Build a MOTORIZED monitor lift (on a budget!)

Build a MOTORIZED monitor lift (on a budget!)

Hello, I’m Matt and in this video we are going
to be building a mechanism that allows you to do this… If that’s not cool I don’t know what is! Now this isn’t just for the cool-factor. Yes, it’s like something out of Thunderbirds,
but it’s also incredibly practical. For example, this is my work desk and where
I film all of my videos (pretty much), and usually I’ve had to disconnect my monitors,
keyboard, and mouse, and move them out of the way and then set up my lights and stuff. But having a switch that can make the monitor
just disappear is just fantastic, and you can even put a platform back on top giving
you even more desk real estate. So without further ado, let’s get building
it. Keep in mind that as this is a budget build
we’ll be using cheap commonly available parts to keep the cost low, and you can find purchasing
links to them all in the description. So the first thing we’ll need to work on is
the base that houses most of the lift mechanism. Its construction is quite simple, consisting
of two long planks screwed to a set of end pieces, with boards attached to the top and
bottom to keep things square. To the inside of this base in the middle we
can now mount a motor that will move the platform up and down. This particular motor has as a high torque
at a relatively low RPM, giving it plenty of strength to raise and lower the platform
at a suitable speed. We now need a variety of pulleys and wheels. The first one can be fitted onto the motor
itself, and can be held in place with the included grub screws and a bit of threadlock. With that done, we now need to attach the
smooth free-running idler pulleys to some large right angle brackets using some nuts
and bolts. These need to have some threadlock or superglue
added so that they won’t loosen over time, after which they can be bolted to the base
just opposite the motor. You’ll see what they’re for in just a minute. So now we need a plank of wood, on which the
monitors will later sit. This can be clamped to the base, flush along
all the edges, and the middle at each end can be marked and then drilled through, going
right into the boards underneath. With that done, we now need two bearings that
have an internal hole, or bore, measuring 12mm. We need to use a spade bit to expand the holes
in the boards to match the size of the bearings, so that they can slide freely through, even
if a little stiffly. To give them something to rest on however,
we’ll need to bolt three flanged screws in place from underneath so that their heads
slightly overlap the edge. The bearings should now rest securely onto
these screws, and be perfectly level. To keep them from popping out again, we can
simply use three self tapping screws to lock them in place. These bearings will support the mechanism
that will raise the monitors up and down, but before we work on it I’d just like to
say a few words about the sponsor of this video – Audioblocks. They are one of the largest stock music websites
in the industry, hosting hundreds and thousands of music tracks and sound effects. They’re currently offering completely unlimited
access to their whole library for just $99 per year, and this month they are launching
a collection featuring new fantasy and sci-fi inspired tracks. I regularly use their music in my own videos
– in fact, all the music used in this very video is straight from their library, so if
you like what you hear go to, or follow the link in the description, to
get signed up and start downloading! A free 7 day trial is available too, and you
get to keep all the tracks you download even if you cancel. I’ve put links to a few of my favorites in
the description. So with that, back to the build. We now need two lengths of 12mm diameter threaded
bar. These will support the monitor platform itself,
which is why we’re going with quite a large diameter for the extra strength. The first thing to do is trim them down so
that they are just slightly shorter than the desk itself. To keep the thread intact a nut needs to be
first added so that it restores the thread when it gets removed. Once this has been done for both of them we
need a pair of locking nuts. These are quite stiff to thread onto the bars,
so wrap each bar in a strip of wet paper towel and then clamp them with a work bench, after
which a spanner can be used to thread on the nuts. These nuts support the entire weight of the
platform and monitors, and thanks to the bearing the whole thing should spin freely. The next thing to add is a pulley to each
bar. These have a 12mm central hole, and can be
locked to the bars using their included grub screws, though if you experience slipping
you may need to add another M12 nut underneath for some extra support. Now we need a timing belt for the pulleys,
which should be easy to get hold of as they’re used commonly in 3D printers and CNC devices. It can simply be threaded over the bars, and
then through the motor mechanism like so. Where they meet in the middle they can simply
be cut with a slight overlap, ready to be joined together. There is no perfect way of doing this, so
if you can think of a better way of doing it feel free to use your own method. The first way I tried was to burn the rubber
so that it crumbled away from the inner tension threads, and with these exposed on both ends
I thatched them together as one and then used some glue to permanently bond them. This wasn’t a bad plan but the glue I used
wasn’t strong enough so it was able to be broken without too much effort. So instead, I ended up using some fishing
line to sew the two pieces together, which was much stronger and didn’t cause any problems
with the pulley system despite the overlap. So with the belt now in place it’s time to
work on the platform itself, and for it to glide freely up and down, guided by the threaded
bars, we need two pairs of pronged captive T nuts. Each pair need to be mounted onto a block
with a hole down the centre, which needs to be slightly countersunk on one side. Four holes need to be drilled into this for
the prongs to fit into, so that the nuts can be pulled in place with a clamp. With just one added you can see that it wobbles
quite a bit on the bar, but after adding another nut to the other side, this is greatly reduced. Now we can get our platform, and widen the
holes we made earlier so that it can slide freely onto the threaded bars. The blocks can now be screwed to its underside,
which allows the platform to be supported by the bars instead, and when you manually
pull the belt it will begin to descend. Looking good, but holey moley its a bit wobbly… To solve this, we need to get some right angle
aluminium bars and screw them to the corners of the base so that they act like guides. To help the stability even more, we can also
glue in place a cross piece, which in my case is just a thin piece of aluminium. As you might have noticed, the tops of the
aluminium angles have groves cut into them – these are purely for supporting the extra
shelf you saw earlier. This extra shelf needs to have the underside
at the corners sanded down to make it easier to slide in place, and also two screws added
at each end so that it can rest inside the groves. Now as we want the lift itself to stop automatically
at the top and the bottom, we need some push switches that break the circuit when pressed,
basically acting like limit switches. These can be mounted to slotted pieces of
wood, which allows them to be adjusted up and down to fine tune the stop points later. These little buttons can be activated by a
little piece of wood attached to the lift platform with a right angle bracket. The motor and buttons now need to be wired
up to a 3 position power switch, and you can find a guide and a schematic for this in the
description. Once it’s wired up and connected to a power
brick, flipping the switch will send power to the motor, which raises the platform. Once it hits the topmost button, it breaks
the circuit and the lift immediately comes to a stop. Flipping the switch the other way will reverse
the polarity and the lift will begin to descend. Again, once it hits the bottom switch the
lift stops moving. This whole process is remarkably smooth, and
it supports a surprising amount of weight. Now all that’s left to do is place it behind
the desk, and use some screws on the front aluminium bars to lock the whole thing in
place. This makes the platform itself exceptionally
solid, and it feels like it’s actually part of the desk itself, not bad at all considering
it’s such a simple DIY build. The switch can now be clamped to a piece of
wood and mounted underneath the desk with a right angle bracket. Now with the flip of a switch, your monitor
can raise up and you’ll have pretty much the coolest desk in your neighbourhood. So that’s it for this video! I hope you enjoyed watching it as much as
I enjoyed making it, and don’t forget to check out audioblocks if that kind of thing catches
your interest. Now if you’re wanting another video of mine
to watch then why not check out this one, in which we make some really nice looking
mushroom lights. Other than that, I’m Matt, you’ve been watching
DIY Perks, and I hope I see you next time. Good-bye for now!


  1. Wow, you guys are totally obliterating that like button! Thanks a lot! Let me know if you have any questions about the project and I'll answer them in an FAQ section amended to this comment.

  2. Nice but it's take to much work instead of that buy linear actuator it's cost 40$ and no need to all that work

  3. A nice DYI project maybe for a rain day or a parent/child bonding project. Good quality, clean and well presenrted..

  4. Hi Matt.
    Seen this video when it came out and loved it.
    Now that I am thinking of doing this however, I have a question.
    How strong of a motor would think I would need and where to get one?
    I want to raise and lower about 150 pounds [about 68 KG].
    Is the cable and other parts strong enough to do this?
    It looks doable for the weight I have in mind except maybe the motor.
    Thanks for all of your help 🙂

  5. I would put the removable platform on a hinge so that it just flips out of the way when you raise the monitor, and falls back into place when the monitor is lowered down again.

  6. Very impressive. Just some questions: the motor you linked to is a 4500rpm one. O viously that would launch your monitor. How many rpm should it be? The pulleys you use have a bit of downgrade (=more torque) in it. What ratio are they?
    The limit switch simply as you presented it, won't work as the circuit is broken. No matter if you flip the switch (to reverse the polarity), a broken circuit is a broken circuit. As you still have not provided the schematic, may I presume you did something like this ?

  7. not that he could answer to that many comments, but if anyone else could help that would be great. if I want to make the lift for a heavier tv (55+ inches) is that motor enough ? or do I need a stronger one? if yes posting a URL to buy it (internationally) would be awesome! thanks!

  8. I found pretty good offer for TV lift on Amazon. Can someone tell me something more about this company. What about quality? Price is good enought, so i don't want to build it on my own 😉

  9. should have made the toplid hinged so the screen flips it open and when it goes back down the top lid flips closed.. thats how the over the counter mechanisms work
    the bearings are not designed to have pressure from the sides. you need differnt bearings for that (axial or thrust bearings)
    example :
    otherwise i loved the video.. great build

  10. i did this but a slight modification, i added the support bars going up above the monitor (tv in my case) and the piece of wood that covers it up in the desk is mounted on top and acts as a shelf when the TV is up.

  11. Cool!!' 😎 but it would be way cooler if you add some kind of cover when the monitor is tucked inside.

  12. Great project mate! Next time, I would use ACME threaded rod for a much faster raising/lowering speed.

  13. Counterbalance. That's a thing most youtube builds and even commercial offerings forget, and choose wasteful and slow grinding instead. Could be done cheaply with weights, like thigs guy

  14. So I am working on a footboard for my bed that has this design inside it. I have it all built out, but a few issues…

    – Motor is ridiculously loud. Why is yours so quiet?! What have I done wrong?
    – Timing belt is so difficult to get to right tension. Sewing isn't the difficult part, but correct tension is. Tips?
    – Works with just my plank of wood, but won't spin with weight added. I bought a 775 motor, though maybe not exactly the same on as you.
    – Struggles once plank is more than halfway down as tension on the board seems to change a bit. Maybe just need to measure more precisely…

    You made this look so flawless and easy! I am struggling! Haha

  15. hi mathew i would like to have a go at makeingthis please do you have the Schematic and wiring many thanxs great work n the builds as a subscriber i watch each time you upload a video sir

  16. Kinda disappointed you didn't automate the covering panel on top. Would have been nice if it flipped up and then back as the TV was raised and then flipped back down again to hide everything away when the TV was lowered.

  17. It's a very good job but I don't find it useful. The fact of hide the monitor Is to use that space for another task or to keep it away form dust if you are working close. A simple solution would be put a wood table with the same size of the base in te top part of the monitor. So when your monitor is hidden the top table will fill the gap.
    Also, probably will be a good idea put a wood covering the front part of the monitor when is hidden to prevent accidentally hitting it.
    By the way, I'm impressed with that little DC motor to lift that weight. I would have used a similar motor but with a planetary reductor to prevent the weight pushing down (some planetary gearbox are unidirectional).

    Again, very good job!

  18. Actually sir i like very much i want to make it but whic thing we want all things with measurement anid size pl tel me sir u are free of time

    I am from india

  19. hi max sir plz tell me all pullya and etc with size and all things
    sir i can't speak in English properly plz sir send mi

  20. Dude, this is one pretty awesome idea and build!

    But hey, why not add an Arduino to the set? You realize bluetooth makes anything even better? ;o)

  21. add hinges on the back of the removable plank that way the system automatically open it when monitor comes out

  22. 3:57 What's stopping people from signing up for the 7 day trial, downloading like literally everything, then cancelling?

  23. You need to plug a Sega Genesis into that monitor and then when you flip the switch you can say "rise from your grave"

  24. Hi, very cool build! The only thing I was wondering was: Why didn't you make a platform above the computer screen that would fit as the rest of the desk automatically? That way you dont have to keep a plank in your room too put over it. Other than that it looks very cool. Greets from Amsterdam

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