Laptop Tripod




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My netbook is great; it's small, portable and has enough juice to do everything I need when I'm on the move. However, there's been times where I need to conduct work in a specific area and there's no desk or suitable space to set my computer down and type. There's even been a few close calls where my laptop has almost fallen from resting on top of printers, cluttered desk space and stacks of other junk.

Time to combine may portable little laptop with the stability of a tripod, time for a laptop tripod!

Whether you're in the field writing a report or stuck in an office looking for a place to set down your computer, a laptop tripod should have you covered. Depending on the type of tripod you have there is a maximum weight and size limit your laptop will be able to hold, so remix the dimensions and ideas here to make your own.

Enough talk, let's make something!

Step 1: Tools + Materials

To make your own laptop tripod you'll need a tripod with a quick-release head. You can order extra quick-release heads for your tripod online.

  • drill + wood bits
  • wood saw
  • hammer
  • sandpaper
  • pencil
  • straight edge
  • scrap wood (plywood, dowels, molding)
  • wood glue
  • extra tripod quick-release
  • rubber tubing
  • wood screws
  • hex head bolt
  • 1/4" tee nut (20 thread)

Step 2: Laptop Deck

The laptop will need a solid deck to rest on when in use. This deck will also hold the hardware required to enable the quick-release head needed for the tripod and the tubing which will secure the laptop.

Start by measuring out your laptop dimensions, then add another 50mm (2") to each side as a buffer edging that will be installed later. The dimensions for my laptop were 260mmx184mm (10.25"x7.25"), plus the buffer gives final dimensions of 310mmx234mm (12.25"x9.25").

Mark out dimensions on plywood, then cut out. Lightly sand edges to remove burrs.

Step 3: Install Tee Nut

To attach out quick release to the deck we need to install a corresponding nut of the same diameter and thread count, this is typically 1/4" - 20. 1/4" is the diameter and 20 threads per inch, if you're unsure take your quick-release head to the hardware store and fit nuts until you find the right one.
To ensure a good bond between nut and the underside of the deck I chose a tee nut, which has a longer neck than regular nuts. The one I found also had teeth along the edge which allowed it to bite into the wood.

The nut will need to be located in the centre of the underside of the deck. To locate the centre simply draw a straight line between diagonally opposite corners, where the lines intersect is the centre.

Next, drill an opening slightly larger than diameter of the tee nut. Do not drill through the deck, just enough to sink the nut and have the teeth bite. Apply some glue in opening and hammer in tee nut.

Step 4: Molding Edges

To stop the laptop sliding off the deck a raised edge was installed around the perimeter.

Cut molding to length and width of your deck, then cut 45 degrees on each end. Lightly sand away burrs to ensure a snug fit.
Apply glue to underside of molding and clamp in place around perimeter of deck to dry.

Step 5: Add Legs

Legs were added so that the base can rest on a table without wobbling on the quick-release head.

40mm (1.5") Scrap dowel was cut into four equal lengths of about 50mm (2"), then glued onto the underside one at each corner.

Step 6: Add Tubing

To secure the laptop when it's resting on the deck we'll use rubber tubing as it's elastic and won't damage the laptop. The tubing will be secured under the deck by being sandwiched between two screws.

Cut a length of tubing longer than the length of your deck (about 150mm [6"] extra). Staple one end to the underside of the deck near the edge, in the other end insert a bolt.

Next pull the tubing to wrap around the deck and mark the location where the bolt meets the underside, install two screws on either side of the tubing at the location marked. Do not install the screws flush with the underside of the deck, leave screw heads proud. The latex tube should be able to pass through the two screws and the bold will catch, securing the tubing taught against your laptop when placed on deck.

Step 7: Install Laptop

You're all done, time to place your laptop on the deck and strap it down with the tubing. Your laptop has a base to sit on when you're at your desk and is ready to be snapped into a tripod for steady field work.

Place a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and earn yourself a digital patch and a 3-month Pro Membership to!



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    38 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Another important reason:

    Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.

    That’s right—I said 54 percent!

    Masters immediately called the lead researcher at Pennington, a professor named Peter Katzmarzyk. Turns out, this wasn’t the first study to link sitting and heart disease. Similar research actually dates back to 1953, when British researchers found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as (standing) trolley operators.

    Here’s the most surprising part: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”

    In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how well you eat. If you sit most of the day, your risk of leaving this world clutching your chest—whether you’re a man or women—as much as doubles.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's very interesting, but it's also bad to stand all the time too. I guess it's all about balance.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Here's my version, using a cheap tripod, an even cheaper chopping board, and a strip of adhesive foam insulation tape to keep the netbook from slipping. Thanks for the great idea!

    2 replies

    Looks great! I'm happy it inspired you to make your won.
    Thanks for sharing, I've awarded you a 3-month Pro Membership, and a digital patch!

    Cool idea. Wish I had known about those tee nuts. Off to the hardware store.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I already had the wood as i use it all the time for the laptop or a lap desk..
     I just put a bolt through the top of the tripod head as the quick release wouldn't fit the screw thing.. i just have to screw the whole thing on and off.. no big deal.

     i dont use anything to tie the laptop to the platform as it has a lip to stop it coming off and well i just don't think i need one.
    pic on my flickr  

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    That looks great! Thanks so much for sharing your version, it looks great!

    For sharing you get a digital patch (on your profile page) and a 3-month Pro Membership (check your inbox).

    I worry that the tea nut will dislodge and the notebook will fall. There's a lot of leverage on the connection. Everytime I've tried to do this, it has dislodged. I think the only secure option is welding it onto a metal surface which I haven't done. How secure has your holder been?

    1 reply

    With such a small computer on the platform I doubt this would happen. Of course if you leveraged the end and pulled (or leaned on it) the nut might come out. If you're worried you can use a dab of glue inside the opening before installing the nut, or make it our of metal an weld like you suggest.

    Share pictures of your version, I want to see!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks very very professional i have to say. Though that tripod you're using does not look cheap.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea for securing the tubing- simple, easy to make and easy to use.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Love this! Especially with the massive adjustable and compact-able options that come with a good tripod.
    I've only had one employer that offered adjustable height desks to allow for periods of standing - a great solution beyond the wobbly stack of cardboard boxes.


    I'm gonna use this one! I have a Bogen tripod with a horizontal arm, and can even use it in a chair or bed with that (until I figure out something else). The arm is on a ball swivel at the top of the mount, and also slide back and forth. From the 35mm days (which I'm still in).


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely fantastic idea. This is great for people like me who sit a lot for work and sometimes want to stand to break the monotony. :p

    Thanks Mike!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is brilliant! Not a bad idea at all. I'm thinking the tripod can be carried in my bag along with the laptop and I can whip that bad boy out just about anywhere and get to work.