DIY Quad Monitor Stand

While working from home has been a normal for me for some time, the 2020 COVID-19 social distancing mandate has added another element to making my home office even more functional. This time around, I wanted to finally get a rig set up so that I could effectively use all four of the LCD monitors in my possession.

So, in the spirit of DIY and building things out of my favorite material – 3/4 in plywood – I set out to design a quad monitor stand that could sit atop my desk and fit under the shelving above.

The Before Shot

Here’s how I was previously set up with only 2 monitors on a simple riser. Insert blanket “Please excuse the mess” comment here.

The total spacing between the desktop and the shelves about is about 29 inches.

Planning out the build

I looked at a lot of pre-fabricated and other DIY designs. Prices for 4-monitor stands online ranged from $50 to $100. There were a few 2 and 3 monitor designs I found that used black pipe. In the end, I went for a lattice type design rather than having a single central vertical component with horizontal ‘wings’. I suppose if I was using metal components that would work, but with wood I was worried the weight would be too much to support.

I began by laying out the monitors on the floor and taking measurements.

Since each pair of monitors was a different size, I aligned them on the mounting brackets. I was okay with the gap in the middle since I planned to have my webcam sit in that space.

One thing I also had to consider (though in the end I did not make any adjustments) was that each set of monitors was a different thickness. The older monitors were a full inch thicker than the newer ones.

The Design

I decided to use 2 vertical supports aligned on the monitor mounting locations, connected with 2 horizontal pieces for rigidity. I would then simply add small feet to the base on each side to help the rig stand freely and not tip forward.

Here’s the cutlist I ended up with:

DimensionQuantity
Vertical Support3/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 27″2
Horizonal Support3/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 23 1/2″2
Feet3/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 6″4
Feet Spacers3/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″2
Small mounting plate1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 3 1/2″2
Large mounting plate1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″2

I made the monitor mounting blocks using 1/2″ plywood. I had a fabricated VESA mounting plate that I could use to transfer the screw placement on to these blocks.

Using a table saw to rip down the plywood, a miter saw to cut length, and a drill to create the screw holes, I had all my components ready.

Mounting plates. Screw hold placement transferred from an existing mounting plate.
Top: feet; Middle: horizontal supports; Bottom: vertical supports;

Assembly

Assembly was pretty straightforward, though I did a lot of dry fitting to check alignment with the actual monitors to make sure that everything lined up as expected. I also had to ensure the vertical placement of the mounting plates was correct so the monitors were not too high to fit under the shelves above my desk.

I used 1″ drywall screws to attach all pieces together. I chose not to use glue but it wouldn’t hurt to ensure the security of all the joints.

Initial setup of frame
Added second horizontal support after checking positioning against actual monitors.
Mounting plates attached. I used additional screws here to account for weight of monitors.

To ensure the placement, I did another dry fit against the monitors to ensure the spacing and vertical placement was correct. In my case the lower plates are 7 3/8″ up from the bottom, and the uppers are 19 3/4″ up.

Feet attached

Hardware

I’m guessing it’s a universal standard, but the mounting screws used are metric with the following spec: M4-0.7.

At Home Depot I found both 25mm (about 1″) and 30mm (about 1 1/4″) length screws. These are not on the big racks of packets in the hardware aisle, but rather in the drawers with more specialized hardware.

I also used small washers – and in the case of the 30mm screws, I used 5 washers to create a spacer.

Mounting the monitors was the moment of truth. Would the plates and screw holes all line up. Wow – got it on the first try!

Top is 25mm screw with 1 washer. Bottom is 30mm screw with 5 washers.

The After Shot

All monitors mounted beautifully. Notice the 1 1/4″ hole I had to drill in for the lower monitors. Some design genius at Lenovo decided putting the power cord outlet directly below the mounting plate was a good idea. This hole allows the cord to go directly in, and in the long run might be the only flaw or risk in my design since obviously removing 60% of my vertical support there weakens the integrity of the plywood. So far, though, it appears to be okay.

I also found that the mounting plate for the lower-left monitor appears to be slightly out of alignment (as shown by the clockwise misalignment in the gap between the top and bottom monitors.) I will need to adjust this slightly.

Here’s the final install on the desktop. I have 2 computers (desktop and laptop) so here’s the configuration I used to wire up each:

Laptop: HDMI out goes to lower left; USB-toVGA adapter goes to lower right; VGA out goes to KVM switch tied to upper right.

Desktop (has 2 DisplayPort outputs): DisplayPort-DVI #1 goes to upper left; DisplayPort-DVI #2 goes to upper right;

When I’m in work mode, I have the laptop driving 3 out of 4 monitors (shown with grey background), and only the upper-left one is displaying for the Desktop PC (with blue background.) I am using Mouse without Borders to create a seamless drag experience between all 4 monitors.

In non-work mode, I can have my Desktop PC drive the two upper monitors.

I am really satisfied with how this turned out. I spent about $5.00 on the hardware and used up several pieces of plywood scrap. Now, let’s get this WFH thing rolling!

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