I woke up one day (it was probably a Saturday) and decided it was time to build a desk for my home office. I had a design in my head and a few ideas of how to make it happen. Here was my criteria:
1. This desk needs to be built-in as opposed to some store bought unit that sits away from the wall because of baseboards. You know ... the desks that lure all of your objects to the back so they can fall between the space and onto the floor to be lost for several months.
2. I wanted the component box to hang or "float." Partly because my house is old so nothing is level, but also because I liked the idea.
3. I wanted cable management because I have some OCD issue.
4. Lastly, but most importantly, I wanted it to look like metal ... \m/
Step 1: The Basic Carcass
I decided to build the desk out of MDF, which I said I'd never do again after my closet built-ins, but it was affordable and I had a lapse in judgement. I don't like it because it's heavy, contains formaldehyde so the dust is horrible (I used a full respirator when working with it), and if you aren't careful, screws will strip holes (pre-drill everything). I won't use it again. This project took two sheets of 3/4" MDF, with extra for floating shelves.
The top is two layers of MDF cut to 24" x 6', which I laminated together with glue and screws. You can see how OCD driven I am because I laid out a grid just for the screw positions.
The cleat is a 2"x4", which I half lapped in the corner for an interlocking fit. I tapered the bottom corners, painted it to match the wall, and secured it to the wall studs.
The component box uses rabbets for joinery with glue and screws. The dado in the middle is for a shelf. The holes are for cables and venting.