Access to Lumberjocks from surgical recovery- laptop/ipad stand for bed

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Project by MattObjects posted 11-27-2013 09:29 AM 39416 views 25 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last week, I was told i would need reconstructive orthopedic surgery to my foot that would require me to spend 2 weeks afterward flat on my back with my foot elevated in the air. I wanted a stand that could go next to the bed and hold my laptop at a good distance and angle for typing as well as hold it higher and at a different angle for watching movies on the screen. I also wanted the stand to serve as a writing desk from bed, to hold my iPad at “using” and “viewing” angles, and to work from the couch as well for weeks 3-6 of recovery when I won’t be confined strictly to bed. I couldn’t find what I wanted online, so I designed and built this.

The stand is made from 3/4” void-free baltic birch plywood, except for the laptop tray, which is made of pine (to keep it light and because I was running out of time to make it out of anything else). The hinges rotate through multiple fixed points and are held in place with removable poplar dowels. The holes for the dowels are set up so that the there is a hole in the second joint that will level the tray for every height setting in the first joint. The third joint rotates the tray at 20 degree intervals from being completely upside own to completely right side up. The long first arm allows it to fit over the arm of the couch. Because of the curve of the arms, the base of the stand is almost directly beneath the laptop tray at most points of adjustment so it is very stable. Removable velcro and a length of shock cord (not shown in photos) helps hold the laptop and ipad to the tray in inverted positions.

I didn’t have time to apply any finish to the wood, and in fact only had time to sand it to 120 grit before running out of time to work on it. The surgery was Tuesday morning and went well. I am typing using the stand from bed right now. Glad to have lumberjocks to keep me sane through the months when I won’t be able to get out to my own shop!

24 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18096 posts in 4520 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 09:51 AM

Awesome Idea and way to go…. Hope you have a speedy recovery! I actually like it unfinished…. When I had my Knee surgrey last Nov I used the time to et better at Goggle Sketch up….& Lumberjocks of course.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30659 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 09:58 AM

Hope all goes well with the surgery. Great project. When you’re up and running you might want to build and market them.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dutchy's profile


4291 posts in 3500 days

#3 posted 11-27-2013 11:58 AM

Very nice stand.

Succes with your foot.


View Belg1960's profile


1161 posts in 4397 days

#4 posted 11-27-2013 12:04 PM

Great practical project! Hope you mend quickly and can make sawdust soon.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1387 posts in 3045 days

#5 posted 11-27-2013 01:08 PM

Great! Like the design. And i like the fact that it does not have the look of a “handicapped helping device”
I seriously think Monte Pitman is right: This is pretty much redy to go into production.

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 5161 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 01:21 PM

Great design and build! You should think about marketing this, I’m sure there is a need out there for something like this. Good luck with the surgery and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 3046 days

#7 posted 11-27-2013 02:05 PM

Great design and execution. I hope your recovery goes very well.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 4278 days

#8 posted 11-27-2013 02:10 PM

Wonderful! Better get that patent application on the way pretty quick!!
Hope the recovery goes smoothly and fast.


-- Smitty

View exit116's profile


140 posts in 3123 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 05:25 PM

great idea, love the poplar dowels and hinges, hope your recovery goes smoothly thanks for sharing

-- Money: if you do not have fun earning it, have fun spending it, I do not enjoy spending it so I have fun earning it.

View CFrye's profile


11405 posts in 3171 days

#10 posted 11-27-2013 05:37 PM

Congratulations on the surgery going well! This is a wonderful and practical project. Would be interested in modifications you think of during it’s use Matt. Adding wheels maybe? Praying you have a speedy and uneventful recovery! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View pinebox's profile (online now)


39 posts in 3300 days

#11 posted 11-27-2013 07:33 PM

Love it. I’m in bed right now recovering from minor surgery and wish I had one of these. Great idea. I’ll be up tomorrow though so good luck with your foot!

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3505 days

#12 posted 11-27-2013 09:55 PM

I am very impressed! That’s a very genius work! Excellent thinking!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View MattObjects's profile


24 posts in 3709 days

#13 posted 11-27-2013 10:38 PM

Guys, thanks for your comments and support!

CFrye, there are a few things I would have done differently if I hadn’t run out of time—

1. I planned to have a second piece of plywood the same size as the current base with 4 dowels extending up 3/4” to connect to matching holes in the existing base. This second removable base would have had casters on the bottom for moving it around easily and would also have added a bit of weight to the bottom, making it even more stable.

2. I had planned to make the laptop tray out of the same plywood as the rest of the stand but with 1/2” channels routed in it from front to back. Toggles to hold down the laptop or iPad would bolt through the routed channel to to wing nuts on the back, which would allow me to move the toggle up and down a channel or over to another channel in order to securely hold whatever I’m using to the laptop tray.

3. I wanted to attach a small tray or shallow open-top box to the side of the fixed stand arm with a hinge that would allow me to swing it closer to or further from me. The purpose of the smaller tray/box would be to hold my water bottle, cell phone, etc.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do those things- I only had this past weekend to build this and it took me most of Saturday to just figure out the design. Also, the stand was built with me mostly standing in my shop on one foot and that slowed things down quite a bit too.

View tyvekboy's profile


2150 posts in 4345 days

#14 posted 11-28-2013 01:57 AM

Excellent design. I’m sure version #2 will be even better. Speedy recovery.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View watermark's profile


484 posts in 3274 days

#15 posted 11-28-2013 05:00 AM

good design. Hope everything goes well and you have a quick recovery

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

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