I found that I needed a nice and study stand for performing live at a music gig. My laptop is a new MacBook 13" and for this gig I'm performing with a Novation launchpad S.
This project took me a little more than an hour.
Step 1: Supplies and Pre-build
For supplies and concept design I didn't have much time, so I used some 2"x12" planks I had left over from other projects and 5/4"x12" board for the edges. I simply traced my laptop and launchpad onto the wood and then added an inch around every side as the safety edge so they don't fall off. I also cleared space for all the plug-ins on my laptop and the one hole for the launchpad.
Step 2: The Build and Mounting-The Laptop
After tracing out my laptop and adding an inch on every side, I teed up my fence on the table saw and ran the plank through. I grabbed the 5/4" plank and set my fence an inch + blade width off the blade and cut two pieces (that were adjusted to leave the plug-ins open.) I ran it through twice, and then had to take the board long wise because my laptop is longer than the width of the board. After all 4 of my "edge" pieces were cut I set them on the top and marked where the hanging over parts were. I cut the two width pieces shorter until all the pieces fit on top cleanly. I used C-clamps and went one side at a time and wood glued/brad nailed the edge pieces down.
The mounting system I decided to build/use featured a large threaded lag bolt ran through the middle of the wood, a metal square with a hole in the middle for the bolt, and 4 screw holes in the corners to attach it to the bottom of the board. I attempted to use a washer and lock nut, but later figured out this caused the holder to be titled so I just used the nut.
(I suggest a super thick lag bolt thats close to a cymbal stand size so the clamps don't have any problems keeping a strong grip on the holder.)
Step 3: Prep, Sand, and Paint-Laptop
I used spackle to fill all of the cracks and smooth everything out before sanding and painting. I start sanding with 60 grit and went up to 400 grit until I couldn't feel the difference between the bottom and the edges. The wood and the edges were flush and very smooth together.
To paint I used black spray paint and painted the bottom and all the sides except one. For the next coat I sat the holder on the spray paint top so the base didn't touch the ground. Three coats later (with 400 grit light sanding in between) and I was done.
Step 4: Building and Mount-Launchpad
Same concept as the laptop holder, I traced the launchpad out and added an inch on all sides. I cut the 2"x12" board into a square, and cut all 4 edges out of the 5/4"x12" board. I made sure to leave the gap in the side for the cable to the launchpad. I used wood glue and brad nails to keep the edges down.
For the mount I actually had a leftover Roland SPD pad stand so I just repurposed it. Similar to the laptop mount, its just a metal plate with screws and a large metal pole for the clamps to grab onto.
Step 5: Sanding and Painting-Launchpad
Following suit with the laptop holder, I sanded the base and edges starting at 60 to 400 grit. I used the same black spray paint and changed different sides for different coats so the same side wasn't resting against the ground. I used three coats and sanded in between coats.
I screwed the mount back on after the paint and was ready to go!
Step 6: The Stand and Performing
I used a double mount at the base of a cymbal stand to split the clamps and used a drum practice pad for holding my audio interface and cables. I can raise and lower either one to any height.
Step 7: Any Questions?
A few things I would've done differently:
1) used wood glue or bondo instead of brad nails. The nails were a little short and caused for lack of support in the edges.
2) used 45 degree corner joints instead of straight cuts. This tends to look better but I wasn't going for aesthetic, more function.
3) the clamps system I used is rough to say the least, I would suggest spending the money and buying another SPD clamp.
Email me at Raleighdavisup@gmail.com with questions, concerns, or your own version of my project!