$5 laptop stand


This was on lifehacker and ikeahacker. Thanks for posting everyone!

I intended this mostly for lying down (good for extreme laziness! and also for back issues) I had two problems with using my laptop while lying down: 1) It’s difficult to see and type, and 2) I imagine the heat is probably pretty unhealthy when it is lying on that region of me. I also wanted something that would slant in a comfortable way so I could see the keys and rest my forearms more naturally (I rest my arms on the front legs). So I walked through Ikea looking for something I could use, and the magasin dishrack seemed like it might work so I gave it a try.

I did this as a trial and error sort of project and made a few wrong turns along the way so I’ll try my best to describe the process. I don’t have the accompanying photos for the original process since I didn’t take pictures during, but I’ll try to point things out using the finished project.

foldy parts

1. Removing the big foldy part

First thing I did was to remove the big foldy part (see above). To do this I removed all of the little wood pieces first.

I wedged a flat-head screwdriver in between the end of the little pieces and the length of wood that holds them all.

They’re fastened pretty tightly with some sort of nail staple, but once you get the flat head in there, you can move the screwdriver up and down and get some leverage to pull it off. It’s hard at first, but after a couple, I got the hang of it, and it went much easier. After this it was easy to pull off the little pieces which were now only fastened on one end. I did this for both of the foldy parts.

From the longer foldy part, I sawed off the excess wood above the base leaving a little bit of length above the attached length which was the last piece holding the legs together. I also cut the middle out of that length with two cuts on either side. The result is two legs, each with two small attached pieces at the top of each leg. They will be used to stop the legs moving further when they are unfolded.

2. Removing the small foldy part

For the smaller foldy part, I removed the small wood pieces in the same way as the previous foldy part. This time, for the length that was closest to the base (see below), I detached the length on one side using the screwdriver wedging method.

The reason for this is I wanted it to be held by the dowels in the finished product as it was originally, but I wanted it held in there backwards (switched left to right from how it was held originally) and upside down. So detaching, turning the whole foldy piece left to right, and then reattaching seemed like the best way. For now, let’s pretend we have just detached it though. The reattaching will happen later.

3. Attaching the back legs

Next I attached the taller legs at the back by drilling a hole and using bolts, washers and nuts, measuring to make sure they were attached at equal heights. I wanted them to extend to a position that was slightly further than perpendicular to the base of the stand.

4. Attaching the front legs

Next, I used the screwdriver wedging method to detach one side of the length holding the small foldy part together. Then I drilled holes so that it could later be reattached using nuts and bolts. I turned the detached front leg section right to left and then re-inserted it with the dowels into the original holes, and reattached the length that held both sides together with nuts and bolts like so:

5. Extending the legs

So next, I wanted to use the discarded lengths of wood from the foldy parts. I cut a couple of them in half, and drilled a couple holes near the ends of each of the legs, corresponding to holes I would drill in the extension pieces. Then I attached them with nuts, bolts and washers.

I used the longest lengths I had available, and adjusted them later by sawing the ends to get my preferred angle.

6. The laptop brake

I had some lengths of wood left over, and just sawed and sanded one of those, then glued it to the end of the base to hold my laptop.


7. Two more bolts to adjust front legs

I drilled a couple more bolt holes at the base by the smaller front legs to make the front legs sit higher, then I screwed bolts in there.

You can adjust the angle of the front legs by placing the bolts further forward or back.

That’s about it. Just sand all the rough edges, and you’re done!

Issues / Questions


It feels very stable to rest my laptop and arms on and like it could take more weight than that. I imagine it wouldn’t hold up if I were to fall on it, but it’s pretty darn strong for a dishrack. There is some movement from left to right if you apply pressure in those directions. I don’t find that to be too common in the normal use of my laptop though.

Complexity of build

It might be more complex a process than people are willing to take on for a laptop stand, but it was pretty fun for me, and it only really took a couple days of intermittent work (I also had to change direction a few times on my original plan). Also, I couldn’t find anything anywhere else that was just quite what I had in mind so the effort was worth it for me. I’m sure people will find more efficient ways to build it, I was going by trial and error.

Please leave your questions in the comments!

Posted Saturday December 5, 2009 | Comments

Tags: diy. $5 laptop stand. laptop stand. ikea.

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