$30 DIY Tripod Laptop Stand

$30 DIY Tripod Laptop Stand

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.

Parts list:

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!
Jerrit Pruyn's picture

Jerrit Pruyn is a professional wedding photographer based in NYC. His work and articles have been featured on Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Huffington Post, and Daily Mail.

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Is that a Chromebook running Windows 7?

Sorry, I must seem a little geeky noticing that out of the whole article :P

That's actually the first thing I noticed. :)

Yeah I hacked up my beta. It runs pretty decent with it.

 Very nice :) I wanna get one just to put Windows 8 on it - Have a lil throw around/play around laptop - but of course being in Australia; Google didn't wanna send test units out :P

There is a cheaper way to do this :)


 much more portable too

Maybe I am bias but this looks rough, the strings prevent you from access the laptop at a normal angle. But if you are just using it to view a larger monitor then go for it.

So, you need binoculars to look through the viewfinder?

No, it is easy to just lean over it. 

"Now that my liability is gone, lets have some fun."
You just know someone is going to send you an angry email

I've been using this one and it works pretty well and is super easy to use.  Not $30 but not as expensive as the tethertools stuff either.

I almost posted this with the article :P

Simple, too the point, and strings on a $2,000 computer regardless if you got iCare or not... is not iComforting.....

Another great DIY by Jerrit. Thanks!

How was the center of gravity? It seems kool, but I have a brick for a laptop.

I have a "desktop replacement" I placed on there with no issues. I would sandbag the tripod, you can also make your base larger with certain tripods. 

Internet Explorer?!!!! HOW DARE YOU?!!!

Great, but you should take into account that the rest of the world uses sensible units, you know, meters, centimeters, etc.

I agree Jose, http://bit.ly/L9AVyh

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 your site is veru informative thank you
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 your site is veru informative thank you
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Really? You guys would risk $10,000 worth of equipment on something like this? That other post with a grill and some shoe strings? You get what you pay for…Save couple hundred here lose a couple thousand there...

There is always someone who applies professional gear to an amateur product. If you don't trust it don't do it. This would hold a netbook or ipad all day long. 

Uh some are always complaining... Good work! I like it, it´s simple, works surely well and looks good. What more can you ask for? 

Could I do this with a Manfrotto #035 SUPER CLAMP?

I ended up using a Manfrotto clamp, it's slightly off centre, but works great. Thank you for the guide!