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prototyper
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. I needed more versatility in my laptop stand so i built my own out of wood. The problem is that I had only a dremel, some cheap clamps and random hand tools, but want/need to produce more (in quantities). Any advice on what tools to use to streamline the project?

I would like to create a custom jig to make the grooves easier to cut into the laptop surface and to create uniformity. What would be the best tool to make the cuts after a jig is made?

I also need to create circular holes into the base of approx. 2 1/2" -diameter and 3/4" depth. What is the best tool to perform this cut?

Any advice is appreciated! I have had this design patented and am looking to build them for customers. I appreciate your help in advance.
 

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I see that you are new to the forum and can tell from your post that you are new to woodworking.

First, a question. Why do you need the groves in the wood? They would be especially hard to get straight with a dremel.

Do you have a power hand drill? Of so, that would be the tool of choice for the 2 1/2" holes. You say you want the holes 3/4" deep. How thick is the wood?

George
 

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prototyper
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello GeorgeC and thank you for your reply. I am both new to woodworking and to the forums, as you can probably tell from the pictures above. :p

I need grooves in the wood to allow for laptop cooling. the grooves allow thermal transport into the cork (i've used thermo-imaging to detect this slight cooling) effectively keeping the laptop cooler.

The wood itself is about 3/4" and the holes are about half that deep. Are you suggesting maybe using a hole saw? I do not want to go all the way through the wood, though.

thanks again for your response.
 

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In terms of streamlining, I'd recommend the following:

1) Round holes. Use a drill press. It looks like the holes are all the same distance from the edges, so you could set up a table on your drill press with two fences. Put a forstner bit of the appropriate size in the drill press, and set the drill press stop to cut as deep as you need. Then you can take each board, push it against both fences, pull the handle, and move on to the next corner. Fast, easy, and repeatable.

2) For the grooves, it looks like they go all the way through. I'd use a plunge router with a top bearing bit. Make a pattern that the bit can follow, and mount it in such a way that it's permanent, and you just slip the workpiece into it -- basically, make the pattern the top of a box with one open side. Make sure to make a stop for the open side to eliminate the possibility of the piece shifting.

That should basically set things up as an assembly line. Once you've decided which side of the wood goes up, you can start cutting without having to worry about anything other than which side goes up.

As a new woodworker, bear in mind that powered woodworking tools are loud and dangerous: wear ear and eye protection, and if you find yourself doing something that feels a little unsafe, it probably is. Stop, back up, and find a new method.
 

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Here is the problem with your design, just to qualify my post, I'm a wood worker but also an A+ certified technician :)

The grooves are pulling air from the groove itself which is then pulling air from the laptop's exhaust, you need fresh cool air pulled into the intake. Your grooves either need to go through the top table or extend all the way out so fresh cool air can be pulled into the intake.

As for a jig, depending on what you have, I would get a sharp chisel and a $50 bench drill press off craigslist and drill a bunch of 1/4 holes in a straight line then chisel out the rest.

Keep going though! It's looking good!(ish):icon_smile:
 

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prototyper
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In terms of streamlining, I'd recommend the following:

1) Round holes. Use a drill press. It looks like the holes are all the same distance from the edges, so you could set up a table on your drill press with two fences. Put a forstner bit of the appropriate size in the drill press, and set the drill press stop to cut as deep as you need. Then you can take each board, push it against both fences, pull the handle, and move on to the next corner. Fast, easy, and repeatable.

2) For the grooves, it looks like they go all the way through. I'd use a plunge router with a top bearing bit. Make a pattern that the bit can follow, and mount it in such a way that it's permanent, and you just slip the workpiece into it -- basically, make the pattern the top of a box with one open side. Make sure to make a stop for the open side to eliminate the possibility of the piece shifting.

That should basically set things up as an assembly line. Once you've decided which side of the wood goes up, you can start cutting without having to worry about anything other than which side goes up.

As a new woodworker, bear in mind that powered woodworking tools are loud and dangerous: wear ear and eye protection, and if you find yourself doing something that feels a little unsafe, it probably is. Stop, back up, and find a new method.
This is exactly the kind of information that I was looking for. Thank you. Could you explain the latter half of the second step a little more in detail? Make a pattern that the bit can follow--i'm a little lost here? perhaps the answer is in front of me.
 

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prototyper
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the problem with your design, just to qualify my post, I'm a wood worker but also an A+ certified technician :)

The grooves are pulling air from the groove itself which is then pulling air from the laptop's exhaust, you need fresh cool air pulled into the intake. Your grooves either need to go through the top table or extend all the way out so fresh cool air can be pulled into the intake.

As for a jig, depending on what you have, I would get a sharp chisel and a $50 bench drill press off craigslist and drill a bunch of 1/4 holes in a straight line then chisel out the rest.

Keep going though! It's looking good!(ish):icon_smile:
Thank you for your post! well, the stand was built specifically for my MacbookPro so the intake is through the keyboard. The exhaust is on the backside just below the screen. The cork serves as a heat sink for the battery.

I also like your idea for a jig. I do, however, think it would give it a similar DIY look. I'm looking for something a little more polished for my next batch. :laughing:
 

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prototyper
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Does that allow you to adjust that front and back height of the table... If so, I really like that part of your design. What did you use to do that?
Yes it does! It can be fully adjusted on all 4 corners so that the base can be used to store peripherals or used as a mouse pad (in fully extended mode)-or to simply create the perfect typing angle.
 

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Thank you for your post! well, the stand was built specifically for my MacbookPro so the intake is through the keyboard. The exhaust is on the backside just below the screen. The cork serves as a heat sink for the battery.

I also like your idea for a jig. I do, however, think it would give it a similar DIY look. I'm looking for something a little more polished for my next batch. :laughing:

I like the idea of having it adjustable, I can't stand typing on my laptop when its on a table.

I agree that a jig and router would be the easiest way to make the grooves.

I do question your use of the "heat sink". Cork is an insulator, having a really low thermal conductivity. Heat sink material need to have a high thermal conductivity and physically touch what they are trying to cool in order for them to work properly. I think a better approach would have the groves going all the way through. It would allow more circulation than a solid table top.
 

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Is this laptop cooling really necessary? Makes me wonder.

If a laptop is really used on your lap (and I frequently use it that way) it is mostly flat on my legs. Gets very little cooling.

In an airplane it is either on the pullout tray or your lap. No grooves on the tray.

When not on someone's lap I think that most laptops sit on a desk. No grooves in the desk.

George
 

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George, a lot of laptops get very, very hot -- too hot to use on your lap. The attempt to keep up with the speed and capabilities of a desktop computer has won out over the desire to keep them cool enough. For a really basic machine that sees usage for browsing the web and word processing, they'll stay cool. Some of the high-end gaming machines heat up until the underside runs around 130F. Not enough to boil water, but enough to shorten the lifespan of the components significantly.
 

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George, a lot of laptops get very, very hot -- too hot to use on your lap. The attempt to keep up with the speed and capabilities of a desktop computer has won out over the desire to keep them cool enough. For a really basic machine that sees usage for browsing the web and word processing, they'll stay cool. Some of the high-end gaming machines heat up until the underside runs around 130F. Not enough to boil water, but enough to shorten the lifespan of the components significantly.
+1...completely depends on what type of applications you're running on your laptop. If I'm sitting in the manchair, having the laptop on my lap to chat on facebook or browse the forum its no problem. If, however, I'm running some of the traffic simulation software or MATLAB to do optimization type work for school, things get rather warm rather quickly. In addition to cooling it also helps to blow out your air intake and your exhaust area on a regular basis, sort of similar to changing the air filter on your home A/C system, with a clean filter the system doesn't have to work as hard.
 

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Is this laptop cooling really necessary? Makes me wonder.

If a laptop is really used on your lap (and I frequently use it that way) it is mostly flat on my legs. Gets very little cooling.

In an airplane it is either on the pullout tray or your lap. No grooves on the tray.

When not on someone's lap I think that most laptops sit on a desk. No grooves in the desk.

George
10s of thousands of people each year suffer from muscle and circulatory issues directly related to the heat from laptops on their legs. Your typical 300$ laptops run low power hardware and usually run very cool however when you step up into high computing, graphic and gaming laptops the heat generated can be extremely high and harmful to the body. They start off being nice and cool and after a short period of time the heat increases and the user doesn't really realize just how hot the laptop, their legs and their blood has become.

I've had a few gaming laptops where the heat was so intense the rubber feet on the bottom didn't just heat the glue and fall off but literally melted and deformed the rubber. The CPUs and GPUs can run at temps of 180f and higher.

While laptops originally were ok for lap use you really don't want to leave them on your lap much anymore. Studies have shown that even the low power machines these days can increase the muscle and blood temperatures in your legs causing both long and short term medical issues. I believe many manufacturers even have disclosures now for these issues.

Best to use a table or desk and a cooling pad of some type if on your legs.
 
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