Step 4: Surface Prep and Finish

Clamp the two halves of the top together again and sand the edges to try to make them as symmetrical as you can. I used a mini-drum sander bit for my electric drill, but sandpaper on a curved surface should work well, if slower.

Orient the top pieces in the way they will be assembled (one top piece has to flip over and join with the other at the diagonal cut). Mark or somehow assign which is the top side and sand with progressively finer grits of sandpaper until it's as smooth as you like it. You may wish to sand the bottom to a medium fineness---the stain applies easier to a smoother surface.

I didn't do this to mine before I stained it, but if you want the edges to match the top, apply the wood edging to the exposed edges with a heat source, either a clothes iron or (possibly---I didn't try this) a curling iron. The curved surface of the curling iron may work better on the concave curves.

I really liked the look of colored stain for this, so I chose a blue-tinted Minwax stain. I stained the bottom sides first, the the tops, and repeated for a total of 2 coats each side.

I then applied 3-4 coats of water-based polyurethane, sanding between each step. I poly'd each of the surfaces which would be seen, including the "front" of the corner support stand.

Thanks for this instructable. I have been wanting to make a desk top with this shape, but was worried about getting the curves right.
you could add chaulk paint to make to ultifunctial <br>
hey metal table top
good work :D
love the idea i might just use stronger legs in fear of my legs but for you it is perfect
I love it!! but umm......where do you keep ur clothes?
Most People Dont Keep Clothes In A File Cabinet
my clothes are actually in a file cabinet.
Lol. Could probably get rid of what doesn't fit me and do the same!
I like it! Just in need of a switchable power strip, and a few holes with gromlets to run the wires through... and a cable organizer to keep all the cables together... Love it!!
Cable organizer? Three words... velcro strip ties.
lol.. ok that works too...
Word of caution: Depending on your own height, the two filing cabinets could be just a little too high. I am currently using a slab of countertop and two filing cabinets as a computer desk, and I really like the countertop - no more mouse pad! But when my computer chair is high enough for the desktop, my toes are stretching to reach the floor. When my feet are on the floor, I find myself typing with my shoulders hunched up because of the height of the desktop. You may not have a problem - my height is 5' 3&quot; - but you might want to measure the height of your current desk, then calculate the total height your new creation will be. You'd never know how important an inch or two will be until you're stretching your toes or hunching your shoulders. I'm currently designing a pvc pipe shelving base for under my countertop, with the filing cabinets being relegated to the sides of the desk again. In the meantime, I'm just stretching and hunching, depending on my mood.
Here is a top from 1 cut 4'x8' sheet 3/4" ply sitting atop 2 Wal-Mart wooden file cabs and a spare sheet of Ply for the power distribution / third leg.... (has my 20" monitor on top and slide out keyboard shelf under the mid section)
Some more views of it...
For any of these designs, you can add a 3/4&quot; x 1-1/2&quot; board around the back side. This has the effect of adding 1-1/2&quot; of thickness, for support. They do this on high end shelving to stop them from bowing under weight. If you have to join two pieces and want their surfaces to remain flush with each, you can cut a 1/8&quot; kerf down the center of the joining edges, then install a spline, which is just a piece of wood which just fits into the kerf and sticks out enough to go into the opposite kerf. You can cut the kerf with a router and bit, a biscuit machine, or a circular saw (after you clamp a couple pieces of wood to support and guide the saw. This could also be done with dowels with the one end rounded over (similar to what kitchen tables use). In either instance, careful marking and cutting is worth the effort.
nice. i like the little extra shelf on the left as well.
An excellent solution, and the wood grain is a nice touch. Since I already had the one metal file cabinet, it was natural for me to go that route, but I quite like yours---especially the get-the-wires-out-of-the-way-board at the back. Nice job!
Here is the measurements and 1 sheet layout....
Any idea where I could get cheap filing cabinets or an alternative? I'd love to create a similar desk.
Milk Crates
Thrift stores usually have a couple. The two drawer kind are usually just the right height. Maybe if there are business liquidators in your area, they would have some cheaper ones.
I have a question.. How much space is a metric buttload?? lol...
Finally, I'm done with my desk!<br/>The hardest parts were to get the halves to match (thick sheet, a bit shallow circle-saw) and the painting.<br/><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Swedish-Wraparound-Desk-Made-From-One-Sheet-of-Pl/">http://www.instructables.com/id/Swedish-Wraparound-Desk-Made-From-One-Sheet-of-Pl/</a><br/>
Your colours look very sophisticated. Love the grey and white. Well done!
This is brilliant!! I'm thinking more filing cabinets could be added and the desk top extended if a person needed more cabinets too. Well done!! I've been thinking of converting s closet into s tiny work station. This would be perfect!! :0) !
since computers are metal on the outside they can survive some fires probably some of the outer plastics may be ruined
That's a simple but brilliant idea. <br/>At around the time you were building this I paid around &Acirc;&pound;200 (in a sale, no less) for a flatpack . <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.helluva.co.uk/images/mydesk.jpg">corner unit</a><br/>Ok, so mine has a slidey keyboard shelf and a monitor riser on it, but I prefer yours and I'm thinking that I may have to do one just for the sheer joy of having made it.<br/>Genius.<br/>
Opps - fixed the link now.
Props... I like the idea of nomadic furniture, I'm about to move AGAIN. I'm thinking desk, bed and shelves using this method. Again, props.
nice shape i like it brilliant.
Truly an elegant and easy alternative to the "disposable" furniture found at mega stores. Bravo!
this is a perfect way to make a corner desk! love it!! I just wish I had a truck to carry big pieces home now! :) Thanks!
Always befriend people with trucks. :) I want to get rid of mine, but I just can't---too much stuff to haul around!
much better than my blockity-block version. nice design.
Awesome, and the materials are way better than anything you'll find at the big box stores... real wood as opposed to sawdust + glue...
Nice project! I love custom-building things around the house. It makes way more sense than paying a ton of money for a store-bought piece that's locked into a certain size. I'm diggin' your jigsaw cutting work. Smooth. I've had good experiences with applying an acrylic finish to wooden top surfaces. It makes it completely waterproof and provides a shiny appearance.
Excellent design! VERY reminescent of the classic "Nomadic Furniture" DIY books. And such economy. Almost no wasted plywood. For myself, I think I'd build shelving in place of the file cabinets. If for no other reason than to have the LaserWriter right at hand and yet out of the way. Hmmm. Mounting the scanner on a sliding platform in the shelves on the other side would also work to keep it handy and yet not in the way. Off to SketchUp! I have some designing to do! Thanks for the inspiration!
I can't say I've heard of those, but I'm not surprised. Once you constrain a design to fitting within a sheet of plywood, certain patterns are sure to emerge. I actually started thinking about a desk 8' on a side with curves like this, then made it smaller when I saw I could shoehorn it into a single sheet. The remainders of the cutting found life in other things around the house---pretty much nothing of that sheet went to waste.
Add a PowerSquid and a shelf for all the wall wart adaptors. (I'm currently at 6 adaptors and likely there'll one or two more in the future.
Very nice Instructable. Now show me the best way to pimp out my closet. Whenever I tackle my closets, my design is always too bulky for my taste. Maybe a redo of your old project?
You saw that pic at the end, huh? :) Well, at least i was able to find the drawings I made back then for the shelves. Never did find my desk drawing as I was writing it up. I'll look into it. It's an ok project: no fasteners holding it together, all the pieces can be moved out if necessary, and lots of shelf space.
Sounds like a perfect project.
I love this idea. Great instructable! Thank you for sharing. How much is the total cost?
Most of the cost is in the file cabinets...and these days, in the 3/4" plywood. Filing cabinets are often available at thrift stores - disregarding their price, you could probably make it for < $50, most of that being the plywood.
Looks nice! I did something similar but hung it on the wall like a shelf. You can buy industrial shelf brackets real cheap at the local hardware store. Some day, I'll prime the brackets and paint them to match the wall.
Excellent instructable, nice idea, great pix. Thanks for sharing.
nicely done... Looks like it's held up nicely over the years. Only thing I'd change is the center attachment... I'd go with a "piano hinge" It would lend extra support across the entire joint (porbable cut just short of where the top intersects the back support box). Plus it's allow the entire structure to fold for moving (one piece instead of 2) The hinges are only a buck or two at the local store... and a bow of small screws not much more :-)
It's held up wonderfully, really. I was a little worried over the spans of unsupported desktop, but the thing's pretty dang solid. I considered the piano hinge at one point I think....not sure. I think I vetoed it because setting the desk up is much easier one half at a time. Handling both pieces connected like a butterfly is definitely a two person job. Anyway, I think piano hinge would definitely work great.

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