Intro: Curved Wood Laptop Stand
In this guide I'll show how I made my curved laptop stand out of Rosewood veneer. When at my office I usually plug my laptop into a monitor and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. Only trouble is my laptop still takes up a lot of space, I would stand it up and lean against a speaker but it would often fall over. By standing it upwards it'll take up a lot less room, still give me access to all the ports and look cool as well.
This project ended up taking way longer than I thought it would, partly because I didn't have a thick enough piece of wood to make a mould, or a bandsaw. But it was a good exercise in making something with limited tools. I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Make sure you watch the YouTube Video for a detailed guide on how to make this.
For this project you will need;
Step 1: Prepare the Mould
I started by making the mould that will shape the laptop stand later. This would have been much easier if I had one thick block of wood, and a bandsaw to cut it. Unfortunately I don't have that, so I made best use of what I had, a lot of 9mm plywood, and a standard jigsaw.
I worked out the size of the curve I wanted to hold the laptop, and how much veneer I had. I started cutting down the plywood into strips that would be big enough for the outside of total size of the stand. I then glued these together in 2 sections, stuck my curve template down to it, and cut along that line. This then left me with 4 sections, 2 top curves and 2 bottom curves. I then glued the 2 tops together, and the 2 bottoms together. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is, just watch the video it will be a bit clearer.
This is where one clean cut would have left me with a perfect line, however as mine were not perfect I had to sand them down so they were level.
Step 2: Cut Veneer
The veneer I had was just over 1m long, and around 17cm wide. It was this beautiful piece of 0.6mm thick Rosewood. I started by cutting the veneer down into 3 equal length sections. When cutting veneer sheets, the best way to get a clean cut, is to use a very sharp knife and make lots of light passes and eventually cut through the wood. If you try to cut in one pass you risk splitting the wood. It's not the end of the world, I managed to get one split, I glued it back together with some superglue and a tiny piece of sellotape.
Once I had 3 sheets of even length, I cut this down out to make 9 even sized bits. Again, sounds more complicated than if you watch the video.
I took my digital callipers to find out exactly what size I needed to make the opening for the laptop. I have a MacBook Pro but I have a thin plastic case to protect the front, so I had to measure what thickness it was. I think made another template on the computer to help me mark this onto the veneer. If anyone wants these I am more than happy to upload them for anyone to use, just let me know in the comments.
Step 3: Glue Up & Sand
Now that I had all 9 individual sheets with the laptop hole cut out, I started the glue up. I decided to use standard wood glue as it would give me a little time before it starts to set. I choose the best looking piece that had a nice white colour running to the edge, and started from the bottom, added glue, then stacked upwards adding glue in-between each layer. I wanted to use a lot of glue to make sure it was super strong, and in the end I think I might have used a little bit too much!
I clamped down the mould and left it a good 24 hours to allow the glue to dry completely. I then removed the clamps and carefully removed the stand from the mould. There was quite a lot of wood glue everywhere it was hard to remove from the mould. I started to pull all the excess glue from the veneer and sand down all the edges.
I then used some boiled Linseed oil to finish it. This will add a layer of protection and it really makes the grain pop out and show how beautiful the wood is.
Step 4: And You're Done.
So there it is, it took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I think it was totally worth it in the end. Now I have made the mould I can make more of these using any other sheets of veneer. There's lot of tools that would have made this so much easier and quicker, a CNC machine to cut the mould, a laser cutter for the veneer. But this way you can see that this sort of thing is possible with minimal tools.
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