Introduction: Wooden Adjustable Height Monitor Stand

About: I build drums, make costumes, work on house projects/repairs, dabble in Genealogy, eat tacos, and sometimes work in IT.

A series of events ... unfortunate or otherwise (possibly fortunate), have led to my current status of "Home-based Worker."

Laptop screens tend to be a hindrance (too dang small) when it comes multiple applications and windows, so I like a larger monitor. The monitor in question has no height adjustment, which seems to be the trend, but I don't like it. I prefer monitors to be higher instead of looking down at them all day.

Instead of making the shelf style stand, I opted for an adjustable height design.

Had I bothered to look online, I would've learned there are commercially available metal versions as cheap as $20. I made the stand out of reclaimed plywood and various cut offs laying around the workshop, so it only cost me a bit of time.


3/4" Plywood
1" Wooden Dowel
Wood Glue
5/16" T Nut
5/16" Bolt

Step 1: The Clamping Block

The clamping block is 2" x 2" x 4" and since I didn't have a solid piece of wood that thick, I laminated two pieces of 5/4 poplar together.

Once the glue had cured, I drilled a 1" through the center of the block using a Forstner bit in the drill press. The dowel was too tight of a fit, so I opened up the hole a tad using the oscillating spindle sander.

The last step was made a centered cut through one side of the block, which I did with a small parts crosscut sled on the table saw.
Note: In hindsight, I'd make this cut after drilling all of the holes in the next step.

Step 2: The Holes & T-Nut

The layout lines for holes are as follows:
1. Center line along the long dimension.
2. Perpendicular lines 5/8" in form the edge.

On the left side, I drilled a countersunk 1/8" hole for a 1 5/8" screw. This is insurance against the glue line failing under pressure.

On the right side, I drilled a 7/8" hole around 1/2" deep with a Forstner bit. This hole was then extended through the block with a 5/16" bit.
Note: I had to use a shim to keep the kerf from closing while drilling.

The T-Nut was set in place with a bit of superglue ... along with the persuasion of a hammer and socket
Note: I drilled 3/32" holes for the prongs, so that they wouldn't split the wood.

Step 3: The Knob

The first knob was a 1 1/4" length of 3/4" dowel - cut using the small crosscut sled. The center was marked and a 1/4" hole drilled to the depth of 3/4".

A few drops of superglue into the hole and then a 5/16" bolt was driven until it bottomed out. The bolt head was then removed with a cut off wheel and grinder.

It was a perfectly functional knob, but the small diameter made it difficult for me to turn under tension.

The second knob is a 2" X 2" square of 3/4" plywood, with a countersunk bolt glued and threaded into place. It 's not as elegant, but it's easier to turn. I think a larger diameter dowel would also do the job and look nicer, but it'll rarely be seen regardless.

Step 4: The Mounting Plate

The size of the mounting plate will be dependent on your monitor, but mine is 6" wide X 5" tall.

The layout lines will also be dependent on your monitor because there doesn't appear to be a standardized spacing for threaded inserts across all brands.

You can see mine is covered in layout lines.
1. Vertical and horizontal center lines.
2. Outline of the clamping block.
3. Locations of 4 screws for connecting the clamping block to the plate.
4. Location for 4 bolts for securing the plate to the monitor.

The eight holes were made using the drill press. 1/8" holes for the clamping block locations and 1/4" for the bolt locations. I did end up drilling recesses for the washers and bolts due to bolt length.

The clamping block and mounting plate were clamped together, pilot holes drilled, and 1 5/8" screws driven. No glue was used in case modification or repairs become necessary.

Step 5: The Base Plate & Block

The base plate is a 13" X 21" piece of 3/4" plywood. It's left over sub-floor from a bathroom renovation, but it'll be painted and mostly concealed by the laptop anyway.

The base block started as a two later lamination of 3/4" plywood, which was cut to dimensions of 2" X 4". It has a centered 1" hole and was secured to the base plate with four screws.

The first mock up revealed that the base block interfered with some cables and the dowel leaned a bit forward.

To resolve the collisions, I reduced the length of the block and nipped off the front corners. To resolve the leaning, I extending the 1" hole into the base plate 3/8" and ran a screw up through the bottom. Two additional screws enter the back of the block and pierce the full diameter of the wooden dowel.

Step 6: Paint

The base plate and block were painted satin black, which blends in with the laptop and docking station. All other parts were left raw. You could finish them with oil, was, spray shellac, etc .. but I left them raw for now to see how I like the setup.

Step 7: Glams

A few close pictures of the stand before throwing it to the wolves.

Step 8: Released Into the Wild

Bolt the mounting plate to the back of the monitor, slide the clamping block onto the dowel, determine your desired height, and tighten the knob. If you want to swivel the screen to the left of right, but loosen the knob a bit, rotate the screen, and re-tighten.

It's a very simple design, which can be scaled and modified to fit the size of your monitor and space. Size the base plate to your monitor/laptop needs and cut the length of your dowel to your desired height range.

The lighting in my office is horrendous when it comes to photos, but you get the idea.

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