An Easy, Elegant Monitor Stand

Today let's talk about monitor stands.  In my new place I am having to deal with two computers on a single desk, in addition to a few other pieces of equipment.  I had one monitor stand already, but it took up so much space that I decided I needed to come up with a more compact way to create extra space on my desk.  After deciding that there was no way to raise both monitors with stands that my keyboards could fit under lengthwise, I opted for creating monitor stands that would accommodate the width of my keyboards, which would get one or both keyboards out of the center of my desk, while leaving room for my other electronic equipment and the option to actually use my desktop for something other than just typing.  These guys were easy to make and turned out rather nicely.  I do prefer wood to plastic.

By the way, I think we all know that my desk is never that clean, right?  I had to move several bits of paper, a copy of my old portfolio, four different memory cards with five different cases, a wind chime (yep you read that right, a wind chime), and other random things.

On to the tutorial: First I measured the bases on both my monitors and the width of my keyboards to determine the minimal size needed for the stands.  My one monitor has a rather large base on it, larger than the maximum width of my keyboards at ten inches.  I found a board in my parents' scrap pile that fit the bill and my dad offered to help me with my project.
Next up I needed to find some legs, so Dad and I headed to the hardware store and got four legs and leg mounts for each stand.  You should be able to find premade legs in most hardware stores.  There were a few different styles to choose from, so there should be something for most any taste.  Make sure that you choose legs that are tall enough to give you enough clearance for your keyboard, but won't lift your monitor up so high that you can't use it.
We measured the width of the leg mount and added in extra length to ensure that there would be enough room to fit a keyboard once the legs were put on.  (We ended up adding an extra two inches, but it will really depend on the size of your leg mounts and how wide your legs are.)  And once the measuring was all done it was time to use some tools!  We cut the board down to fourteen inch long pieces and sanded them.
After the pieces were sanded we mounted the legs.  Now get out your drill cause it's time to make some holes.
You want to make sure that your screws are long enough to grip the wood without going all the way through it and that the drill bit you are using is roughly the same width as your screw.  Layout the leg mounts on the underside of the board and make all of the holes where you need to drill for the screws.  The holes need to be as straight up and down as you can make them and be careful that you do not drill all the way through the board.  If you are worried about it a trick is to measure the length of your screw against your drill bit and put masking tap at the point on the bit where you need to stop.
Once the legs are in place it's time to stain your stands.  I used a medium stain, but you can use whatever color you want.  Actually at this point you could stop and call your project finished, use paint, stain, decoupage, or whatever other decorative techniques you want, or skip this step and move on to the next.  I opted for staining because most of my wood furniture is a medium or dark stain.  Depending on the legs that you purchase, you will want to take extra care with them.  The legs I chose had several grooves and I ended up going over all of them twice to make sure that I got everything.  After you stain, paint, or otherwise decorate your piece you'll want to give it plenty of time to dry.  This is a great time to clean up your work bench and grab something refreshing to drink.
After a good drying off Dad and I sealed my monitor stands with wax.  You can also use a seal like polyurethane, it will depend on what you have used to decorate your stand and the type of finish that you want.  I wanted a more natural finish with a little sheen but not too much shine, so wax it was.  I put a thin layer of wax on each stand and then left them out to dry overnight.
And now I have two monitor stands that look great and were not that difficult to make!  I got to spend a Sunday afternoon making a mess with my dad!  I think it was a big win for me all around, what do you think?

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