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We bought a new laptop for my wife; and she uses is primarily at her desk, so I decided to make her a laptop stand. Laptops are great for portability and compact size, but when using them for long periods at a desk, the viewing angle and typing position is not really the best.
We've gone through this before with my son, as he also primarily uses a laptop. First, he stacked up some books and worked with that for a while to see if he liked the increased height.
He did find that the increased height was beneficial, so he next asked for an adjustable laptop stand. So,we bought him the one shown in the next two photos. It is aluminum, and lightweight, and has a lot of adjustability. HOWEVER, we noticed that he did not really need it to be adjustable. Once he found a position that he liked, he has left the stand set to that position. So when my wife got a new laptop, I thought that I could very easily make her one out of wood, as we did not think that she would need to adjust it either.
We had my wife sit down at my son's desk and verify that the angle and height were okay. I then took measurements of how my son had his stand adjusted and I threw together a mockup out of scrap pine boards. She used the prototype for a few weeks to satisfy her that the proportions, angles, and so on, suited her, and then I set about making a nicer piece out of some laminated cherry.
I put together a sketch and I worked from that, and refined it as this project proceeded. I do recommend first trying the stack-of-books approach to see what sort of height and angle work for your body size and desk work preferences, but you are free to work from my plans.
One change from the prototype is that I planed the new boards down to 5/8" thickness. A laptop is not heavy, so there is no need for thick 3/4" boards. In fact, even half inch thick boards should work.
The prototype was held together with screwed butt joints. For the final piece I cut a dado in the two side pieces. The shelf, which joins the two sides, will fit into this dado.
After cutting the dado I then marked and cut out the legs. I also drilled three large holes into the sides. The holes are mostly for decoration, but do also provide ventilation.
I used a 1/4" roundover bit to soften most of the edges of the parts. One exception was the inside edge where the dado is fitted, as I thought that might look odd.
I sanded all the parts and then applied glue inside the dado, being careful to not put in too much. I really would rather not deal with any squeeze-out!
I then clamped the piece for a few hours and then took it outside to spray on some rattle-can lacquer.
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