Instructables
Picture of laptop tripod
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My netbook is great; it's small, portable and has enough juice to do everything I need when I'm on the move. However, there's been times where I need to conduct work in a specific area and there's no desk or suitable space to set my computer down and type. There's even been a few close calls where my laptop has almost fallen from resting on top of printers, cluttered desk space and stacks of other junk.

Time to combine may portable little laptop with the stability of a tripod, time for a laptop tripod!

Whether you're in the field writing a report or stuck in an office looking for a place to set down your computer, a laptop tripod should have you covered. Depending on the type of tripod you have there is a maximum weight and size limit your laptop will be able to hold, so remix the dimensions and ideas here to make your own.

Enough talk, let's make something!
 
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Step 1: Tools + materials

Picture of tools + materials
To make your own laptop tripod you'll need a tripod with a quick-release head. You can order extra quick-release heads for your tripod online.

tools materials
  • drill + wood bits
  • wood saw
  • hammer
  • sandpaper
  • pencil
  • straight edge
  • scrap wood (plywood, dowels, molding)
  • wood glue
  • extra tripod quick-release
  • rubber tubing
  • wood screws
  • hex head bolt
  • 1/4" tee nut (20 thread)
.

Step 2: Laptop deck

The laptop will need a solid deck to rest on when in use. This deck will also hold the hardware required to enable the quick-release head needed for the tripod and the tubing which will secure the laptop.

Start by measuring out your laptop dimensions, then add another 50mm (2") to each side as a buffer edging that will be installed later. The dimensions for my laptop were 260mmx184mm (10.25"x7.25"), plus the buffer gives final dimensions of 310mmx234mm (12.25"x9.25").

Mark out dimensions on plywood, then cut out. Lightly sand edges to remove burrs.
kristinazero11 months ago
Here's my version, using a cheap tripod, an even cheaper chopping board, and a strip of adhesive foam insulation tape to keep the netbook from slipping. Thanks for the great idea!
Laptop_stand_SM.jpg
mikeasaurus (author)  kristinazero11 months ago
Looks great! I'm happy it inspired you to make your won.
Thanks for sharing, I've awarded you a 3-month Pro Membership, and a digital patch!
I'll rock that patch (and "Pro" tag) proudly, thanks!
Cool idea. Wish I had known about those tee nuts. Off to the hardware store.
troyka2 years ago
I already had the wood as i use it all the time for the laptop or a lap desk..
 I just put a bolt through the top of the tripod head as the quick release wouldn't fit the screw thing.. i just have to screw the whole thing on and off.. no big deal.

 i dont use anything to tie the laptop to the platform as it has a lip to stop it coming off and well i just don't think i need one.
pic on my flickr

http://flic.kr/p/c9zNxG  
mikeasaurus (author)  troyka2 years ago
That looks great! Thanks so much for sharing your version, it looks great!

For sharing you get a digital patch (on your profile page) and a 3-month Pro Membership (check your inbox).
I worry that the tea nut will dislodge and the notebook will fall. There's a lot of leverage on the connection. Everytime I've tried to do this, it has dislodged. I think the only secure option is welding it onto a metal surface which I haven't done. How secure has your holder been?
mikeasaurus (author)  WhateverForever2 years ago
With such a small computer on the platform I doubt this would happen. Of course if you leveraged the end and pulled (or leaned on it) the nut might come out. If you're worried you can use a dab of glue inside the opening before installing the nut, or make it our of metal an weld like you suggest.

Share pictures of your version, I want to see!
1337engine2 years ago
Looks very very professional i have to say. Though that tripod you're using does not look cheap.
Great idea for securing the tubing- simple, easy to make and easy to use.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
sutlaf2 years ago
Another important reason:

Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

That’s right—I said 54 percent!

Masters immediately called the lead researcher at Pennington, a professor named Peter Katzmarzyk. Turns out, this wasn’t the first study to link sitting and heart disease. Similar research actually dates back to 1953, when British researchers found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as (standing) trolley operators.

Here’s the most surprising part: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world clutching your chest—whether you’re a man or women—as much as doubles.
That's very interesting, but it's also bad to stand all the time too. I guess it's all about balance.
bumblebin2 years ago
Love this! Especially with the massive adjustable and compact-able options that come with a good tripod.
I've only had one employer that offered adjustable height desks to allow for periods of standing - a great solution beyond the wobbly stack of cardboard boxes.
I'm gonna use this one! I have a Bogen tripod with a horizontal arm, and can even use it in a chair or bed with that (until I figure out something else). The arm is on a ball swivel at the top of the mount, and also slide back and forth. From the 35mm days (which I'm still in).
MRedu2 years ago

Excellent idea! Probably the best cheap laptop tripod i've seen!
Crucio2 years ago
Absolutely fantastic idea. This is great for people like me who sit a lot for work and sometimes want to stand to break the monotony. :p

Thanks Mike!
siafulinux3 years ago
This is brilliant! Not a bad idea at all. I'm thinking the tripod can be carried in my bag along with the laptop and I can whip that bad boy out just about anywhere and get to work.
james_alfa3 years ago
very nice instructable im gonna try to adapt it to for iPad and work as well for the laptop
Might try something along the lines of my iPod Tripod. I know its for smaller iPods but I'm sure you could adapt it to an iPad. Plus it uses the same adaptor that this tripod uses. Maybe just bend the wires differently.
bözden3 years ago
Great idea! We usually have the same problem on site while we are preparing museum exhibitions.
JohnyT3 years ago
Very nice project.
But i would suggest to add some venting holes in strategic places (behind the grills on laptop), just in case :)
susanrm3 years ago
Nice instructable! I could see using a thinner support and making it possible to unscrew from the tripod mount so I didn't have to waste a mount on this permanently. (I have a tiny netbook .)
I used to do that with my SLR and my camcorder.
The day I got a new head for the tripod and could keep one with each was such a relief. It's complete hassle trying to remember which bit of kit the head is with or swapping the head over and back. Unless you've got a very expensive tripod, the chances are another head will cost very little and so probably worth getting one just for this.
I can see doing that if you use both often enough. Since I don't, I just unscrew the head from whichever camera and put it back in the tripod. Makes life easier for me. :-) Plus the company that made my tripod is out of business, as far as I can tell. It's a decent tripod that I got brand new at a yard sale.
gary.9183 years ago
very cool. i will have to bulid one. well done
estructor3 years ago
Nice. I built pretty much this same thing last year when a friend broke his arm in a bicycle crash. I used 1/4" Plexiglas for the platform, and a wood ledge at the bottom to hold books or a laptop. This year, I used another version to hold an iPad with a slideshow running at a bicycle trade show. For that stand I used a Park bike stand, the tripod type, to hold up the "lectern" platform. For a secure grip I put large hook and loop pieces under a basic ipad case and on the platform as well.
Lindie3 years ago
I really like that!
jolshefsky3 years ago
A sweet addition (for those with something more akin to a space heater than a notebook) would be fans mounted right in the base. Nice Instructable! It can also be a start to a standing workstation to try it out without building a big desk.
sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks for posting your hard work! This is a great idea!
gmjhowe3 years ago
I made mine using a base board I had already made for my vesa mount arm laptop holder, just needed to glue a tripod fitting in the bottom!

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mikeasaurus (author)  gmjhowe3 years ago
Looks great, thanks for sharing your version!
You've been patched!
depotdevoid3 years ago
Sweet, I may have to try this, though my laptop could be too bulky . . . where do you get a spare tripod quick release? Are they standard, something you can pick up anywhere?
mikeasaurus (author)  depotdevoid3 years ago
The quick release heads are most likely not standard, but you may find other brands that fit your tripod. Best to bring in your head and try to match it up. Some camera stores may carry a selection, but online is probably the best option to find a suitable extra. Luckily the are relatively inexpensive.
lhix3 years ago
I LOVE this!!!
splazem3 years ago
Awesome!