I hacked this semi-portable computer case together in one weekend as a “proof of concept”, so it’s a little rough around the edges, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out. I’d like to build another one, with some changes to the design.
Larger pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24308938@N04/sets/72157626087260849/
It’s made from 1/2″ oak plywood. The computer is in the bottom, with an open bin on top for the keyboard and trackball. I appreciate high-quality keyboards, so the length is dictated by the size of the keyboard (Unicomp used to make a smaller one, but they discontinued it, and so far I haven’t found another small one with high-quality keyswitches).
The main problem I ran into is that the center of gravity isn’t quite right, because I didn’t realise how heavy the LCD was (it weighs about 8.5 lbs). When I use it on my desk at home, I keep a couple of old DigiKey catalogs in the bin to make sure it doesn’t get accidentally knocked over.
Also, it’s kind of heavy– about 40 lbs total. The wooden parts weigh about 12 lbs. I’m thinking it might be possible to remove the LCD from its case and mount it differently– the standard VESA mounting puts all the stress in the center of the back, instead of distributing it around the edge. I might also try thinner plywood, although the thin stuff tends to warp. And I might use aluminum framing instead of wood.