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how I mount my keyboard to the arms of my chair

How I mount my Keyboard to the Arms of my Chair

Facing the chair, keyboard and wrist rests magnetically attached to mount

This keyboard mount technique achieves several things:


a view of the side of the mount, attached to the chair

This uses a monitor mount, recommended by the HOTAS community (Hands On Throttle And Stick – flight simulators), that clamps onto the chair arm. The other end is attached to a long plate with VESA holes to match the monitor mount, meant for mounting Intel NUCs behind your monitor. On the other end I stuck an additional VESA adapter plate at a jaunty angle, just to have extra surface to work with.

I’ve also tried this big one, but it’s shaped weirdly, has large holes, and is not as long as the combo of 2 plates – not my favorite overall.

Any metal plate with standard VESA 100 mm or 75 mm holes will do, but countersunk holes are much nicer so that screw heads don’t catch on your devices. Someday I hope to design a custom shape in a program like Inkscape and get it laser cut by a specialty shop.


Since we want a strong magnetic force in a single direction, cup magnets are ideal for this application.


To attach the NUC mount to the monitor arm I used 3 M3x10 countersunk screws in the punched NUC mounting holes, leaving the hole near my leg empty. The screw heads aren’t quite flat, but it’s been good enough for a place to stash your trackball. To attach the VESA adapter I used 2 M4x6 screws. In both cases you want screws just long enough to fill the washer and nut without protruding, so it doesn’t catch on your leg/clothes.

For the magnets, you want to use non-magnetic (stainless steel 316 will do) screws if possible. Countersunk screw heads will sink into the magnet, leaving the bottom of the device flat. For both magnet shapes I use M3x10 screws, though the round magnets are large enough for M4. I have happily used nylon washers and nuts to secure screws without issue, but stainless will work too if you prefer it. I believe the correct countersink angle is 90 degrees, but it should be the end of the world if the screws don’t quite match this.

Low Profile Magnet Mounts

If you have a particularly tight fit, you can get away with only 1 mm of material above the magnet (I usually use 2 mm) and .5 mm of clearance below the magnet (I usually use 1 mm). In this configuration, the total printed height of the mount is 7 mm. This will let you use M3x8 mm screws. However, the increased magnetic attraction will require a metal nut to retain it. With these dimensions, when I used a nylon nut the magnet pulled itself acress the clearance gap and stuck flush with the metal plate. This makes repositioning much more difficult.

Action Shots

vertical keyboard tray with trackball and keyboard magnetically attached

Glove80 on chair

Magnetic Mounts on Peripherals

magnets inset into the bottom plate of a keyboard and a trackball

For convenience, I’ve made several openscad modules that can apply a magnet mount to an existing model (including .stls). My favorite mount places a bar shaped cup magnet in a sturdy casing, nearly flush with the bottom of a model. Code for both bar and round magnet mounts is in my keyboard repository, here.

The magnetic kidney wrist rest holder can be found here.

Glove80 mounting bracket I’ve made a mounting bracket for the Glove80, .stl can be found in here and the code is also in this repo here.

I am also working on submitting a PR for a modified bottom plate for the ploopy classic trackball.