This was, as of now, the most challenging of my projects. Work on this one requires some precision and a fair bit of time. Having some more fancy tools would be really useful here - I didn't have some and although I managed, I spent way more time than I could have.
OK, first the concept. As always, I was dissatisfied with the desks you can buy - I think that most of those available on the market are either ugly or unfunctional. What irritates me especially is the waste of perfectly usable space, or using that space in a quite thoughtless way (like really deep and narrow drawers). Additionally, being a student I need lots of space for photocopies of articles I read for the course and not many desks have large enough drawers to accomodate them. Conclusion - build your own desk.
Most importantly, however, I never understood why most desks nowadays are so computer-unfriendly. Especially those that claim to devote space specifically for a PC case (mostly by providing a tray on a side) are absolutely hopeless - whenever you want to do something with the pc you need to crawl under the desk, and to take the case out you need to disconnect all the cables. Generally, they try to make your PC as unaccessible as possible. Now I like to play with mine, take a hard drive out every now and then, plug another monitor in, use external sound cards, etc., so I needed the thing to be always at hand. Conclusion - build the computer into the desk. Further conclusion - if you're going into all this pain, make it look cool and fancy ;)
Now a quick overview of the final efect.
Size: 125x62cm, 81cm high
- 2x small W32xD30xH10/8cm
- 1 large W32x55Dx34H
- 1 large for a printer/stereo
- 1 hidden tray for printer paper
- 1 hidden shelf for documents
- 4 small shelves for CDs (takes 2x 50CD spools each)
- 1 for handy a4 papers
- 1 for smaller papers (letters etc.)
- 1 for pens
- 1 for block notes
- 1 for small office stuff (paperclips, batteries, etc.)
Keyboard & mouse tray
Small box for an surge-protect extension cable, to keep the leads clean.
The PC case hanging on the back of the desk is accessible from uder the desk (the case just opens to the front which gives access to the motherboard and PSU) and through valve on the top of the desk (access to hard drives and the back panel). The optical drive, USB and audio ports are placed just under the desktop, and the power button is hidden. Oh, and they are no LEDs, I hate them, they just look silly and so unprofessional ;)
The whole design is slightly green as well - it reuses a lot of old materials (old PC case, old tabletop, etc.) and is very space efficient - it's many functions can be achieved without using too much materials. Also the good airflow in the PC case makes it very energy-efficient.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Wood for the desktop - I was fortunate enough to find an old table and just re-used it. You'll need a board 1250x620 and at least 3cm thick.
- Lots of 12mm MDF, at least 2x2700x1200
- 4mm plywood, about 600x600
- 6mm plywood, about 1200x600
- 3-4mm carton board, about 1200x600
- Simple drawer runners: 1x30cm, 2x25cm
- Heavy duty full extension drawer runners: 1x50cm
- Old useless PC case (at least the frame)
- 6 small hinges
- Assorted screws
- Paint and varnish
- Wood and metal files
- Plenty sanding paper
- Wood glue
- Screwdrivers, hammers, clamps and other standard stuff
Tools I didn't have but which would be really useful:
- Milling machine