DIY Compact Portable Magnetic Laptop Shelf Build Instructions

Shelf Options & Variations

Page 1: Overview & Step 1: Drill Holes
Page 2: Step 2: Mount Brackets
Page 3: Step 3: Glue Magnets
Page 4: Step 4: Add Anti-Slip
Page 5: Options & Variations
Page 6: Photos of Shelf in Use (IUEC)

Cable & Accessory Pouches

I used these Milwaukee Pouches to hold my computer cables with my original Version 1 Magnetic Laptop Shelf. On this New Version 2 Laptop Shelf I spaced the brackets wide enough to fit a zippered pouch between them when stored in a laptop bag.

Computer Cable Bag
Cable Bag fits between brackets

Narrow 14″ long Milwaukee Bags can fit on the outsides of the brackets as well if needed for a total of 3 Pouches fitting compactly. Cables and accessories can go in the outer narrow pouches and the laptop power supply can go in the larger center pouch.

Narrow Milwaukee Pouches can fit on the sides

Optional Velcro Cable Bag

I had mentioned possibly glueing a smaller Husky Pouch to the bottom of the shelf when Travis Hutcherson came up the idea of adding Velcro so the bags could removed.

I decided to use smaller Husky Bags because they won’t overhang the Laptop Shelf like the Milwaukee Bags do. I used adhesive Velcro and added strips to the bottom of the Laptop Shelf and to the Husky Bag.

Magnetic Shelf with Comp Cable Bag

For a stronger bond, I ran a small bead of Flexible Glue down the center and the edges of the Velcro. Then after firmly pressing the Velcro to the board and bag, I ran another bead around the edges.

I am really pleased with the way this Velcro Cable Bag turned out. It’s out of the way and conveniently holds the laptop cables required to plug up to an elevator controller. The pouch can be unzipped in place and cables removed or un-Velcro-ed and contents removed.

Optional Stackable Companion Shelf

I often found myself in need of an additional shelf whether to hold prints, manuals or even tools & parts. I didn’t want much extra space carrying two shelves so I decided to widen the bracket placement on the second Companion Shelf (2/2) so they would fit on the outside of the brackets of the Standard V2 Shelf (1/2)

Wide Model Stacks w Standard Model
Wide Model Stacks w Standard Model

Notice how the brackets lay beside one another and the only increased space required is the thickness of 1 board. This is an Ultra Compact Lightweight Dual Shelf Combination. A Velcro Bag or Milwaukee Bag still fits down the center and both shelfs fit comfortably in the laptop case.

I recommend making at least one of these a stronger 6 magnet shelf that way it can be used to support heavier parts, tools or organizer bins.

2 Shelves with staggered hinges stacked together compact

Easily personalized with engraver and Sharpie
Jimmy Jones’ personalized shelf [KTFG_017] because
“Jimmy is Cool” and now he’s famous!

Jimmy Jones’ Personalized Shelf because “Jimmy is Cool!”

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Next Page for Photos in Elevator Industry (IUEC)

Page 1: Overview & Step 1: Drill Holes
Page 2: Step 2: Mount Brackets
Page 3: Step 3: Glue Magnets
Page 4: Step 4: Add Anti-Slip
Page 5: Options & Variations
Page 6: Photos of Shelf in Use (IUEC)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6


  1. Alex on January 4, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Hey Kevin, how is version 3 coming along? I can’t imagine what your plans are for making it “thinner, lighter and more compact.” I’ve been a lurker for a while as I was going to make my own invention just as you have done, but you have done a ton of the trial and error as well research into making your shelf.

    I came up with the same idea a year ago when I saw a shelf like it mounted with screws in a PLC console and I told the tech I was working with that it would be awesome to mount one of those with strong magnets and have it moveable around all of our different work areas and sites… they just shrugged and I stayed busy with work as I was the FNG. Finally with a little more down time and days of research several months ago, I saw that you had the same drive as I for a product/project like the one you have created. Anyhow, great work thus far on your personal project, I hope to order the materials soon so that I can have a couple of shelves lying around in my laptop bags/work truck.

    • Kevin Gittemeier on January 4, 2021 at 8:13 pm

      Version 3 won’t start for a while as I have other projects to complete first.
      Version 1 took me nearly 20 years to complete when I found the half started project while cleaning my basement and finally finished it. Version 2 had been in my head for years but took that long to find the proper hinges.

      The key to Version 2 is the low profile hinges and the magnet configuration. I will explain the science behind the magnet config in a future update but its important to do the magnets exactly as I have, alternating the poles.

      I have one model that uses 1/32″ thick magnets and holds very strong. Yes 1/32″ paper thin magnets. The key is the alternating poles.

      I will update this post in the future with more info but time is very limited and I make little to no money off these posts (1-3% off amazon links) so its hard to justify the time.

      Good luck and remember you can help support this website and YouTube channel by Subscribing, hitting Like & Commenting on videos.
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  2. Mohsen on March 14, 2021 at 1:44 am

    Hello Kevin,
    Fantastic Idea and thanks for sharing with everyone. My question is about the magnet. Does the magnet can damage hard hard drive or any other parts on the laptop? How strong the magnet should be to effect and damage the hard drive?


    • Kevin Gittemeier on March 14, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Thanks, and good question.
      Anything is possible but practically, no. Remember powerful magnets are in hard drives but fields are shunted. Just don’t store the laptop shelf magnet side touching the laptop (likely would still be fine but just to be on safe side). Store it cutting board side towards laptop. I will make an edit fully explaining the magnetic shielding, concerns etc later today but it’s important to use the magnets I specify and alternate poles.

      I’ll post my edit as a reply here as well.

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