Surface Pro Lap Board
People have been asking for specifics on how I made the lap board for my Surface Pro. It’s a pretty simple system, but one that’s very effective for using the Pro on my lap or on an inclined desk, like I normally use for drawing. And it’s a great conversation piece at parties, because now you can bring all your work to parties and sit in a corner and draw Batman.
The basic problem I needed to solve: The Surface Pro’s keyboard can obviously lay flat with the machine, but it’s very thin, and attaches just beneath the screen, leaving about 5/8″ of space beneath where it would rest most naturally. If you try and type on it like this, you’re always pushing the whole keyboard around and missing keystrokes. It just doesn’t work. With the lapboard, I get a perfect support so I can type anywhere easily, and more importantly, have access to my art programs’ keyboard shortcuts.
Blah, blah, blah, you say. How did you make it?
The lap board: One piece of smooth 1/4″ MDF, cut to 11″ by 15.5″
The keyboard support: One piece of something that’s 5/8″ thick, 11″ wide and 6.25″ tall. I used a piece of wood for this that wasn’t thick enough and added a few pieces of thin cardboard to make up the difference. Thus, there’s duct tape on my otherwise nicely wood-glued assembly. You need not do that. Just make it 5/8″.
The bumper-things. Two lengths of 3/4″ trim, cut to 10.75″ each – the kind I got is like one quarter of a cylinder (There’s probably efficient terms for all these things, but I’m not Bob the Builder, sorry). This makes clearance for the angled edges of the Surface Pro. The Vapor MG casing scratches really easily, so I made sure to round things off wherever I could. The upper piece is the only one that comes into contact with the Pro. The lower one is optional, and doesn’t do much but give a sense that the whole thing’s a solid slab.
Surface cushion. I don’t know what you call this. It’s that weird non-skid stuff that old women put in cabinets to keep their frog mugs from sliding around. 10.75″ by 6.25″ I hot-glued this to the lap board. There may be a better way. Adhesive spray, perhaps?
Hugs. Two rubber bands, to hold the Pro to the board and provide another non-skid effect to the under-side (provides a little more security on my smooth, inclined desk). I want to find some black ones that are thicker, for aesthetic purposes and to hold it a little tighter. For now, these work.
So, once you have all that, use some wood glue and clamps to piece it together, then do a little Dremel action to make the rubber band slots and sand down the sharp places, and boom. You can now do your work while lounging. It’s work and laziness together!
This gets it all done really well, but it would be cool to try v2 with lighter materials. If anyone wants to give me a 3D printer, I accept.