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Picture of Wood Computer Table
This instructable will show you how to make your own computer table out of a couple of two by fours and a 1x12 board. I needed a good stable work table to use for my computer and this is what I came up with. This is my first major woodworking project, but its quite simple so long as your able to use a specific number off tools.

-Drop Saw or Radial Arm Saw
-Electric Drill
-Hammer
-Wood glue(not really a tool, but you should use some)
-Clamps
-Sandpaper

You will also need about 15 feet of 2x4 wood, and whatever type of wood you want for your table top.  I used 1x12 wood and joined two pieces together at the top.  This project took a few hours after school and cost nothing, as i had the materials in my basement.
 
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Step 1: Design and Concept

Picture of Design and Concept
Computer Table Top.png
Computer Table.png
Computer Table Front.png
My first step involved drawing up a skech of what i wanted on some paper.  I then drew it up in Google Sketch up, a free 3D drafting software package.  The Dimension are pictured in some of the extra photos and ill tag them just to make sure there legible, but they can be modified.  My table is a bit high, because i have a tall computer chair.

Step 2: Construction (pt 1)

Picture of Construction (pt 1)
Now we get are hands dirty.  First cut out all the materials to the specified lengths marked in the last slide.  You will need two 30" pieces, two 23.5", two 14", one 21", and then for the table top two 12x32x1 pieces of wood.  everything but the table top uses two by fours.  Use the chop saw for this, its most efficient. 

Now with all your pieces assembled you will need to cut some 45 degree angles into the 30" and 23.5 inch pieces.  Measure the angle off the corner of the wood, and you should get a 3.5x3.5 isosceles triangle as your cutoff, which you can use if you want to reinforce the corners of the table. Look at the picture below, this is the elbow joint at the bottom, once they are cut you can nail/screw them into place.  Putting some wood glue between the joints works well as well.

Step 3: Construction (pt 2)

Picture of Construction (pt 2)
Now with both legs completed you must put on the top strut that will support the table top.  These are the 14 inch pieces.  they can be skrewed directly on with some woodglue on the joints.

Step 4:

Picture of
Computer Table Top.png
Now for the most satisfying part of the project...making your heap of sticks into a table.  We are going to now screw our table top onto the 14 inch struts!  Depending on your table top and how far out you want it to protrude, will dermine where you place it, but what is crucial here is that when you drill through the top of the table you hit the two 14 inch struts beneath.  just remember that they are 21 inches apart to 24 inches. 

Your DONE! now all you need to do is sand your masterpiece off and if you want to stain or paint.  I like the natural wood so i went ahead and left it plain.  feel free to ask questions, i didn't take pictures sadly during construction, but this 3D model should help.  Hopefully ill be able to upgrade to Inventor or something in the future!
SIRJAMES093 years ago
now maybe I'm crazy but what about mortise & tendon(or is it tenon?) joints?

Whatever they are called, I have used them a lot when building stuff... never had any problems with them as far as strength goes....

Or maybe that's over kill for this project....

As I said B4, I don't know a lot about woodworking, I just fumble thru till I get it right...or get it good enough to suit me.

Having said that tho, I like this ible...gives me ideas for the future. :)

TY for sharing Sir.
BIGDaddy5044 years ago
I don't want to sound Negative, but this 45 degree joint is where your table is going to fail sometime down the line. Its going to act like a pivot point, when u add any kind of weight to the top its going to want yield. I guess your gonna try Screws since the Nails would pull out eventually. Glue is great to hold together, but there is to much Tension against that joint that will either crack the wood, or snap the screws. I would recommend making the base supports like a "T" instead of an "L" that way the Shear Load is evenly Spread out. Overall your design is nice and simple. Ow yea i am a Mechanical / Structural Draftsman.
I was wondering about that myself....
all the degrees I got were Screw U.....LOL

No Offense Sir. but the college of hard knocks is a great but painful teacher.

I won't even try to proclaim that I know a lot about wood working but I don't think them 45's are too great for anything stress related....even if you reinforce them with a piece of plywood, you would just be prolonging the inevitable.

paint3all (author)  BIGDaddy5044 years ago
Yeah, I see where your coming from. I used screws for the intersection and just put some wood glue in as well, and I considered adding more structural support there, so i may go ahead and do that, Thanks for the advice!

I would suggest a cross lap joint at the base with a few inches of timber to the rear of the desk for stability, either glued & doweled if you are confident & you have the equipment to do it or glued & screwed.

To be honest I would also do the same at the top of the frame, butt joints are not the strongest things in the world & in my experience any desk should be built to bear at least five times the weight you expect it to & will ALWAYS be either sat on or leaned against heavily.

If you are not familiar with lap joints you will find a simple explanation here:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_joint

No problem i have had many designs that had a flaw or two, but Other people helped with Constructive advice and made my projects work. I have a bunch of new Instructables i need to post guess I've been lazy.
Tupulov4 years ago
Good starting idea. With a few modifications this could be strengthened and turned into a drafting tabler. Good work.