Custom Triple Monitor Stand

January 2012

Anybody who has built or upgraded a computer before will know exactly what I have experienced. Once you realize how many monitors your new graphics card can support, it can be hard to settle for just one, or even two monitors. I knew I wanted a triple monitor setup, but I did not want to dedicate all the desk space needed to place three monitors on. Since my father is a plumber, I found it fitting to build a monitor stand out of steel pipe. My main concerns were the following:
  • Low cost, but functional (for obvious reasons)
  • Minimal desk space used (I have a smaller desk, and dorm desk may change in college).
  • Allows shallower angles than 45 degrees (for better viewing angles of peripheral monitors)
  • Does not need to be clamped to a desk (I can't damage a dorm desk, nor would I know if a clamp would fit)

The first step for me was to make my VESA blocks. I cut 6 5" x 5" pieces of 3/8" plywood(which is all I had, so I glued them together to make 3/4").

I then made a template in AutoCAD and printed it 1:1.  I tacked it to the one piece, stacked them, and drilled holes large enough for the m4 screws. The template I made is available in PDF for 8.5x11" here.

After drilling them, I sanded down the edges and painted them so they wouldn't look so tacky when done.

My monitors came in, so I placed them on the kitchen table with their stands on so I could get a feel for what type of angle I wanted. I then bolted the VESA blocks onto the monitors to help me work with my angles.

Here is a great little fact that my father, in his years of plumbing experience, taught me.  If you put together a standard 45 and a street 45(which is a 45 with one side male threads, one side female), you can rotate them to create any angle you want! The only drawback is that your angled pipe will be slightly higher(although still parallel) than the original pipe.

I did this to make up my angle from the center screen to the one on the right. I then made the mirror by putting the center piece on the right monitor and the angle on the center one. this made sure I had a perfectly symmetrical angle for both sides.

I tightened them up after marking where they have to be for the angles with a pipe wrench and made sure they won't sag with the weight of the monitor. I then started attaching them to the upright and T fitting, making sure everything was level.

Then, to make sure my stand can, you know... stand, I bolted the flange to a 12" x 12" x 1/4" steel plate, which I then put rubber feet on the bottom. This plate is quite heavy which is very good for what I need it for. The plate is very large, but it's very flat, and the rubber feet help it stand slightly off the table. I don't really classify that as wasting desk space since I could place anything I want on top of the plate. 
Not to finish there, I decided to do some custom wiring. I hated how this would suck up three outlets on my power strip, so I took a larger gauge server power cord, cut the end off of it, and mated it with three cables for each of the monitors. To make the build nicer, I used a die grinder to cut holes in the steel pipe to hide the cables completely. 

The right-most power cable just comes out of the end of the pipe since the plugs fit in the right side of the monitors.

Once my VESA plates were attached to the stand, it was as easy as bolting up my monitors and plugging them in!

Minor adjustments still need to be made to line the edges up better, but that was simply done by loosening the pipe clamps on the back and rotating/sliding the monitors.