Adjustable Vesa Arm Laptop Stand

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Introduction: Adjustable Vesa Arm Laptop Stand

About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...
This is Tuesday's edition of the 5 ibles in 5 days 'cage match' (as cailtinsdad put it).

Today we have a project that Ive been working on for a while (some of you might have seen it lurking in the background)

Up until recently i had been using my K'nex Laptop Stand However, it soon out lived its purpose in the quest for more desk space.

I had also got myself a vesa arm, intending to use it for a second monitor. So, my brain set into action, and i came up with this - What could essentially, be the most versatile adjustable laptop stand ever made. Because the vesa arm is meant to support alot of weight, im more than happy to have my macbook sat on it!

On with the show...

Materials needed
  • A vesa mount arm, complete with screws
  • A peice of scrap hardboard
  • A couple of L brackets
  • A few spare wood screws (short)
  • A couple of bits of wood, or metal bits for 'risers' (i used some hinge brackets)
  • An old monitor, with vesa mount holes in the back
  • Epoxy resin
  • Leather or neoprene
  • Some gmjhowe special dense card

Step 1: Attach & Postion the Vesa Mount Arm

Ok, firstly you need to find a good location. Due to my desk consisting of a kitchen work top across two desks, i had to attach my arm to the bit where there was a gap.

Mine was a clamp version, so very easy to move around. Some are actually screwed to the desk.

Once you have your vesa mount clamped/attached you then need to position it so that it more suited to being used as a laptop stand, a few twists and turns later and you should have it sorted.

Step 2: Creating the 'board'

Now we need to create a board to attach to the vesa mount.

Firstly measure your laptops depth (front to back) now add about 15mm incase you upgrade, and to give us some working room. Cut out a piece of wood, that about 3/4 of the width of the laptop (you could make it the full width if you wished.)

Now, carefully lay your laptop on top to give you a rough idea where the back of the laptop will sit. Draw a rough line here, so you don't have to keep measuring it up.

  • Picture 1 - Steal some vesa mount screw holes off an old monitor.

Ibles member Guy.Fawkes gives the following advice worth taking note of.
  • Instead of tearing apart a monitor to get the "screw holes" (aka "blind nuts") you can pick so up at the local hardware store along with matching screws. An advantage to this is that the blind nuts they sell are meant to bite into the material you place them in, so you won't need to epoxy them in place (I'd do it anyway, though, my wife claims I overbuild things, but none of my projects has ever collapsed in use). Make sure you get screws that fit through the VESA arm mounting holes so you don't have to drill them out. My handy-dandy measuring tool says you want screws about 4 mm, or 1/8 inch, in diameter. Be sure to get "fender washers" with a matching hole. "Fender washers" are just larger-than-usual washers, to keep the screw heads from pulling through the VESA arm mounting holes. Lock washers should also be used, to keep the screws from vibrating loose and falling out (yes, even a Mac vibrates a little, due to the cooling fan).

Measure the diameter of the screw holes, and also the distance of the vesa mount holes. (the standard is 100mm apart)

Work out where the center of your laptop will sit on the board, mark it, then work out the position of the vesa holes, and mark these with an X (alternatively you can place the board onto the vesa mount and poke a pencil through the holes.)

  • Picture 2 - Drill these holes using a drill bit slightly bigger than that of the screw holes of the monitor.

Step 3: Bracket Time

  • Picture 1 - I then proceeded to screw the L brackets to the underside at the front.

Depending on your wood, and screws, it might be helpful to drill some holes before.

  • Picture 2 - I then added the 'riser bits' (being a couple of hinge brackets) just inside where the back of the laptop sits.

Again, drilling holes might be needed, ensure you get the two risers lined up, or else you will get a rocking laptop - you could always use just on long strip

  • Picture 3 - I then padded both the brackets with a little bit of leather. You could use neoprene, or denim, what ever you have laying around!
I found the thick pieces of leather curved around exactly to match the contour of the macbook.

Step 4: Glue, Attach.

  • Picture 1 - Attach the screw holes off the monitor into the vesa mount just by them selves, now place your drilled piece of wood onto the screw holes to ensure it all works.

If it works, well done! If not, i suggest trying to make the holes bigger and using more glue!

  • Pictures 2,3 & 4 - Glue the screw holes into place using epoxy resin - both super glue, and pva do not work! Place masking tape on the other side to stop the epoxy running out.

Masking tape works best, as epoxy can remain tacky due to residue left by other tapes.

  • Picture 4 - I also added a couple of sections of card inbetween the board and the mount
This is because the length of the vesa screws are designed to be further away (think of that extra layer of plastic on the monitor) and gives it all a more snug fit!

Step 5: PC or Mac?

Essentially the stand is now complete.

But, i like things to look good, and as a throne for my macbook, i decided to decorate it a little, if you just have a rubbishy PC then theres not much you can do to make it look any better ( ;) )

So, i added a couple of bits of card to the front of the L brackets, and painted the front 10cm in metallic silver paint.

I strongly suggest leaving it till its dry before use! unless your laptop needs a new paint job?

Step 6: Completion!

Finally, you need to add it to your mount, screw it into place, and make sure you don't over tighten the screws! (SEE PICTURE 2)

Play around till you get the height right, i have mine roughly the same height as my computer monitor.

Now, it is complete, enjoy this fun, sturdy, and easily adjustable stand!

- Gmjhowe

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    51 Discussions

    very interesting.....might have to look for a similar one, or makeshift/recycle something.....indeed

    I've been looking for something like this for a while now. Should fit my purpose. Of course, now I have to go search out an arm again... What brand is the arm used by chance? It looks rather sturdy compared to some I've seen.

    2 replies

    Its a non branded one I got off ebay. I have tried to find one this good cheap for a while now, and have not succeeded. I think I was just lucky first time around!

    Heh, most likely. Always seems like when you find something amazing, it's the last time you ever find it. Thanks anyway.

    wow! i just googled it, i can't beleave that OS would be so rubbish like that!

    lets not mention kernal panic though, having said that, ive only encountered that once, and it was when i altered my firmware, so i was kinda asking for it.

    Woooow...
    That is a really great idea! In 2 weeks or something I'm getting myself a laptop which doesn't support a 'real' docking station so this is a great replacement! Put laptop on standard, plug usb hub + audio + monitor in and your ready to go =D Thanks for neat idea.

    very nice could this be used to mount a laptop in a truck