Bolt-down monitor arms? In Toronto?
September 14, 2006 4:10 AM   Subscribe

Is there an affordable monitor arm like this one, but with a bolted (instead of a clamp) desk mount?

I need a monitor arm with a pole at the mount, the ability to swivel the monitor into potrait and landscape orientations, and a bolt-mount at the desk surface instead of a clamp. My desk has a hutch, so clamping -- which appears to be the most popular option for consumer-level monitor arms -- is not an option. I have a 19" widescreen flat panel monitor.

Have MeFites had good experiences with monitor arms? Is this the kind of product you'd like to evaluate in person, instead of ordering online? If so, where on earth are all the monitor arm showrooms?

I'm in Toronto, which one would expect to be the monitor arm showroom capitol of Canada, if there were such a thing.
posted by onshi to Computers & Internet (19 answers total)
i have an ergotron (the smaller, cheaper one), and on mine you can remove the clamp and use the holes to bolt into your table from the back.
posted by paradroid at 7:50 AM on September 14, 2006

Is that really a reasonably-priced monitor arm?

The first link is to a Canadian site. For the American price, replace the .ca with .com. I too am looking and that is as reasonable a price as I've found.

As for possible showrooms, I'd ask at a Tweeter, Graffiti or Myer Emco. The computer place I like to frequent had no-idea where to find them.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2006

Oh, and this ($90) from the side bar is the cheapest I've found.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:31 AM on September 14, 2006

Somebody on Toronto Craigslist is selling a bolt-to-wall arm for $50 (or $65, it is ambiguous).

Also, Active Surplus has used Dell flat panel bases that can do the portrait/landscape flip for $10 - they not arms.

(do LCD TVs use a different mount than monitors? Kind of looks like it from the pictures..)

For some reason, these things don't seem to exist for reasonable prices. I think it is related to the state of the modern economy - low, and mostly corporate demand, heavy (so expensive shipping), etc. Fifty dollars should get you something pretty impressive, but it doesn't.. On the other hand, the one you link is looking pretty sophisticated..

I would watch ikea, they may come up with one, and they may not add the business-to-business mark-up that you're probably seeing. Compare Observator for $19 to what you can get at Home Depot..
posted by Chuckles at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: I guess the key criterion is being able to bolt the arm to the desktop from the top, rather than the back edge, as I have no access to the back edge (because of the hutch) and becase the tabletop itself is made of material that probably couldn't take the (torque? shear? whatvever) force if it were bolted onto the back edge.

now i'm piste: if I could bolt that on, it would be perfect.
posted by onshi at 10:05 AM on September 14, 2006

(do LCD TVs use a different mount than monitors? Kind of looks like it from the pictures)

There is such a thing as a standard VESA mount, but like the saying goes: The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from." I do this sort of stuff for my day job all the time and the best low-hassle, multi-function, nearly-universal solution are the Dell stands Chuckles references in his post two above. But seeing as how you want it bolted and swinging, they aren't quite there.

Onshi, might it be possible to mount that nearly-perfect arm to the side of the hutch or maybe one of the shelves? As for the tabletop material not being able to take the weight of the monitor (??lbs) and arm (9lbs) coupled with the torque (rotational force) from the swing action, perhaps adding some scrap wood of appropriate size to act as shims would strengthen the specific area that'd be subject to stress. What do you think?
posted by now i'm piste at 7:44 PM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: I've given up on an arm for now, and picked up a Dell 1704FP stand for $10.

Here's the same thing, from someone's eBay auction:

Now, how do I mate this bad boy with the holes on the back of my monitor? It seems like I'm missing a metal plate of some kind that would be screwed to the back of my monitor, to which this stand would snap/lock/whatever. Am I still screwed? There doesn't seem to be a way to use this thing alone, as there are no holes accessible from behind the stand to pass bolts through into the back of the panel directly.
posted by onshi at 4:21 AM on September 15, 2006

Now, how do I mate this bad boy with the holes on the back of my monitor?

Find out what kind of mount it needs (there are few different kinds in my last link). Get the specs from the manufacture's website, check out any forums for users of the monitor, look through any manuals locatable.

For the Dell monitors that were intended to sit on the mount you bought, the three metal fingers slid into a waiting plastic assembly that held them fast, even roated 90ยบ.
posted by now i'm piste at 6:45 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: now i'm piste: that's my point, I fear I might need the assembly you speak of, if the metal fingers here are crazily non-standard. So far no luck locating a user manual.
posted by onshi at 7:19 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Score! My slowness is lame.
posted by onshi at 7:24 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Alright, based on this, it looks like the plastic assembly I need was part of the monitor's housing, rather than an intermediary piece. =\
posted by onshi at 7:25 AM on September 15, 2006

Doh! I was thinking the Dell would be VESA compliant, so you could just swap them.. The only panels I've had around are Dells, so I didn't realise that VESA mounts are just a square plate with holes..

On the Dell stand, that metal plate with the fingers looks like it can be removed and altered.. Or, you could make a plate that will mate with those little fingers, add holes with VESA spacing, and screw that to your monitor's VESA holes.. Otherwise I think the Dell stand was a bad idea. I'm really sorry about that!

Can you post a pic of the back of your monitor?
posted by Chuckles at 7:57 AM on September 15, 2006

Based on this picture I think what odinsdream says would work. You may have to remove or push back the plastic backing to deal with the screws, but you're almost there.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:44 AM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: My monitor has a set of four holes, spaced 75mm x 75mm.

Removing the four screws on the Dell stand does nothing, or at least little... the metal plate seems to be an integral part of the hinge that lets the monitor (or would, were it attached) tilt up and down. Or, rather, not integral but at least secured by some means other than (or in addition to) the four scews. To get it off, I'll have to reach inside the hinge and try undoing a large nut, and see how that works.

I may need to fabricate some kind of adaptor plate...

Worry not, chuckles, I'm having fun. For $10, I expected a few hurdles.
posted by onshi at 11:09 PM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Wait, having written that last reply while nowhere near the actual stand, I'll have to experiment with popping on the plastic housing with the four screws removed to see if I can screw through those holes into the monitor.

*Scrolls up*

Wow, that's a lot of "screw", "hole", "mount", and "nut" for one innocent AskMe post...
posted by onshi at 11:11 PM on September 15, 2006

Response by poster: Bah, instead of 75 x 75, which Dell could easily have done, the holes are more like 55 x 55mm apart. Plus, the plate is recessed such that neither the screws that came with my monitor nor the screws that go through the holes (securing one part of the 3-part plastic housing) would reach the threads in the monitor's holes in any case.

posted by onshi at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2006

Looks like ikea has a wall-mount for you, except you don't want a wall-mount..

I wonder if you can lay out the 75mm x 75mm hole patern on the plate, and then drill. If not, if the edges are in just the right places, you might be able to just use nice big washers..

If that doesn't work.. You could hook a slotted piece of aluminium over the lower fingers, then screw with big washers to the top fingers. Drill the hole pattern in the aluminium and you're done.

Or you could just cut the lower fingers off completely, you wouldn't need to match thickness or to add slots that way..

Or, you know, a million other things.. :P
posted by Chuckles at 5:49 PM on September 16, 2006

Response by poster: "I'd ask at a Tweeter, Graffiti or Myer Emco...

I might, if any of these had stores in Canada...
posted by onshi at 10:15 AM on September 17, 2006

Response by poster: I found a PDF manual for the ergotron I linked to in the first post -- it can be bolted through the desktop surface as an alternative to clamping, so I think I'm going to pick it up.

If anyone wants a Dell flat panel stand for fiddling, feel free to ask =)
posted by onshi at 3:53 PM on September 17, 2006

« Older Wi-Fi stops for a few seconds every few minutes?   |   How well do you have to dry clothes ? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.