How To Build a Magnetic Laptop Shelf – Simple Inexpensive DIY (V1R1)

How To Build a simple inexpensive portable DIY magnetic laptop computer shelf or laptop work station. This prototype magnetic shelf was designed and built to be light and compact for easy transport for field use in the elevator industry (IUEC). Elevator Tools.

Below I have listed the material used in these builds and added our Amazon Affiliate links which we receive a small commission on if a purchase is made – so please purchase.

On the original magnetic laptop shelf I used two Mainstays 11” x 14.5” Poly Cutting Boards, a 12” piano hinge, Glow in the Dark Paracord and scavenged Hard Drive Magnets.

On subsequent models I used the same two cutting boards but instead of one 12” hinge I used two Everbilt 2-1/2” x 1-9/16” Hinges (any similar hinge will work). In place of paracord I used Loos Stainless Steel 302/304 Wire Rope Nylon Coated 1/16” OD which I liked much better and rather than hard drive magnets we used several different cup and bar pot magnets and found the CMS Rectangular Pot Magnets worked best in conjunction with 16lb Ceramic Cup Magnets at the bottom (see second video titled DIY Magnetic Laptop Shelf Variations and Improvements…. )


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List of materials used to build diy portable magnetic work station laptop shelf:

Neodymium rectangular Pot Magnets:

Round Neodymium Cup Magnets:

Round Ceramic Cup Magnets (16lbs):

11” x 14.5” Cutting Boards:

12” Piano Hinges:

Everbilt Middle Hinges:

Loos Stainless Steel Wire Rope Nylon Coated:

Paracord Glow in the Dark:

Gorilla Clear Contact Adhesive (glue):

We prefer the weaker 45lbs magnets bc the 88lbs are just a little too strong:

CMS Neodymium Rectangular Pot Magnets (45lbs):

CMS Neodymium Round Cup Magnets (88lbs):

See also some variations:

DIY Magnetic Laptop Shelf Variations & Improvements for Elevator Industry (IUEC)

If you don’t want to build your own inexpensive portable magnetic laptop shelf check out these products from my amazon affiliate links:
Utilishelf Magnetic Utility Shelf from Amazon click here

Magbench Workstation Utility from Amazon click here



This is one of three designs I plan to build. This was the simplest, fastest and least expensive to build but my least favorite design. Don’t hold your breath on the other two models, I started to build one of these back in June of 2000. I procrastinate! The holes were cut only to lighten the weight. The laptop with cables just barely fit on the shelf and 1” deeper and wider would be better. Note holes on right side for screwdrivers etc. DIY Laptop Shelf Materials List: Paracord, Cutting Boards, Hard Drive Magnets, Piano Hinge, Silicon Glue, *Cup magnets would be a better alternative than hard drive magnets and easier to mount but I have an excess of hard drive magnets and this is just the first prototype. The final version will have cup magnets. Tools List: Drill, Drill Bits, Hole Saw, Dremel Circular Saw with plastic cutting blade. Only tools necessary are the drill and drill bits. The rest are optional to lighten the weight. Simple Inexpensive DIY Prototype Portable Magnetic Laptop Computer Shelf (V1R1). Compact Portable Laptop Shelf Also see the following: Magbench, Mag Bench or another brand called UtiliShelf Magnetic Work Bench and Portable Magnetic Work Station for when in need of a Magnetic Portable Test Equipment or Laptop Shelf or Portable Shelf and Accessories for Field Workers.

After showing a co-worker my homemade diy laptop stand I was shown his commercially available portable computer workstation by Utilishelf, which was pretty nice but a little large for my purpose. Perhaps in the future Utilishelf will make a smaller more compact version portable laptop table.

I did an online search for utilishelf and also found another company Magbench Portable Work Bench which was more compact (similar to mine) but may not be as rugged and strong as the utilishelf. They both look like good products though if you dont want build one. See info below.


Utilishelf Magnetic Utility Shelf from Amazon click here

UtiliShelf in the Field UtiliShelf works for every industry that demands workers be sent out into the field. From electric metering to oil rigs  and beyond here are some of the ways our customers are using UtiliShelf  Portable Desk & Writing Station Because when you’re in the field, you don’t have a desk but need one.  Portable Magnetic Tool & Testing Station: UtiliShelf can hold up to 15 pounds of tools and testing equipment, while being light enough to grab and go. Portable Computer Workstation. Sometimes you just need a computer in the field. TheUtiliShelf provides a great, productive space for a computer.

A Portable Writing Station With the UtiliShelf, you’ve got a complete portable writing station to work on. It sets up quickly and easily and provides a strong and level surface for writing. It’s perfect for anytime or place that you need to write but don’t have access to a table, desk or other flat surface. It sets up quickly and you’ve got a fully functional writing station instantly and on demand. Anytime or place that you need it.

A Service Manual Holder Along with writing you can also hold service manuals weighing up to 15 pounds or more. Setup the station, open your service manual and you’ll be productive in moments. And you can set it up right where you’re working. As long as there’s a vertical metal surface that is 16 gauge or heavier.




Magbench Workstation Utility from Amazon click here


MagBench Workstation:


The portable MagBench Standard is designed for laptop computers and for use with applications that require extra space for tools and test instruments or accessories.  Built with Gray Marine board and Stainless Steel hardware, it can handle those tough tasks in allweather conditions and more..  The Standard version is also incredibly strong & it can support up to 50 lbs .  The MagBench Standard Workstation can be installed on any steel surface in seconds with just two simple steps place the MagBench Workstation against the steel surface and fold down the front panel and start working.



New Improved Version
Portable Magnetic Laptop Shelf

New improved Magnetic Laptop Shelf


  1. Sara on July 1, 2020 at 10:49 am

    How do you get the magnetics to stick on your cutting boards? Thanks

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