Inclined - Laptop Table

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Studying Product designing, Love to make things, FPV/RC lover, Aeromodeller

This is a personal project and was done with most of the material found at home. Every product has a story behind it, how did it became a reality, so does this one.

A couple of months back I was sitting on a chair in college and the chair's leg broke because of which I fell on my lower back which caused tremendous pain and this was on the same spot where I have minor slip disk. I was taken to the hospital on stretcher and was told not do do anything but to take bed rest for a couple of weeks followed by physiotherapy. While I was on bed rest there was nothing to do much other than watching movies, reading books, learning new softwares, editing videos etc etc. I soon realised that when I'm lying in the bed it's not comfortable to use laptop sitting on the stomach. So I searched online to buy a ready made table because making one at that point of time was not a option, but I couldn't know if the angle of the table and the height was just right for my needs, I mean how could I? Those are mass produced for users not for a individual and no such dimensions were mentioned, so I decided to make one for myself (when I was in better position)

Step 1: There Was an Idea...

The main goal was to have a high inclined table for laptop which can be used while I was lying in bed. If you want, you can add groves on the upper left and right side to have multiple angle setup, I didn't wanted to strain by back with anything more fancy but just carrying the motive of the product. This is the reason why I chose PVC pipe instead of wood.

Step 2: Tools Needed

Hardware
  • Drill and drill bits
  • 1/2" screws
  • Nut, bolts and washers
  • 2* 6cm wide hinges
  • 1* 4cm wide hinges and appropriate 1/2" screws
  • 29 cm (length) by 3cm(width) by 1/2"(thickness) wood for the tilting arm support
  • 10 cm elastic band

Diameter 3/4" PVC Pipe
  • PVC 90 degree joint * 4 pcs
  • PVC 90 degree elbow joint * 4 pcs
  • PVC 50cm * 2 pcs (lenght)
  • PVC 31cm * 4 pcs (width)
  • PVC 15cm * 2pcs (height)
  • PVC cement
Board
  • 1/2" thick 60cm by 40cm

Step 3: Insights

The dimensions of the table are naturally according to my needs, so you should check before you carry out the task. A good way to check or re-evaluate the dimensions is to lay in bed and use a measuring tape or a scale to see the height of your thighs and stomach and add a couple of cm in it, so that the frame doest rub against your body.

The dimensions stated above are the actual length of the pcs, excluding the amount of PVC pipe that goes inside the elbow joints. So in reality the height will be more than 15cm and so on. Make sure that you take account of the above before cutting the PVC pipe.

Step 4: Let's Begin - Upper Frame

  • Start with making rectangle using 2 of 50cm pcs and 31cm pcs. Glue together to 4* 90 degree elbow joints using the PVC cement.
  • Hammer it down to make sure its all the way in and also make sure that it is dead flat, you don't want the table to be crooked.
  • This is the time to make a hole on the top side (side which is flush not the one which has the 3rd hole for the pipe) It's for the support arm.

Step 5: Legs

  • Glue 4 of the 15cm pcs to the 3rd hole of the elbow joints as shown.

Step 6: Base Legs

  • Cap on 2 - 90 degree joints on the ends of 2 - 31cm PCV pipe.
  • Also make sure they are flat too.
  • You should have a pair at the end.

Step 7: Completing the Frame

  • Glue the base legs to the frame and hammer it down for a even fit.

Step 8: Installing Hinges

  • Install the hinges on the board's edge
  • You wanna place the hinges at an equal distance from the centre to distribute the weight equally.
  • The tilting support arm is placed 29 cm from the top, right on the the centreline of the board.
  • You may wanna change the length of the support arm and the placement in order to suit the angle to your needs.
  • I didn't have a full hinge at the time of making so I used a single hole hinge from my other project but later I changed it. You don't wanna use a single hole hinge, it would rotate on you if its not screwed tightly and also when not placed securely in the hole of the PVC pipe.
  • Add a small piece of ply wood in the centre of the board's edge, add it to the side which is hinged, its so the laptop wont slide off the table when it is inclined.

Step 9: Marriage

  • Using nuts, bolts and washers attach the board to the frame.
  • You wanna make sure that the table doesn't tip over when you place the laptop on it when its inclined. If it does then you will have to relocate the hinge on the board, move it closer to the edge or away from it.
  • If you used all the above dimensions, it wont tip over.

Step 10: Support Arm Locker

  • To lock support arm when its not in use, drill two holes in the PVC pipe which has the hinges and loop elastic band around it and tie a knot.
  • For a cleaner look, rotate the loop so that the knot is inside the pipe.

Step 11: Evaluation of the Design

What I learnt form this project and what you can do to improve it -

  • Its not the best design to begin with but considering my health I think I got the work done without straining my body too much.
  • If you want to, you can make the legs foldable so its more portable.
  • You can add groves on each side of the rectangle and make a sharpe "O" with angular 4 faces using 5 mm thick solid copper rod and than use C clips to mount it on the board. So that way you can have multiple angles all at once.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Suvansh Bohra

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