How to Make a Sturdy Adjustable Headrest Monitor Mount




Hi All,
The following does cost some money, but the demands for the application I created this for required stepping outside of what was laying around for free.  However, you can make one for about $70.

The requirements I had to meet were:
Support a 24in monitor and be adjustable left/right up/down
Once set in place remain very rigid and resist shifting, even under aggressive driving conditions.

TOOLS REQUIRED (I made it at TechShop)

Table Saw
Drill Press (or handheld drill)
Drill Bits
Screw Driver
Ruler (digital caliper is handy too)


(5) 1/2in Wood Screws
(2) 2in bolts with nuts 

12X12 3/4in Starboard (both for looks and workability) available from McMaster Carr
NOTE one sheet is enough for creating 2 mounts.  Feel free to use a cheaper material like multi-ply plywood

3 Ram Mount Products:
RAM 2.5" Round Base with the AMPs Hole Pattern & 1.5" Ball
RAM 4.75" Square Plate with VESA (4 X 75mm) (4 X 100mm) Hole Patterns & 1.5" Diameter Ball
RAM Standard Length Double Socket Arm for 1.5" Ball Bases

Links to Ram Mounts: 

Disclaimer:  I owe a lot of the credit for this modular solution to my buddy Josh who turned me on to the idea...

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Step 1: Cut Starboard Into Slices

Step 1 Preface:
Starboard works in a table saw and drill press very similar to wood, and doesn't have a tenancy to melt like ABS and other plastics.
HDPE polyethylene is UV resilient offers the excellent moisture resistance of LDPE with a higher-density, firmer construction. It also resists most chemicals, such as alcohols and ethers.

Measure out 9 X 2.5in slices on the 12X12 3/4in thick sheet, making the best use of your material

Using a table saw make your cuts, and they should end up looking something like the images in this step...

Step 2: Drill Through Holes and Headrest Grooves

First, drill through holes that will accommodate your through bolt at the outer edges beyond where the headrest rails will need to go.
For reference, my bolt hole centers are spaced 8in apart.

This obviously requires pre-measuring for each car, although I found quite a few vehciles that are spaced 6 1/2in center rail - center rail.  
TIP: Have a headrest with you while drilling / measuring.  I took mine along with me into the Techshop so I could measure twice and cut once.

Once the correct sized through holes are drilled, bolt your two pieces together securely.

Mark the headrest rail spacing with a center punch or similar

Locate a Drill bit approx the size of your headrest rail, and increase the size from there.  You can always drill out more material but you can't add it back in!

Drill the two pieces while securely bolted together, remember to appropriately secure the two pieces with a vice or similar.

Fit check the groove on your headrest rails

NOTE:  I didn't take a pic of the two pieces together before I drilled them, but you get the idea.  The image in this step depicts what one of the pieces would look like after drilling with through bolts sitting in place.

Step 3: Bolt the Ram Mount Ball to Plate Facing Backwards

Simple as it sounds, Pre-drill the holes for your wood screws.

Grab the biggest diameter 1/2in wood screws that fit in the Ram Mount 2.5in ball and attach it using at least 5 of the holes.  

The thread strength of Starboard in my experience appears to be as good or better than plywood, so 5 screws is definitely overkill even for a 24in monitor.

Step 4: Bolt the Vesa Mount to Your Monitor and Connect Your Ram Mounts

Use the correct (likely metric) screws to bolt your monitor to the VESA mount.  I chose this vesa plate as it conveniently accommodates both 4 X 75mm and 4 X 100mm bolt patterns common on today's monitors from 15in - 24in+

Assemble the Ram Mounts together and attach the plates to the headrest in the vehicle and it should look something like the images in this step (shown without monitor for more clarity)

AND....... you're done!

ENJOY displaying whatever the heck you want!!

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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I love double-board headrest clamp setup more than anything. Going to try to implement that with a custom portable Raspberry PI monitor clamp. Thanks or the idea

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Awesome! I'm glad this was useful!


    1 year ago

    Called Ram today because I wanted to build a custom mount that would sit between the two front seats. I was going to mount a Samsung Galaxy Tab which is a 18.4 tablet cn it they said it wouldn't work yet the specs for each piece says other wise. I say this and I think I'll make this instead. Do you have more pictures of the tv mounted?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    I don't sorry. This was for a work project years ago. But it's a pretty simple clamp that can modified to work. You can find specific brackets for this on Amazon these days too...


    1 year ago

    Called ram because I wanted to use some of their components to bu


    Reply 1 year ago

    Awesome project!

    However... I'd highly recommend the absolute smallest monitor you can get away with. Or even a different mount all together with multiple points of failure, instead of one. You are opening yourself up to lawsuits in the event of a serious accident.

    I've studied and seen my fair share of accidents and potential issues. The danger with this modification is that the monitor itself would become a high velocity projectile at even a low-speed side-impact collision.

    From my quick "holy crap, that's aweso... err, wait a minute" calculation, a side impact (of say the left side) would ping-pong that monitor into any of the right-side seats of the vehicle - and a really high velocity too (the stronger the ball joint, the higher the velocity of the projectile). This is because of the single point of failure being the ball joint. The amount of stress the arm would be under at the point of failure would be so high, that it be like a stretched rubber-band being flung off your finger.

    Yeah... fair point. Use at your own risk peoples!
    However this isn't as bad as the guy driving up camping with the entire car filled with tents, coolers and other heavy stuff with a loose 70lb dog in the backseat. BUT, this is right behind your head and something to be considered. Could also be installed on an empty passenger seat, but we use this as a demonstration vehicle, its not a daily driver.


    3 years ago

    Did you find the Ram hardware was sufficient for the 24 inch display?

    I'm thinking about using the same hardware for an adjustable monitor mount for my desk. Think it might work?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    It was. I believe it was a 1.5in ball tho, RAM specifies weight rating and newer LED LCDs are so light weight you could probably get away with larger. Always check the weight specs on RAM mounts.

    Good luck!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    If you put it on the roof (ceiling) then you could watch it laying down. And the car behind you wouldn't tailgate so they could watch.