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question on building a computer desk?

Hey, i'm gonna be building a simple desk for my computer. and i was just wondering if anyone knows what kind of legs i should use for it? also how should i attach the legs to it? bracket, nails, ect. its just gonna be 3/4"x 27"x50" piece of plywood. then i'm gonna make a monitor stand, and a keyboard tray. thanks

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HTF (author) 9 years ago
what would be some other must have kinda tools to get started in woodworking?
caitlinsdad HTF9 years ago
Woodworking is an art in itself so you can accumulate a garage full of tools and still need more... You need your basic hand tools and then power tools. Best to look through some woodworking magazines or books to see what you want to build and how it is done. A lot of hand tools you can find at a dollar store but once you try them you will want something better. Get a readable measuring tape, Framer's square, carpenters square, box full of pencils, nice claw hammer with a smooth face(rough face is used for rough framing), a rubber mallet, a bunch of nailsets, a 2-foot level or longer, a set of sharp chisels, a good razor utility knife, a nice handsaw(combo boxsaws are handy), coping saw, miter box with backsaw, sandpaper(pay an extra buck for the good non-clogging stuff-it actually lasts longer and works better than dollar-store assortment), set of screwdrivers, needlenose pliers and a surform tool(rasps or files for shaping)... And for the power tools, I prefer plug-in-wall over cordless for their power but cordless is good. Go for an impact driver which has better control for screws. A cordless drill with torque settings is a must. Get your assortment of drill bits and screw driver bits. A good jig saw is handy for cutting(cheaper model quick release blade changers don't hold the blade well), circular saw for longer straight cuts like in plywood sheets. Graduate to a chop saw and table saw if you have the space. Routers when you want to get fancy. Power sanders of various types for the occassion. And a big shop vac to clean up the mess of wood shavings and sawdust... Don't worry, the only thing you need is inspiration and the rest will come to you. See if anyone has hand-me-down tools to start off with...
HTF (author)  caitlinsdad9 years ago
thanks, yeah i have basic tools like screwdrivers and tape meaure and what not.(i used to be an electrician's helper). i bought a new utility knife and rasp the other day for the desk i want to do. i didn't have a cordless drill but the chuck broke on it, and its pretty old. so i've benn looking at those. i really like dewalt, so i'm gonna try and get another one of those 18v. and i'm gonna pick up a hand saw. And ill have to start shopping around for all the other stuff i might need. thanks again
caitlinsdad9 years ago
Usually a desktop height is about 29 to 30 inches. Mock up your desk with the keyboard drawer to see what feels right. You should have about 32 inches width to get the chair and you to be comfortable below. You can get a file cabinet on one side and prop it up with wood/books/or magazines to get the correct height. You can get premade table legs with mounting brackets/screwbolts built-in (plain to fancy) at home centers. You can also make them out of 2x3, 2x4 or 1x3 lumber to build a leg frame. I would recommend getting a pocket hole (Kreg) jig to build wood components. It essentially drills a hole at a special angle and you then use a screw as a fastener. No glue needed and you can reverse the screws out to take your project apart. I have built my desk/workspace out of an 8 foot long kitchen countertop with 2 IKEA Freden bathroom vanities with the legs cut off by 2 inches. The weight of all the stuff I have on the desk keeps it in place. If you are putting the desk up against a wall, I would recommend that you get or build some kind of wall mounted monitor stand (if you have an LCD monitor and can modify the wall). It will keep the deskspace below clear. Good luck!
HTF (author)  caitlinsdad9 years ago
yeah i am gonna sand it all down and and apply laminate or something like that. ill have to look in to that desk protector stuff. as for the measurements i'm gonna use my old desk as kind of a templete when it comes to the hieght from the desk to the floor. ill have to go back to home depot and see about the legs. i was looking at the ikea galant legs. but they seem kind of expensive. but i don't know.. thanks for all the tips and info.
caitlinsdad HTF9 years ago
If you are getting into woodworking, the pocket hole jig would be great for making your table legs in an H or A shape and attaching them perpendicular to your desktop. You can probably check out the Kreg website for it but I was amazed at the strength those joints have. Check out my TV Cutout and Giant Magnet instructable that I built with pocket joinery. I have built bookshelf hutches that go on top of the desk and are tall enough to clear the monitor. Using the pocket hole joinery and 1x3 lumber, I built 2 square end frames, attached to a premade laminate covered bookshelf blank, and put in 2 angled back corner pieces to reinforce the structure. Nothing like more space to put your stuff. If you have a Lowe's around you, they have a better selection of premade table legs. They have the beginner's "pocket rocket" jig/drill bit/screws for around $40 or the pro version for $100. Look for the small laminate edge trimmer(razor kind of thing the size of a staple clip remover) to trim the laminate if you don't have a small router/laminate trimmer. It is slow going with a file and sandpaper to do that edge right. Try to find the low VOC contact cement to glue the laminate. Go to Staples or other supply store to get a plastic desk pad for your smooth writing surface. I think sweaty hands and elbows would stick to a painted desk.
HTF (author)  caitlinsdad9 years ago
wow thanks for all the info! very helpful. you know it weird i love building stuff, but for some reason never thought to get into woodworking. i think i just might. cause i would like to build a bookshelf eventually, and some other stuff. thanks again
caitlinsdad HTF9 years ago
Start dropping hints for Christmas to get an impact driver/drill or better yet a cordless impact driver and cordless drill combo set. Get the best tools you can afford and be safe! Glad I could be of help.
HTF (author)  caitlinsdad9 years ago
lol, def will start hint droping, gotta birthday in june so ill shoot for that. thanks
caitlinsdad9 years ago
Oh, I forgot... I have seen people just stack up cinder blocks to use as the legs. I hope you plan to finish your plywood top with paint or laminate. You could at least dress up the edge of your plywood with moulding or iron-on veneer strips. Or just round off the edge with sandpaper or a router. Get a desk protector to smooth out the top. Splinters are an occupational hazard when using such a desk...from experience...
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