DIY – The Desktension
“It was a Tuesday night. 8pm. The ceiling fan was doing little good at keeping my digs cooled from the LA summer evening. I had just gotten off a call with my partner when suddenly, I looked back at the trials and tribulations I went through in order to achieve the technological wonder that is … video teleconferencing. My ancient webcam on the desktop wasn’t working; so I had to resort to the trusty ol’ laptop to do the call. That laptop and me, we go way back. Three solid months. She’s a beauty… Using the laptop at my desk always calls for a bar-stool as backup. It’s not pretty, but you better believe it’s damn convenient. The only problem? It takes up a valuable chair spot at the bar.”
Alright, I’m being obsessive, but whatever, this is worth it:
I don’t keep random crap around the house, typically – and there were a few artifacts from when I moved-in stored in my kitchen and closet that were pretty much bugging me. I decided, “it’s time to see if I can’t whip something up for my laptop next to my desk.” The Desktension was born.
I live in a shoebox craphole apartment. No space for clutter. Whatever I made had to be stow-able.
I want to mainly use it while seated at my desk for those times two monitors just aren’t enough, so it had to be level with my desk.
I wanted it to be sturdy — the laptop I have was less than a grand, deeming it disposable hardware, but that doesn’t mean I want to drop it.
Finally; I didn’t want to go to the store for anything, this is a temporary solution until I move and build my desk-masterpiece thing, thus scraps had to be used, but made to be presentable.
- Furniture Leg (x2) accessories for some IKEA cabinets I have. I decided the legs made the cabinets a bit too high when I was moving in a year ago, but kept the legs in-case I changed my mind (which I’ve been known to do).
- Lumber 1″ x 4″ (x2) – left overs from a part for my Triumph that showed up a couple months back. They shipped a chrome fitting to me on two 48″ slices of pine, in great condition. Tip: never just throw away lumber, that’s no way to treat trees killed for your junk.
- 1/2″ bold and matching nut for the center (so the contraption can be folded up)
- 2″ wood screws (x4)
- 2 1/2″ wood screws with bolt heads (x4)
- Tools: Drill, skill-saw, ratcheting screw driver with fillips and socket heads for screws and bolt.
The main trick was the cross pattern of the laptop-stand base. That part was pretty simple to assemble, since it was just a bolt in the middle – allowing it to swivel closed. Measuring it up after assembled for the legs, on the other hand, showed two of the legs were going to have to be a little longer. The longer legs needed to be cut +1/8″ when chopping them in half with the skill-saw. Of all the times to not own a circular saw, lemme tell ya.
After the cuts were made, I measured up where the screws were going. There are 2 screws in each leg, one inside the metal leg-tube deal, the other in the hole actually used to fasten it to the furniture it’s supposed to be on. Once all the measurements were done, it was tacked together.
Really wasn’t all that hard. I think I’ve spent more time on this post than I did on actually making the extension. Does it work? Yep – like a charm. It’s stable, lightweight and it folds up quite nicely to be stowed. It’s level with the desk, and – though I think it looks a bit awkward, I feel that’s some of the charm of this thing.
The good news; once I build my desk, I can just break this thing down & keep the legs. Might even find some other random thing to use the lumber for.
06.29.11 • posted in: Creativity