Step 1: Get your materials
Heres the summary of items to get-
- steel mounting plate
- 4 small wood screws to attach steel plate
- 2 knobs
- threaded 1/4-20 rod (or just hack a long bolt)- about 4in long
- 2 1/4 20 nuts
- 3/8ths in threaded rod (or just hack part of a bolt- about 1 in long
- Some U shaped extruded aluminium for the clamp frame ( size will depend on laptop thickness
- A little bit of thin foam to pad the clamp
- Drill and a set of bits (up to 1/2in) for metal and wood
- 1 1/2in and 1 1/4in hole saws
- Angle grinder (for metal)
- Clamps (the more the better)
- Wood glue
Step 2: Cut the baseboard
Once you figure out the right thickness, cut additional baseboard parts if you need to.
Step 3: Clamp together and cut out the wing nut holes
Note that mounting these holes away from the center of the board is not a bad idea since the center of gravity of your computer will be offset to one side when the screen is raised.
Step 4: Glue it all together
The more clamps (or whatever else you have) the better!
Step 5: Make clamp pieces
Now you'll want to drill out a hole for in one side of the clamp. Note that you want this hole to be aligned with the tee nut when it is embedded near the edge of the baseboard, about 1/4in in from the open side in my case.
Next, you'll want to cut a length of 1/4 20 threaded rod so that it can be screwed all the way into the knob, go through hole you just dilled, through a nut, and through the tee nut. Also, make it short enough so that it doesn't stick out about the baseboard surface. For me, the end of the tee nut was just below the surface of the baseboard.
Finally, cut a small piece of foam to glue to the top of the clamp so that it doesn't mar the surface of your computer.
Step 6: Cut wing nut holders and drill mounting holes
The steel mounting plate needs a hole for a 1/4-20 screw centered on the 1 1/4in hole you drilled before and a hole for a 3/8ths in screw in the center of the 1 1/2in hole.
To create a place to store the wing nuts when not in use (because otherwise I would have to worry about losing them...) I cut a couple lengths of threaded rod just long enough to hold the wing nut and be embedded into a shallow hole in the baseboard. Cut these pieces and drill the corresponding holes.
Step 7: Final gluing!
- Glue (and screw) the short piece of 1/4-20 rod that you cut earlier in the knob. Repeat for other knob.
- Put newly glued threaded rod of the knob through the hole in the extruded aluminium. Thread and glue in place the 1/4-20 nut so that there is just enough space for the knob to spin freely. Be careful not to glue the nut or knob to the aluminium though, otherwise your clamp is useless!
- Glue the foam piece to the top (inside) of the extruded aluminum clamp frame.
- Place a dab of glue on the tee nut and around its hole in the base board (coming from the bottom side). Hammer the tee nut in all the way.
- Glue the two wing nut storage rods in place.
Step 8: Put it all together!
The only final mod that I needed to do was grind down the tips of the larger wing nut because it was just a little too tall and was scratching the bottom of my laptop. I also found that to mount it more securely to the tripod you can twist the wing nut and the base at the same time for that little extra torque.
Thanks to mikeasaurus for his version, and I hope the 'ibles community keeps on improving and modding this idea!