cut the Wood Dowels to the Correct Size

Picture of Cut the Wood Dowels to the Correct Size

I cut the wood dowels to 3 inches which gives a good viewing angle while it's sitting on my workbench. I would recommend cutting them longer at first and then reassess your viewing angle and re-cut if needed. Drill two small pilot holes in the bottom of the dowels as to avoid any cracking when the anti-skid feet are screwed in.

Feel free to paint the wood dowels any color you desire. I've painted mine matte black to match the color of my rotting soul.

Step 3: Screw the Dowels Into the Base.

Picture of Screw the Dowels Into the Base.

Now position the metal base between the rubber foot and the dowel. The pilot hole should be facing the metal base and the rubber foot. Drive the included screws through the rubber feet and into the wooden dowels, sandwiching the metal base in the process. I've tightened down the dowels finger tight then pulled them forward towards the front in order to correctly align with my Macbook Pro . You may need to perform slight adjustments before fully tightening down the dowels depending on the size of your laptop.

Step 4: Insert the Front 'stopper'

Picture of Insert the Front 'stopper'

Now with the rear dowels completed you can insert the front stopper. Mount the two remaining rubber anti-skid feet by holding one on each size of the metal base while bolting them together. This will form the third foot of your laptop stand and will prevent the laptop from sliding forward.

Step 5: Finished! Now Enjoy Your New Laptop Stand.

Picture of Finished! Now Enjoy Your New Laptop Stand.

You should now have something similar to the simple stand shown below ready and waiting to host your precious laptop. True, it's not as nice as most of the commercial stands but this one has the benefit of being inexpensive and reusable if you should happen to be retrofitting an old home in the future. (The base is often used to join roof joists). Total cost is around $19 but if you opt for a standard steel finish you can save around $3-5 bucks.

Other options that would be nice to have.... an adjustable front foot to change the viewing angle, rubber stoppers where the dowels meet the laptop or perhaps angled back legs to mesh better with the bottom of a laptop. If you have any additional questions or have any suggestions to improve upon this design let me know. Enjoy!


JohnJ107 (author)2015-12-04


iEthem (author)2014-06-12

which model is this mac?

mganpate (author)2012-08-24

its good you can use stike there rubber protraction when ther foul because the avoid the laptop damage

Dragonothe (author)2010-09-05

You could cut the dowels on an angle to fit the bottom of the laptop.

looker1995 (author)2010-02-06

Home Depot, as well as most hardware stores, offer non-skid rubber pads to prevent scratching things such as table tops or hardwood floors. You can get a variety of tan felt pads also, but I would use some of the black rubber type. They are round, self adhesive, and available in a variety of diameters. Sticking those on top of your dowels should solve any scratching issues.

HardCoreHacker (author)2009-08-12

How much did all of those supplies cost?

godofal (author)HardCoreHacker2010-01-29

5 bucks probably  if u buu it new, but  free if ur a bit of a scavenger ;)

ravencrop (author)2010-01-28


caityjay (author)2009-05-14

Yeah, I was thinking it was upside down the whole time XD I think at least putting a couple of rubber stoppers on the tops of the dowels would help with the denting issue, and definitely prevent any scratching of the case. Very cool; simplistic whilst managing to avoid tackiness. I like it.

mcpguru (author)2009-04-24

Can you add your rotting soul to my compost pile? My wife will be getting one of these when she needs the stand. I'm still chained to my desktop.

markvid (author)2008-12-27

yeah macbook pro! same as mine!! :--)

shooby (author)markvid2009-01-28

It's like they mass produce them or something! Wowie!

reese08_93 (author)shooby2009-04-16

nice one lol

Derin (author)shooby2009-02-13


tipsychimp (author)shooby2009-02-04

thats just an internet rumor

Taotaoba (author)2009-02-14

Thats a nice one

Ahmed.AlAmir (author)2008-12-26

Great instructable! How about filing the top of the dowels into a slope to help stabilize the laptop?

alfonso (author)2008-03-09

I'm going to have to build this, I just got a MacBook Pro and its like having a jet engine on my desk. Nice instructable.

phant0m_sp00f3ra (author)alfonso2008-12-19

I got a 17" MBP and holly sh!t they're very hot! congrats mate!

mondaymonkey (author)alfonso2008-09-08

I just bought a Compaq CQ50-106CA and it is seriously intensely hot. Those Turion 64 processors are amazing performers, but run VERY hellishly hot. Considering that its got a fsb of 2.0ghz its pretty dam hot.

glynlowen (author)2008-04-06

you could make one a lot more easily out of wood!!!!

cornboy3 (author)2008-03-14

This is cool, but it doesn't look very sturdy. I think you are relying to much on for a $1500 laptop.

johnbot (author)cornboy32008-03-14

Actually if you tried it you would find it to be incredible sturdy (and simple). I fail to see where there is a problem as far as sturdiness? Can you explain more throughly your ideas? I'd like to improve upon the design so please help by contributing. thanks!

cornboy3 (author)johnbot2008-03-27

I mean like three Rubber Anti-Skid Pads making it so you cant knock it flying? hmm maybe if you flipped it over makeing the metal t touching the laptop

johnbot (author)cornboy32008-03-28

Yeah. I flipped it over and it's working quite well. I'll inverse all of the images in photoshop. ;) hopefully ill have a new update to this instructable in a week or so. thanks

davis_brud (author)2008-03-11

Cool but would this work better upside down?

kafene (author)davis_brud2008-03-13

I think that's a better idea... the contact point might dent the Powerbook.

johnbot (author)kafene2008-03-14

Yeah, it works quite well upside down too! The only problem is that the front tip of the metal base wouldn't be resting on the front rubber stopper. This could be corrected by bending the first 2 inches of the metal base parallel with the table it's sitting on. That would make a pretty cool looking stand but then the metal bracket used for the base would not be reusable :) (not such a big deal for 11 dollars) Another method would be to forgo the front stopper and just apply some type of rubber to the very tip of the metal. I'll try it and post some pics soon!

chalky (author)2008-03-11


gmjhowe (author)2008-03-09

great instructable, just like that, it was made! ive been eyeing up the structural joints at my local wickes for making something along these lines, this has deffinatly helped. thanx, maybe i can finally replace my kenex laptop stand

Da_Fudge (author)gmjhowe2008-03-09

haha. K'nex laptop stand? your laptop must be light as a feather for the K'nex to hold it up!

gmjhowe (author)Da_Fudge2008-03-10

Actually, if you contruct the knex properly it works a treat - see following and also

rasta_bhoy (author)gmjhowe2008-03-10

I never get bored with all these k-nex instructables. too bad I broke all of them in half a long time ago. hehe

gmjhowe (author)rasta_bhoy2008-03-11

you can buy the stuff dirt cheap nowadays car boot is ur best bet!

burtonboarder.snow (author)2008-03-10

Hey thanks for this it works great the only problem is my nearest home depot does not carry the same Simpson but it was no problem I found one that was a little smaller but we bought an extra for it so we drilled some holes and attached the extra on and everything works perfect thank you here are some pics

very nice, we also have laptops that need stands. Good Instructable

fishlee (author)2008-03-09

Simple!! Cheap! Great job!! I'm going to have to make this one! THANKS

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-09

WOW, great Instructable! Images are very good, very easy steps to follow, everything is just awesome. Amazingly done job, +1 rating.

I really hope to see more from you.

mutface (author)2008-03-09

That instructable is awesome! I'm using it right now!

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-03-09

Great instructable, and nice MacBook pro I'd put stoppers on the other end of the dowels so it doesn't scratch it

Brennn10 (author)2008-03-09

Great instructions! This definitely will come in handy when I eventually purchase a laptop.

awoodcarver (author)2008-03-09

Nice and simple easy to follow

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