DIY 2-Position Semi-Foldable Laptop Stand for ~$35
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default DIY Foldable Laptop Stand for ~$60

    Last Updated: 2012-02-25 @ 8:09PM
    I have completed version 1.2:

    =============Original Post==============

    I had an idea in my head for a 2-position semi-foldable laptop stand made of wood, so I went to Home Depot today to buy parts and assembled it in about 45 minutes. Some minor adjustments are needed, but this is Version 1.0

    All you need to make a 2-position semi-foldable laptop stand

    2 x 8" Heavy Duty Tee Hinges

    1 Package of 1/4" Semi-Wrap overlay hinges (comes with 2 hinges and 8 screws)

    1 Package of #10 x 5/8 wood screws (should have 12)

    Just a receipt showing total prices, doesn't include 2nd T-Hinge

    My boards were cut to half an inch longer and wider than my laptop's Length and Width, which is 10" x 15" .. so the boards are 10.5" x 15.5"... 3/4" MDF (nothing thinner!!)...

    Position your T-Hinge so the outside edges of the T-Hinge lines up with the outside edge of the board ... the two bottom holes should CENTER about 3/8" from the bottom edge of the board

    *Note - This image is Version 1, which is in the center... unfortunately it wobbles with only 1 hinge, so you need 2 hinges, each aligned to the edge of your back-board

    Mark the center of the holes using a gel pen or sharpie. Remove the hinge after the centers are marked.

    Using the #10 wood screws (which should be self-tapping), screw in a little bit to get a starter hole going, then reposition the hinge and secure the outside two screws first

    Then secure the inside two screws

    Look, it can stand up now

    This is the opposite edge of the board that has the T-Hinges attached already... Measure 2" from each end and mark it... Position the outer edge of each hinge against the 2" marking, with the horizontal holes running along the edge of the board

    Mark the board like so, with your screw points toward opposite ends to prevent shifting of the hinge once it's secured... They should be DEAD CENTER between either face of the board.

    Again, start screwing in just a little bit for pilot holes, but take extreme caution to go flush into the board, because it WILL split a little between the screws, and going in at an angle will only make it worse

    Remove the screws once the pilot holes are started, then **TAKING CAUTION TO STAY FLUSH** secure the hinge in place ***BUT DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN OR YOU WILL STRIP THE WOOD OUT AND HAVE TO START OVER***

    Note: Repeat for the other hinge

    This is with the hinges open.

    This is the difficult part. To secure the other board, it's easiest to stand up the board that has nothing attached to it vertically, then carefully lay the hinges from the other board onto it while they're in the "open" position. Align the edges of the boards so you don't have to measure anything, mark the center of the holes, then remove the board.

    It'll look like this now if you marked them correctly. Remember, *DEAD CENTER BETWEEN THE TWO FACES* ... **STAYING FLUSH** screw in just a tiny bit for pilot holes...

    ... remove the screws and...

    ... secure the hinges, STAYING FLUSH AND DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN

    íVoila! You now have a 2-position stand... This is the first position, with the laptop at a gentle angle, sitting above the T-Hinges ... there's not a TON of space down there, but it may be good for drinks, cables, sound cards, etc

    Here's a handy bit... all that space in there can be customized... I plan on buying some lights from, embedding a switch and giving myself a lit up undercarriage of my stand so I can see where i put my drink

    Look at all that LOGO / ADVERTISING space on the back of that stand :P~ *droool*

    Note: Dog not included

    This is position #2, with the laptop at a much steeper angle (T-Hinges BEHIND the laptop). Great for having it at the edge of your mixer or when you don't have much space to work with. Doesn't cover anything

    You still get the logo/advertising space on the back side, too

    Still not COMPLETELY done with the project but this is a work in progress as I iron out what else needs to be done...
    ** Still remaining:
    - Non-slip feet to attach to the T-Brackets (some sort of rubber shoe that I can glue on??)
    - Something to prevent the laptop from sliding off (which is why I made the dimensions slightly larger... maybe small L-brackets or some sort of velcro)
    - Some way to lock the positions... probably fasten some bolts, use a bracket with some holes and wingnuts to secure so it doesn't require any tools...
    - Lights, logo, non-essential customization
    - $$$ Profit

    The 2-position design was actually the result of a design-flaw, or rather a limitation of the hinges. But I rather like it this way, even if it doesn't COMPLETELY fold up. Tomorrow, I'll go back to Home Depot and get my other T-Hinge, maybe 2 more because the MDF cost $10 and was one large sheet, so the Home Depot guy cut it into six 10.5" x 15.5" boards for me, so I have spares...

    You can definitely make a completely folding design using two T-Hinges on the bottom AND top, but it will only be 1-position... If you do that, make the MDF board as tall as you need it, but get T-Hinges that are at least 3/4 the length of the height of the board

    E.g.: in the above example, the board is 10.5" high, and the T-Hinge is 8" long, or four-fifths... if you made a stand that is 14" tall, I'd recommend hinges that are at least 10" (14 * 3/4 = 10.5)... this is to improve stability and prevent the laptop from toppling forward.

    Because you're building with wood, you can customize to the extent of your wood skills and imagination. For example, you can cut a logo into the center of the backboard, cover the board with acrylic, and illuminate the logo. You can spray paint your logo onto it, or on the "undercarriage" (where your laptop sits) you can wire in lights, even put in a lightswitch (which I plan on doing).

    Feedback and suggestions are welcome.

    - Mark
    Last edited by WTFumbles; 02-25-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru brian_johnstone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    United Kingdom


    nice work, whats holding the laptop in place in the pic where it is almost vertical, i'd want padlocks if it was at that angle, as that hinge on the bottom doesnt look 100% stable.. a good first attempt though.
    MBP / 8gb Ram / 1TB / SSL / Rane SL2 / HD25's / Dicers / Empty Bank Account

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Thank you so much. Nothing is holding the laptop in place, the feet are just pretty non-slip. I have resolved the instability, folding, and vertical under-carriage space issues with Version 1.2:

    The new design is 16" tall when standing, with the base being about 13" wide. It features non-slip "shoes", and non-slip mat where you sit your laptop, which does a really good job of keeping the laptop in place under normal use and table movement.

    I literally took a new 15.5" x 10.5" board and turned it 90 degrees to get more height from it.

    It completely folds up and the bungee cord doubles as a carrying strap.

    the laptop can further be secured by a detachable bungee cord to the loops to prevent it from sliding, forward, side to side, or accidentally flipping it backward in the event of a careless fist pump or chucking of the deuces.

    Yellow notecard is on top of the laptop to indicate where the end of the screen is. Mixing equipment sits comfortably below the laptop with little to no obstructed view (depending on how close ... I can sit my mixtrack pro about 4" from the back before the hotcue buttons in the back disappear from view).

    Non-slip feet prevent slipping issues.

    This project was more expensive than initially planned (my budget was $35-50). I wound up spending about $80 total, but I made some initial purchases that didn't pan out with the (currently) final design.

    Total cost for the project:
    Sheet of 3/4" MDF (made six 10.5"x15.5" boards): $11.34
    10" T-Hinge: $8.97 x 2 = $17.94
    Wood screws for 10" T-Hinge: $0.98 x 3 = $2.94
    8" T-Hinge: $6.77 x 2 = $13.54
    Wood screws for 8" T-Hinge: $0.98
    4-pack of 24" Bungee Cords: $6.89
    Strap Anchors: $0.88
    Wood screws for strap anchors: $0.98
    Non-slip mat: $5.97
    5-minute Epoxy: $4.97
    Subtotal: $66.43
    +Tax (8.25%)
    Grand Total: $71.91

    I don't believe the non-slip mat for feet and the hinges where the laptop sit are necessary with the bungee, which means you can remove the cost of the epoxy and the cost of the non-slip mat (-$11.84 total, including tax), so the project could cost right at $60.

    Though it's not as feature packed or sleek as a Crane Stand Pro, it's $90 cheaper. If you have the time to customize all 6 boards and swap the hinges (which is easy once you've secured them to each board at least once) you can make 6 custom backboards with your logo and various colors or advertisements for different venues or lighting conditions. You also have the ability to customize the backboard with lights, a stand for your soundcard, a drink holder, business card holder.. whatever you can think of.

    Anyway, v1.2 is MUCH more sturdy than the old design, and it's completely foldable which is an absolute delight. It is HEAVY (about 10 pounds, I'm guessing), but it feels super durable. I'm quite happy with my new laptop stand and can't wait to try it out tomorrow at the park

    Comments, suggestions, and other feedback welcomed - Mark
    Last edited by WTFumbles; 02-25-2012 at 09:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Virginia Beach VA

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    I liked the Odyssey stand but DJTT's youtube review said the standard base was unstable, and I didn't want something that I had to clamp down because my portable table is plastic. :/

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor ToS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    EXIT, Serbia


    Love the stand. Do you plan on loosing the plank in some future iteration?
    Many photons have died to bring you this information.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2011


    Thank you. I'm not sure yet. I was actually thinking it's rather functional (but heavy). I have some friends that are pretty good artists, maybe I can give them one and have something done with it. The other thought is to install LEDs or a CCFL into it to illuminate the space below it. I've installed a few accent lighting kits on various vehicles and ... ooooo... I just had an idea. It'll take a while, but I think it's gonna be awesome. Stay tuned for v1.3

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