How to Make a Woody Laptop




Introduction: How to Make a Woody Laptop

About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

Nothing beats the texture, look and feel of wood. With a little inspiration, the allure of wood brought me to this, the woody PC.

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Step 1: Materials

First, I'm not replacing parts - we're just woodifying them. Therefore, I decided to use veneers.

1. Wood - I'm using rosewood
2. Glue - at first, I wanted to use contact cement. But, at the last moment - I went with wood glue. Contact cement gives you one chance to lay down the veneer perfectly - this is not going to happen.
3. Clamps and/or medical tape (it does not leave back sticky residue and it not super strong)
4. Cutting template (I'm providing for my hp zv5000 so it can be printed, or laser cut)
5. Finishing materials - I'm using boiled linseed oil as I want the wood to age with time.
6. Materials for laptop disassembly - see disassembly instructions

Step 2: CAD File

First, you need a drawing of what you want to cut. I'm veneering the black parts of my front bezel with rosewood. So, armed with a caliper and ruler - I created a dxf of my bezel. To make things simple, I neglected to include screw and latch holes as I can remove these later with an X-acto knife.

Step 3: Cut

After your template has been tested - cut your wood. As I had access to a laser cutter, I laser cut away. Before cutting, I attached some transfer paper to protect the surrounding areas of wood from the intense heat from the laser beam.

Step 4: Finishing

Use your favorite finishing method - just be sure to allow flex if needed. For me, several coats of linseed oil.

Step 5: Glue


Get your things together - clamps, glue, damp rags. Apply a thin coat of glue to the back of your wood (a brush helps). Then, apply to the screen bezel. Adjust to make it perfect and clamp down. Use plenty of clamps when you need to glue around a curve. For the zv5000, the top edge is a rather tight curve and required extra "clampage." The solution was tape. I found some medical tape and applied plenty of tight bands to hold the veneer to the curvature of the laptop.

Allow to dry completely before removing clamps and tape.

Step 6: Holes

Latch holes require removal with an X-acto knife - the same for any latch release mechanism. I drilled out screw holes. In retrospect, I should have left the screws out as the snaps around the perimeter of the screen are more than enough.

Step 7: Completion

Relish your achievement. You now have an awesome woody laptop :D

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    9 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Really nice treatment. I used to goose up my cars by using wood veneer on some of the dashboard & console areas in a similar way. The only thing I'd worry about (not on this particular use) is interfering with the cooling in a laptop. I doubt that's much of an issue in the screen area, but on other surfaces you'd be adding insulation, in effect, and increasing heat buildup somewhere. Personally, I add little "feet" to my laptop to raise it up further than normal, just to maximize the cooling. Heat kills laptops, I understand. My 10-year-old Toshiba laptop still rolls along fine, so maybe the extra circulation prolonged its life.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I LOVE IT! NICE touch to a comp. Sony or HP would make big bucks if they could design comps with built in wood. Makes it a much more classy comp!


    dang thats cool, ide like to make the lapop body out of it were the whole laptop is wood


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful,I have been wanting to do something similar for a while but am to cheap to buy the materials and am waiting for a cabinetmaking buddy to have some scrap.3M makes a veneer that is like contact paper but with real wood.It is used in refacing kitchen cabinets and would be perfect for something like this.Anyway,Nice mod!!