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Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:04 pm
by drfish
It's been too long since I've posted a silly project, so here it goes...

All those fancy new Pascal-powered laptops out there have been tempting me to buy something I certainly don't need. My trusty W110ER is still a tiny-beast of a machine and does everything I need from a laptop but the 650M graphics and tiny screen (even though I upgraded it) were starting to get me down...

My desktop is plenty respectable, an overclocked 2600k and 980Ti suit me just fine, but I can sit in a really comfy chair if I use my laptop! So that was a dilemma...

Luckily, I have an amazing wife and she doesn't mind if I run cables everywhere and screw gate hinges to the walls. So, with minimal investment, I came up with a solution that's the best of both worlds. :wink:

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I already had a 50' HDMI cable, that now runs into my new LG 25UM56-P 25” 21:9 IPS screen. I picked up a 50' USB cable to go with it so I could have all the necessities on the other side. That, and a $10 VESA wall mount, and I was in business for about $1,300 less than getting a laptop with a 1060 in it (and a bigger screen with a better keyboard too).

It gotta say, it totally rocks, this probably means I'll go from a close to 50/50 split between my laptop and desktop to something closer to 80% of my time in the comfy chair. Sounds good to me. :D

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:08 pm
by Redocbew
I can't think of much in the way of a response, but that is totally badass.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:39 pm
by Pancake
You know you want to get a couple more hinges to make it articulated so you can push it to the side.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:57 pm
by drfish
It's true, I'm sure I'll do some more experimenting. :)

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:46 pm
by The Egg
Pretty sweet.  Much better choice than spending all that money on a laptop, especially when you already own a better and more flexible solution.

I know you weren't going for aesthetic perfection, but swapping the 2x4 for a couple lengths of 2" pre-punched angle would add strength, and make it easier to add another hinge point.  You could paint it black, or to match the walls.  Just be sure to file the edges smooth on the ends (you could also create a shroud/cover pretty easily from a sheet of vinyl or fabric).

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:01 am
by biffzinker
So are those shorts or boxers? I'm going to guess boxers. Whatever makes you more comfortable works for me. :wink:

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:56 am
by blahsaysblah
So, if i got this wrong...

You first mounted baby seat off ceiling and verified your house can handle it. Than you installed monitor arm?

:D

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:13 am
by drfish
So the 2x4 is actually covered with brown duct tape, matches the curtains really well (wife picked it out). For materials, wood was just super easy to work with but if I ever want to swap out the 25" monitor for my 34" (or build a longer arm for my wife to use on the couch) then I'll go with metal for sure.

Welp, totally busted for wearing boxers in that photo. :oops: My routine is to swap to those bad boys once I get home from work but I do wear them over-top my underwear of choice. Comfort first!

...and yes, my daughter ran some Fisher-Price-style FEA on the structure of the house before taking any chances with the monitor. It appears that her calculations were correct. :wink:

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:15 am
by DPete27
drfish wrote:
the 2x4 is actually covered with brown duct tape

I lost all respect for this project after reading that.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:27 am
by drfish
I understand. I hate painting though, and getting the same finish by any other means would be a lot more work. I called it cheesy for a reason!

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:29 am
by DrDominodog51
drfish wrote:
So the 2x4 is actually covered with brown duct tape, matches the curtains really well (wife picked it out). For materials, wood was just super easy to work with but if I ever want to swap out the 25" monitor for my 34" (or build a longer arm for my wife to use on the couch) then I'll go with metal for sure.

Perhaps some lacquer on the wood would look better than the duct tape.

This project is awesome. The functionality over looks is exactly what I would expect from a Gerbil.

Edit: I just saw the reply above.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:22 am
by drfish
I think you can tell from the 3rd pic that it's not completely hideous (depending on what you compare it to I suppose). It might not be the best hack ever but it hits all the right notes for me and I'm quite satisfied with it. :)

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:51 am
by ludi
DPete27 wrote:
drfish wrote:
the 2x4 is actually covered with brown duct tape

I lost all respect for this project after reading that.

Haters gonna hate.
Duct tape is exactly what I would expect for a gate hinge and a 2x4.  Try and pretty it up any further and you may as well just buy a cheap swivel arm from Monoprice.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:23 am
by K-L-Waster
Awesomely redneck...

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:25 am
by Captain Ned
Hey, the duct tape saves you from sanding out the splinters and routing down the sharp corners.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:31 am
by drfish
Ned gets it! :)

It's not duct tape, it's a textured high-gloss finish.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:47 am
by Chrispy_
It works for now but that's a long arm with a respectable weight to hang off one hinge. long lever with 10:1 mechanical advantage. Eyeballing it my guess is that the monitor weighs ~10lbs which means you have 100lbs of pull force running through that top bolt on the wall. The bolt can take it, but can whatever it's screwed into?

Is it bolted into steel or something? If not, I'd consider adding a second hinge above or below and a 45 degree support beam. Feel free to use brown duck tape again ;)

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:54 am
by drfish
I've got 4 quality lag screws sunk deeply into the stud (exterior wall). I'm still considering a brace but mostly because of the pin in the hinge. You're about right regarding the weight.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:03 pm
by DPete27
If it's a typical door hinge with a 1/4" steel pin, I highly doubt that's your weak link.  The first thing to "fail" will be the bottom of the hinge punching into the drywall.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:39 pm
by drfish
I picked it up locally, but this is the hinge. The black bearings/washer-looking things, that I thought were a nice feature initially, allow the hinge to flex a bit more than I expected it to so the alignment looks funny if you get up close, it's probably not bending the pin much though.

So far there's no signs of the hinge digging into the wall, but I'll be watching for it. Some quick Googling didn't turn up much on drywall PSI ratings.

Learning is fun!

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:12 pm
by just brew it!
If it does start to dig into the wall, you could re-mount it through a larger wooden or metal plate to spread the load a bit. That would be simpler than a second hinge and brace.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:31 pm
by ludi
The drywall was my first thought, also.  Long-term, some sort of backing plate behind the hinge would be a good idea.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:44 pm
by Convert
I love this thread.  Your wife is a keeper for sure, I wish I could get away with stuff like that.  I'm already a major perfectionist but I swear she finds even the smallest imperfection and wants me to redo something...  Annnyways.

The plate is a good idea.  I installed a bunch of monitor arms with a larger base a long time ago in a oral surgeons office and over time they started damaging the sheet rock.  I came back through and installed an even larger Plexiglas plate and no more issues.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:03 pm
by just brew it!
I think a lot of it ultimately comes down to the answer to the question "Is your house primarily an investment, or is it your home?"

Edit: My wife would not let me do something like that unless it was in my office or out in the garage. :lol: OTOH, she not only tolerates the homebrewing, she has embraced it, taking up homebrewing herself, getting certified as a beer judge, and working part-time at a local homebrew supply shop. :D

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:28 am
by drfish
Well, Stacy promised me that, if we got this house, we'd never have to move again. There's your answer. :)

Of course, I can always jazz it up for version 2.0. I'm all about failing fast if I can help it though.

So far, so good.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:40 am
by drfish
Still going strong. :D

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Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:19 am
by llisandro
Can't help but wonder if the kid who swings in that swing has tried to hang from the monitor arm... :lol:

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:14 pm
by derFunkenstein
I missed this when you initially posted, but this is the Greatest Thing.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:55 pm
by drfish
Thanks! BTW, that split between my desk and "the chair" is about 99.5% in favor of the chair. My 34" ultra-wide hates me, not sure what do to with that thing anymore.

Re: Cheesy but effective DIY monitor arm...

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:53 pm
by wizardz
wow, creativity at its best!. reminds me of the ghetto "server cabinet" i made for myself when i first moved in except you actually finished it with a proper wrapping so it blends properly.
i really need to get meself an utrawide, heck i would love to have a projector and an ultrawide screen..but a cinemascope projo/lens/curtain is a bit too expensive for my liking..