Thank you for checking out my first ever instructable!
The idea for this project came from a pain in my neck. I found that working for long periods of time on my laptop sitting down at a desk was causing me to adopt a very bad posture which turned to neck ache. So I decided to try and make something that would raise my laptop screen to a level that I could stare at for prolonged periods of time with no pain.
I had quite a few pallets left in my Garden from a project that I attempted last year and did not finish, so I wanted to try and make use of that wood.
I've been inspired by a great deal of the fantastic pallet woodworking instructables on this site, although this is the first time I've tried one. My favourite I've come across so far (and what I will be attempting next) has to be the Wine Rack by the wonderful foradoescritorio so please check that out when you get a chance.
Anyways, enjoy and I welcome any questions.
Step 1: Tools Needed
You can probably get away with doing this project with a lot less tools, but here's what I used.
Rubber Mallet (to break up the pallet)
Orbital Sander and grit 60, 180 and 240 pads
Variety of clamps
Drill with 8mm bit
Dowel master or dowel kit
Paint Brush to apply Varnish
Step 2: Reclaim a Pallet
For this project i reclaimed a pallet from my local builder's merchant yard, they were happy for me to take away some of their spare pallets!
Step 3: Dismantle Pallet
I followed the same process as the guy in the following YouTube video to dismantle the pallet http://youtu.be/ZtPmUZ-k3aI
Step 4: Cut Pieces
Take 4 or 5 of the slats from the pallet and measure out the following pieces
Make cuts using a circular saw or hand saw and keep hold of the off cuts (we'll come to these later on)
Remember to use safety goggles as wood chips will fly everywhere.
Step 5: Sanding
Using an orbital sander, sand all of the pieces starting with grit 60 and then with grit 180 and finally with grit 240. You can do this by hand instead but it will take much longer
Step 6: Gluing
The 4 longest pieces will make the top and the 8 shorter pieces will make the sides (4 on each)
Arrange the pieces into 3 groups (left side, middle and right side) working on 1 group at a time apply the wood glue and clamp together whilst drying
Step 7: Cutting the Slope on Sides
Take both the side prices and clamp them together so they are sitting flush at the top.
It doesn't matter which, but decide which end you want to be the front and which you want to be the back, in the third photo I've gone with the right as the front. Measure 5 inches down from the top and mark it with a pencil.
Take a scrap piece of wood that you know is straight and place one end at the mark you have just made, place the other end in the bottom left hand corner, and make a mark. This is the angle we will be cutting.
In order to cut straight I've measured the distance between the blade on my circular saw and the edge of the saw frame, which works out to be just under 1.5 inches.
Now I will make another mark on the wood 1.5 inches above the previous marks
Place the scrap wood back in place using the two new markings and then clamp everything's securely into a workbench ready to cut, we will use the scrap wood as a guide.
Make the cut using the scrap wood as a guide
You should now have the sides completed, you can sand the fresh cut sides again so as to match the smoothness of the rest of the pieces
Step 8: Dry Fit and Adjustments
Using your hands to hold, dry fit the pieces to make sure they all line up. In my instance I had to make a few additional cuts and sand edges where they were uneven, one of the planks I used for the top board was much thinner than the rest so it caused the fit to be uneven.
Step 9: Joining the Top and Side Pieces
Now you have ensured that it all fits, it's time to join these pieces together, I was tempted to just glue again, but decided to use a dowel master and fix the pieces together with dowels.
Step 10: Creating the Lip
In order to stop the laptop sliding off, i attached two small lips to the front using glue. You can cut these off of one of the scrap pieces of wood you are left with when originally cutting the main pieces.
I cut mine to be 2cm each
Measure 5 cm from each side of the main structure and make a mark, then place and glue the two pieces for the lip. Keep these in place with clamps and wait to dry.
Step 11: Apply Varnish and Finish!
To finish this project, I applied a clear matte interior wood varnish, although it said to apply two coats minimum, I found I was more than happy with 1 coat.
And that's it! leave it to try and then try it out.
GilS11 made it!