Creating a Laptop Stand for Under $5.00

Introduction: Creating a Laptop Stand for Under $5.00

I recently moved to a new apartment, and so we are currently using a small table in the corner of our living room for my office. My old office had a desktop setup, with a flat panel monitor. I considered using the monitor from this setup and keyboard and mouse connected to my new laptop, but ultimately decided it took too much space. But my laptop is not high enough for proper viewing and I wanted the keyboard angled up.

I needed a laptop stand that would me to have my monitor at the proper height, and would angle my keyboard the way that I like. I wanted it to be sturdy, and to allow space for the vents to cool properly.

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Step 1: Planning

I find the best way when making projects for me is to jump right in.

I made a prototype of what I wanted out of cardboard and assembled it to test the height and angle of the keyboard.

I also wanted to ensure that the height was not too high for my wife to use. It is good that I tested this, because while she was comfortable with the angle, the height off the desk was to much for her.

I took about an inch off the bottom of the prototype before i started actual construction.

Step 2: Tools

As we are in a new apartment I do not yet have access to a saw. For this project I bought a coping saw for $7.00 from my local hardware store (This definitely brought back memories from my 8th grade tech classes). But it would be best to cut this out with scroll saw or band saw.

Assuming you already have the saw the only thing you need for this project is the particle board. I got a 2x4 sheet for $4.22, and it would be enough to make this project three times over.

I also bought a length of 1" x 1/4" molding that i plan to use to build a housing for a 4 port usb hub on the side of my laptop stand, but that is a later project.

Step 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once.

I took measurements from my prototypeand cut all the pieces out of particle board. In my final project I only used two legs instead of the three in the prototype as two provides more than enough stability.

I have three cross pieces connecting the two legs, two on the bottom and one on the top.

After cutting them out i made 1 inch slots for the top and bottom, 1 inch from the back and another set of slots in the middle of the bottom.

I made matching slots in all the cross pieces.

I made it so all the faces showing on my pieces were the laminated side of the particle board, but you could make this out of any material from wood with a stain or paint to plexiglass, and it would be just as functional.

Step 4: Testing

All that was left was to use it with my laptop and see if it was comfortable.

I did end up tweaking some spots, as the front of the legs were too high and made it uncomfortable to use, but this was an easy fix.

Step 5: Future Plans

I intend to add a four port usb hub on the side or back of the stand so that I can leave my printer, scanner and mouse plugged in to this and only have to plug in one thing.

I also want to build a wrap around front with a padded wrist rest that will cover the laptop mouse pad, as I use a usb mouse when it is at my desk.

Thanks for reading.

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    2 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is good and solves the problem my old laptop had of overheating from being too close to the table. Particle board is good and I like the Plexiglas idea, but if you go back to Step 1 and triple the thickness of the cardboard with any white glue, you'd be finished. I like to criss-cross the grain of glued cardboard for more stiffness.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Technically the thing was pretty darn sturdy with a single sheet of cardboard. I mostly just wanted something made of wood, and a project to do. When you figure that the supplies that I used only cost me $4.22, I think it was worth it to use the particle board. Especially as I don't have any glue on hand.