The mess of cables on and under my computer desk was out of control. I couldn't vacuum under the desk, I'd get my feet tangled in them, I couldn't unplug anything without yanking something else out and it just looked messy. The list goes on and on.
To create a solution to the problem that can be had with little or no money and little expertise, while utilizing stuff around the house. Nothing elegant, just simple and utilitarian.
First, a bit of background on the desk. I like mine simple and clean. My computer desk consists of an old cubicle slab on adjustable legs. The legs are adjustable from Rockler and are $39.99 for the set of four, the slab I got from my employer for free, its very sturdy and heavy. That's it. Slab on legs.
Drill bits (sized for your fasteners)
Bolt cutter (or hacksaw if you need to shorten the length of the shelf)
Length of Closet Maid or similar wire shelving (I used a 3'-0" section)
Closet Maid or similar plastic end caps
(2) steel angles (2 per 3'-0" of shelving, I'd recommend one additional angle for every 1'-0" or so of shelving)
Wood screws (lengths based on your desk thickness)
Zip ties in assorted lengths (I used the permanent ones, you can use the reusable ones too)
Gardner Bender or similar cable management clips (I used the Gardner Bender SnapSHOT MultiCable Staple)
All your spaghetti of wires under the desk
All of the above materials can be found at your local big box home improvement store. I got lucky and had all of this stuff lying around the basement, so this only cost me some sweat and elbow grease.
Be sure to check out the pictures at the end of this instructable, they show important details.
Step 1: Planning and Prep
Once you have a home for everything, set it up where you want it. Most cables detach completely from the peripheral (i.e. PC, monitor, external drive, etc...). This makes it easy to set up the peripherals without the tangle of the cords. Lay out the cable on the shelf, figure out how you want things to run, you may want to attach other things besides cables to the shelf. Take a picture of the layout. I ran mine blind and had to make some adjustments because of it.
Step 2: Attaching the Brackets
Figure out where you want the shelf on the desk, centered, to the left to the right, whatever is best for your situation. Mark the spot where the brackets should go, I came in about 10" or so from each end of my 3'-0" shelf. You might want a buddy to hold the shelf in place while you mark the spots. Set the shelf on the brackets to see how far they should stick out, mark the holes, drill a pilot and fasten them to the underside of the desk. Take care in how far you drill and how long your screws are. You don't want to punch through the desktop, do you?
Step 3: Attaching the Shelf
Step 4: Attach the Multicable Staples
Step 5: Lay the Cable
Step 6: Shelf Lip Detail
Step 7: Endcap Detail
Step 8: Zip-tie Detail
Step 9: Excess Cable
Step 10: Final Product
-PC (on desk)
-19" Flat screen
-external hard drive
-left & right speakers + subwoofer
-6 outlet surge protector (on desk)
-mini-usb cable run from rear of PC to charge phone
-headphone jack to RCA cable run from rear of PC
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope this has helped at least one other person. Your comments are appreciated.