jonu

Computer Desk

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I've been wanting to build a computer desk for a while now and have been working on ideas for how I would like it to look using solidworks. The concept is to have an L shaped desk to sit in the corner of the room it will be going in. each leg is roughly 6 feet long from the back corner to the edge and it would be between 26-28 inches deep. The over height of the surface of the desk is set at 29 inches right now. THe one thing I would like to do is incorporate the computer into the desk. I had thought of getting the the threaded brass inserts and standoffs so I could mount the board directly into the desk, but I'm not sure I would be able to get the measurements exactly right. So I then thought of using a case I had seen to mount everything to and build a box for it to drop into. Then I would pull the front I/O off and set it up so that the front I/O is flush with the desk top along one edge of the glass. I've got a rendered image of my idea as it sits so far, but I'm not sure about a few things yet. Which is why I'm looking for input. The legs are currently 4x4 and in my opinion, they look really chunky. The other thing i'm wondering is whether or not an inch thick surface would be strong enough. It seems like it should be, but I've not made something this big before. I've included the render below so you guys can see what I'm talking about.

 

daeBjiJ.jpg

This is the case i thought of using, it's designed to stand vertically, lay flat or be wall mounted withe the case already having the VESA mount built in.

19.jpg

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23 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

You'll need aprons under the table tops to stop it sagging because it will over those lengths. 4" square legs might be a bit of overkill but it's your design. You could taper them to give them the appearance of being lighter. With judicious design you could get rid of the leg at the apex of the inside corner giving more leg room. The two tables could be made to support each other.

You could also consider building a drawer or two into the design too.

How big an apron are we talking? Would a two or three inch apron be sufficient? I had been considering usin dowels to join the two pieces into the L shape, but I wasn't sure if it would have the strength to go without that front leg. I've been looking around at pictures of legs and this one does look like a pretty nice design:

1119.jpg 

Another thought I had for joining the two pieces was to make what would basically look like a long dovetail forming a track and the other piece would slid into the track.

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You might consider those counter top bolts that go into a recess beneath the top, and draw the pieces tight. That size desk kind of needs a break-down design to make it from shop to office.

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On 7/19/2016 at 9:32 AM, TerryMcK said:

You'll need aprons under the table tops to stop it sagging because it will over those lengths. 4" square legs might be a bit of overkill but it's your design. You could taper them to give them the appearance of being lighter. With judicious design you could get rid of the leg at the apex of the inside corner giving more leg room. The two tables could be made to support each other.

You could also consider building a drawer or two into the design too.

I've reworked it a bit using your suggestions. I've now got aprons running along the underside and I made the legs tapered. They now start as a 4x4 at the top and taper to a 2" diameter bottom. The aprons are 3x1 and I like the look of having them come through the top using mortise and tenon joints. You can also see the power switch located on the desk but that may get moved since i'm not too sure how I like it there.

desk-X3.jpg

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that is interesting, with the thing that just plops in. I've been tossing around the idea of making a drawer and building the computer into it. In fact that is what got me into woodworking. I'll start that project when I've decided I'm good enough.

I do have a suggestion.. Would that leg in the front 90 degree slam into your legs repeatedly? I've been planning on trestle or bridal joints specifically to avoid leg issues. 

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Unless you're building the top out of plywood - you've potentially got wood movement problems all over that design.

If you must have that look with through tenons on the top, then add them as faux-tenon inlays and still allow the top to move relative to the aprons.

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2016 at 9:14 AM, jonu said:

This is the case i thought of using, it's designed to stand vertically, lay flat or be wall mounted withe the case already having the VESA mount built in.

19.jpg

There are other options for custom case work. I'd imagine this one here is pretty expensive. Out here in Charlotte, there is a community workshop with all kinds of toys that would be great for this. The ATX spec is freely available online, so building an acrylic case wouldn't be too difficult. Cut the acrylic to size and use the ATX spec for hole placement. Tap in some of these threaded inserts for the standoffs and badda bing badda boom, you have a custom ATX case that you can mount to your desk. I built a fireworks controller and used my CNC for a custom case last month. I call it my Boom Box. It turned out pretty nice.

Boom Box - Back View Redacted.jpg

Boom Box - Top View Redacted.jpg

If you want help with the CNC, ATX, or anything like that, I'm happy to help.

-E

Edited by Elroy Skimms
Forgot to link the threaded inserts.
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I know it's been quite sometime since I last posted about this project, but I've still been trying to figure something out. I've actually departed from building the computer into the desk and changed it up quite a bit. The only thing I've not changed is that it is still a corner desk. I have now gone with a cabinet on either end with rack mounting rails. My plan is to put the computer in a rack mount case along with some sound equipment. I found a place online that sells 1.75" butcher block bench tops and I was thinking I could use an 8ftx30" for one side and a 4ftx30in for the other leg of the L. I'll eventually have a computer on each end. While I don't have a door, I was planning on making one that has a screened front so that the fans in the various components will be able to draw in fresh air. I'm still having trouble figuring out a good way to support that corner though. Here is what it looks like right now. I'm trying to nail down the design soon so I can start purchasing the required materials. The plan is to use 3/4" (18mm) Baltic Birch plywood for the cabinets while the top will be 1.75" Birch butcher block.

 

Desk.jpg

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Support the outside of the corner with full length & width plywood back panels. If the front of the corner seems saggy, add some narrow aprons, and a triangular gusset running from front corner to back corner to floor. The hypotenuse of the triangle could be arched for knee and foot clearance.

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Was over in the Chat room and with help from MikeM, DZ, and Chameleon; I think I'm getting closer to being able to know how much of what materials I'll be needing to get. They also suggested the same solution as you wtnhighlander. I've also added some cleats inside the cabinet as per suggestions. I haven't done the fastening of the top to the cabinets, but I've been given some ideas on how to proceed there. This is how it looks at the moment with one leg of the desktop left clear in order to see how the two parts are being joined. I'm also considering adding in a 1 inch post at the back corner with threaded inserts so I can have something to fasten the backing to in order to help keep it from moving too much.

 

Deskb.jpg

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I used to have a knockdown desk very similar to what you have here.   The joint on the tabletop was a miter, with an L shaped Leg supporting the back. 

Speaking from experience with this type of computer desk, you might want to consider some sort of small bookcase or platform in the back corner.  That corner is a long ways from the front edge, and it's easy to lose stuff back there, as it's almost out of reach.   I had twin 27" monitors, mounted on a single stand, on a little platform, underneath the platform was CD case storage.  This brought the screens to eye level, and made use of that "wasted space".  Behind the platform was a place I could nestle a couple power strips and have some decent cord management.  The platform was part of the desk design itself, so it blended in well, and sat at a 45* angle to the edges of the desk.  It also made the placement of the 5.1 speakers I had very nice, as the outside speakers were beside me, at the far ends of the desk, and the subwoofer sat in the back corner on the floor, out of the way. 

Just throwing a wrench in your almost complete plans!  ;)

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this is very similar to the desk i made for my office a while back. You will definitely need some aprons to stop the table from racking side to side. in my opinion the legs are a bit chunky, but maybe if you beef up the top it won't look so bad. Or just trim down the legs. 

 

I cut out a section of the desk top to drop in a light table. its flush with the surface. Granted my light table is very thin, all i had to do was cut out a hole slightly smaller than the light table, then take a rabbeting bit in my router to create an edge for the light table to sit on. I attached my sketch up file and "sort of final" construction. hopefully it will give you some ideas. 

office desk.jpg

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