Before I get started I want to let everyone know to do this at their own risk; we don’t want to hear about how your laptop fell off this stand because you didn’t tighten a bolt down all the way. Now if you’re looking for a professional stand to use every day, I’d recommend buying a specifically designed product, but this DIY stand is a great option for occasional use. Now that my liability is gone, lets have some fun.
Laptop Support – Ikea
3”x1” Wood slat, you need around 6 inches for length – Home Depot or Lowes
½” x 4” Bolt, with 2 washers and 2 nuts – Home Depot or Lowes
2x ¼” x 2” Bolts, with 2 washers and 1 nut per bolt – Home Depot or Lowes
Super Clamp– you should buy this no matter what, it has saved many shoots for me.
Drill, Saw, Drill bits
Step one: Cut the wood to support the back of the laptop stand, because it will not be enough to support your laptop alone. I measured between the two supports on the back of the laptop stand and cut a board 8 inches long.
After the board is cut, clamp it on to the inside of the laptop support. This will be the position the board will be bolted in. Drill one hole for the ½” bolt in the dead center and two holes for the ¼” flanking the center hole to the left and the right. I always hold the bolt and drill bit next to each other to double check sizes before drilling.
The center bolt will have the extra length hanging out the back which will be inserted into the super clamp and tightened down. Use washer on the bolt head and nut size for extra strength. I also used two nuts to “lock” down the bolt. We do not want this bolt to swivel easily. Insert the other two bolts through the board with washers and tighten.
Check to make sure all your bolts are tightened again!
Now you can clamp your super clamp onto your tripod center pole. I found it best to have the clamp below the tripod joints. You can see from my photos it allows the laptop support to rest of the legs as well.
Final notes: The stand is a little flexible. It does not bother me in my use; however, if you need to type a lot while you shoot you can reinforce the tray with boards running veritically and placed against the back wood. I also plan to add a notch in the bolt with a dremel to insure the bolt does not rotate in the super clamp. You can add an epoxy glue where the nuts and bolts meet to make sure they never come off.
Do you think this is a viable alternative to a professional product? Please leave us comments with your thoughts!