So there I was, browsing through Instagram images when, all of a sudden, this short video pops up featuring a portable desk that you can configure in roughly a billion different ways. It's the Joocla portable laptop table. As is my custom, I press the 'purchase' button immediately before my mind becomes clouded with facts and important details. No time for that. The idea was, I would use it for my Cintiq Mobile Studio Pro so that I could have an endless number of possibilities in the angle of the screen, the height, the portability - the mind veritably raced with all the new and wonderful opportunities this item would bring to my art.
When it arrived in the mail, I was surprised at how light it is. As you look at the advertisement, it indicates metal in the construction, so of course, in my mind, I'm picturing sheet metal, weld lines and maybe some rivets. Actually, the only metal portion is the perforated tray that you rest your computer on. The articulating arms are plastic or composite - not metal anyway, and feel a little bit flimsy. To be fair, my idea of flimsy is anything that breaks after a hearty whack with a sledgehammer, so I may not be the best judge in that arena.
What I did like is at all the joints, there's a numerical dial so that you can move the various arms on the left and right to the same precise angle, which is handy, rather than guessing if the left and right matches. Without those dials, you could be at it for a while .
I maneuvered the arms to right about where I thought would be the best angle for drawing - sort of like an easel. I took out my Cintiq and gently rested it into the metal table surface. Uh oh. Problem. The 16" Cintiq is too big for the width of the table surface - the dials on the bottom of the left and right edges jut out so that the Cintiq slides right over the bottom lip, which would otherwise hold it really well. Shelly, my wife, controls our finances. I'm like a 3 year old - bright colors and shiny things captivate me and I must possess them. So as is right and proper, I have to justify my business purchases in order to avoid bankrupting us on things like robot waffle makers and on Floby self hair cutting contraptions for the dog. I might have stated with a slight degree of overconfidence that I was sure this adjustable table would work perfectly, and I'd researched it thoroughly when Shelly had asked if I was sure I needed this.
Rather than admit my head is functionally more suited as a brick than as the receptacle of deep thought, I figured I'd need to find a way to make it work. Off to the hardware store I went. The first problem: - I need to extend the bottom lip of the table surface so that it will hold the Cintiq regardless of a steep angle. My solution was to buy "L" brackets, bolt them through the table with an 1/8" bolt, and secure them with a wing nut for each, I case I wanted to adjust or remove them easily for whatever reason. Next, I needed a soft surface to cover the upward side of the "L" brackets so that it wouldn't scratch the points they made contact with the Cintiq, and to keep it more secure by eliminating it's smooth, slippery surface. My first thought was some kind of thin, self-adhering weather stripping. As I walked through the aisles, I found narrow, heavy duty strips that you stick to the bottom of furniture to prevent hardwood floors from getting scratched up.
The "L" brackets, as they are, needed to be modified so that that have a bit of an upward hook to hold the Cintiq, and once that's done, the excess length as to be sawed off so that it doesn't interfere with freedom of movement as I draw.
All in all, I'm really pleased with the outcome. That's what I tell my wife so that the next time I see something shiny she won't grab my arm and pull me away.