This laptop stand will be a simplistic design that can work for most laptops, although slight changes in dimensions might be required for the various sizes of laptops. The simplistic size of it allows for it to be constructed using very few materials; in this case, a single 2"x4" (2 feet in length), and a single 3/4"x4" (also 2 feet in length).
You will need a disc sander, a drill with a Philips head bit and a band saw. You will also need six 5/4" wood screws and some wood glue.
Optional tools that are highly recommended but not required include a belt sander and a drill bit for the drill.
Step 1: Cutting the Wood
Cut the 2x4 from 2 feet down to the size of your laptop's width (the longest side). For my project, this was to 16.25". Also cut it lengthwise so it's only 1/2" in width. This is to save space. The final cut to be made on the 2x4 is along the bottom. 2x4's have rounded edges, so cutting the rounded part off can provide more stability once the stand is constructed.
As for the 3/4"x4"x24", the cuts are much simpler. Cut the board lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. At least four 3/4"x1/2" strip will be needed, so there is room for extras to be made if you mess up.
From these strips, cut 2 strips to the length of your computer (the longest side), which in my case, was 16.25".
The create 3 strips that are the width of your computer, which in my case, was 10.55".
Step 2: Preparing the Wood
Now that you've gotten the wood together, you need to prepare it for construction. Chances are, after cutting the wood, you're going to have some bumps and some not so straight cuts. You can either sand the pieces smooth manually or by using a belt sander, although it is not required, but is preferred.
For the width strips (medium length), use the disc sander to create 10 degree angles on the wood so that the length of the strips is equal to A HALF INCH SHORTER THAN THE WIDTH OF YOUR COMPUTER.
This is very important as 1/2" of space will be taken up by the long strips when assembled.
Step 3: Beginning to Take Shape
The first thing you'll want to do is attach the 3 angled width strips to what was previously the 2x4. Make sure to attach them to the flat bottom of the 2x4 with the strips angled upwards. Ensure that the strips are as far down as possible to create the largest lip possible. This is what will be holding you're computer onto the stand.
It is recommended to use a drill bit to bore holes before using wood screws to prevent the wood from cracking.
Step 4: The Back
Once you have screwed in the width strips, attach one of the two length strips to the opposite end of the width strips. They should line up perfectly with no displacement.
Again, it is recommended to bore hole before using the wood screws to prevent the wood from cracking.
After cutting the wood, you should have a small bit of extra scrap. Use that scrap to cut additional nubs. The length of these nubs varies from laptop to laptop, depending on its width. Use the equation below to determine the length of these nubs
Nub length = [Width * cos(10)] - 0.5
Step 5: Finishing the Laptop Stand
Once you have the nubs, use the wood glue to attach them to the lengthwise strip, and once it dries, use more wood glue to attach the other lengthwise strip. This provides a solid base that wont waver but will still be able to hold the pressure caused by gravity.
Step 6: Enjoy
Picture of me making this instructable on said laptop stand.