Introduction: Ubertable

Picture of Ubertable

I have a small table next to my desk which I keep my wifi router, external hd and several chargers on. It has come to the point where the table is quite an eyesore in the room so I decided to try to hide some of the hardware, under the table. Not only did this work spectacularly but the equipment is hidden so well that if some one broke in they wouldn't have a clue I have this stuff (unless of course they read this).

Step 1: Table Dissection 101

Picture of Table Dissection 101

First off we need to take apart the table to hide the goods underneath. My table was held together using long bolts and some special brass nuts.

Step 2: Dissection 102

Picture of Dissection 102

Because where my table was located relative to my desk, when ever I wanted to turn on my external hd I would just about fall out of my chair. I thought if I was able to add a second switch that would turn the hd on and off closer to me it would be very helpful. I took one of the cross members of the table and cut it so that I could replace the missing section with a household electrical switch. Wiring is up next...

Step 3: Switch Wiring

Picture of Switch Wiring

To wire the switch in I used two regular electrical plugs and some house wire. The hd would plug into the female end of my new cable which would go to the switch then to the male plug end which went into the powerbar. The switch on the hard drive is now kept in the on position and the light switch turns it on and off.

This is also a good time to mount the powerbar. I used two screws and the slots on the underside of the powerbar. I made a template out of cardboard to find where to drill the holes for the powerbar.

Step 4: Mounting the Hd

Picture of Mounting the Hd

To mount the hd I used this stuff called All Round. All Round is like a long strip of flexible mechano. It can be broken at any point along it's surface and the holes are used to put screws in. This particular type of All Round has a special nylon coating which won't scratch anything. I got it at Canadian Tire.

Once I found a good place for the hd and it's power supply, I cut two strips of All Round and secured it down using some screws.

Step 5: Mounting the Router

Picture of Mounting the Router

Time to place and mount the router. This is done in the same way as the power bar using screws and the slots on the underside of the router. Make sure there is enough space for the Ethernet and power cords to fit in nicely.

Step 6: Securing Chargers

Picture of Securing Chargers

To secure the chargers in, I used more All Round and screws. A piece of All Round over the charger will hold it down to the power bar. Remember that the everything is going to be upside down so everything needs to be secured down well so it doesn't fall out and so you don't have to be on your back trying to put it back in.

I had my phone charger, router power supply, iPod charger (more on that later) and my macbook charger. Because I move my macbook around alot I didn't want to have it's charger fixed on the table which would require some upside down unscrewing. To solve this I put the charger under the cord for the power bar and made a tab out of All Round to hold the opposite side. To remove the charger now I just have to slide the tab over.

I added a set of All Round hoops to hold the excess cable from the macbook charger. The wire slides in and out nicely.

Step 7: The IPod Charger Step

Picture of The IPod Charger Step

Both me and my brother have an iPod and we share the same charger. This would not work out mounting the charger permentally in the table so I had to come up with another solution. My idea was to use a powered USB 2.0 hub which would charge the iPod and would also connect the hd to my computer using a long USB extender cable. The hub is held down (really up) with double sided foam tape.

Step 8: Cable Management

Picture of Cable Management

With everything mounted all that's left is to clean up the wiring. This was done using small zip ties and several All Round hoops (see step 6).

Step 9: Finish

Picture of Finish

The bottom of the table can now be put back in place and the table turned right side up again.

The table really cleans up my work space and hides everything really well. All that is plugged into it is the cord for the power bar and the Ethernet cord for the router.


joespicnictables (author)2011-08-18

AWEOME!! :D I should do this to my desk

rvdawe (author)2011-07-19

find it here in the U.S.

ArcticNemo (author)2010-11-16

The plain nylon variety is plenty strong, but might not hold a bend as nicely as metal-core stuff. I used some to bolt my patio swing to the deck, and it stands up to 70+ mph winds.

Yillis (author)2009-03-17

You're supposed to switch the hot (black) wire. Unless you did that backwards in the plug and receptacle too. Plus you're exposing 120v when your switch is off, I suggest at minimum wrapping that with some electrical tape, or do it right.

dasclown (author)Yillis2010-04-09

I noticed that the black wire wasn't going to the switch as well.  It got me second guessing my wiring until I saw your comment. :)

brandvegn (author)2010-04-08

I live in the US and can't find nylon covered galvanized steel. The only stuff I can find is this.

I would be interested if anyone knows of a supplier of the nylon-coated variety for my wooden desk. I have a much bigger "Ubertable" and I want to strap it up, flip it, rub it down... etc.

varocha (author)2009-04-04

good idea but i have a small desk from ikea , bye

Th3Snip3r (author)varocha2010-04-08


grundisimo (author)2009-06-03

You could probably do a better job of hiding the cords. A robber would think " look over there those cords are leading to something under the table". He would then look and steal all your stuff. BUT your could run the cables down one of the back legs or something then move the table to hide the outlet. You have to have something on the table top so it looks like a regular table. EVEN if the cords are hidden though you are pretty much screwed if the robber steals the whole table. Maybe hiding the expensive equipment in a better place would be a good idea. Maybe in the ceiling with cables run down to the floor behind the wall (unable to be seen) and have a plug in the wall that you could still access them both. (Bad if the robber punches a bunch of holes in the wall and sees the cables) Maybe hide them underneath the floor. OR even better if you have an attic hide them in the attic and still have the cables running down the wall (inside). Very slim chance the robber will see the cables though if he/she does punch a bunch of wholes in the wall.

zack247 (author)grundisimo2010-04-08

the chances of this happening are slim to none, you know. at least where i live.

H3xx (author)grundisimo2009-08-06

If you live in certain places in Russia, it is not uncommon for some one to come home from vacation to find that their ENTIRE HOUSE had been stolen, brick by brick. It would be best to just bury every thing in the ground...

 if you cut holes that were the same size as the end of your ipod you could just attach the cords to the under side of the table sticking out and then you could have a built in dock.

mattison71 (author)2009-07-29

I'd like to find this in a yard sale!

shtihl (author)2009-07-20

it looks great except for the wires coming from the underside of the table. perhaps using cable loops to guide the cables to floor and run along wall using cable tape to hide them?

jamesjamesjames (author)2009-05-07

some router (including mine) have usb ports in the back for power :) wouldnt work for syncing it to the computer, but if youre just using it for charging its one less wire leading from the table :)

sdallesasse (author)2007-06-18

The switch that you are using needs to be in a box! This is a safety issue. You have 120 volts across that switch; if someone should touch those screws, they would get a nasty shock at the least. They could come out much worse!

Fieldownage (author)sdallesasse2009-04-14

But if you add it you can't laugh anymore when your mates touch it. :P

Fieldownage (author)2009-04-14

"The table really cleans up my work space and hides everything really well." Are you seriously using that as your work space? :D Great project but you could still hide the wires to one of the legs of the table.

tysonb (author)2009-03-25

continuum, not continuom

Nameless37 (author)2009-03-14

After reading this I had an idea to take a iPod Dock( and cut the top of the table to fit level with it. So my iPod Touch 16GB would fit right in the table.

idogis1 (author)Nameless372009-03-20

I almost forgot. You have to solder a resistor between two pins on the ipod plug in order to get audio out through the dock connector to work on newer ipods. Also new ones won't charge unless the data cables are connected on the plug.

idogis1 (author)Nameless372009-03-20

Use this ( or this ( and the dock adapter hat comes with your ipod you could make an embedded dock that is a lot cheaper and probably will end up looking better. Just make sure you know how to solder.

zzoe (author)2009-03-20


distortedlabs (author)2008-06-17

What just happened here with the sudden flux of comments? Did hiding stuff become popular again?

This instructable is included in the Wifi list, which is featured. Congratulations.

geekdude (author)2008-07-19

good idea, but why don't you get an internal hard drive if its going to be hard wired into your furniture anyway? unless its for the laptop. The extra long usb cord might give you latency probs. ditto on the switch. that's dangerous. alternatively if the hd has a power button you could hard wire the switch to that. would be a lot safer because it wouldn't have 110 going through it.

mrmath (author)2007-06-18

Pet Peeve time: It's not "Both me and my brother have...", it's "Both my brother and I have...". Two rules: 1) Always put the other person/people first. 2) If you would say me without the other person, say me with the other person. If you would say I without the other person, say I with the other person. So, if you were to say "I have an iPod.", and then you wanted to say that your brother has one as well, "My brother and I have iPods." If you were to answer the question "Whose in this room?", you might say "Me." If you wanted to say that your brother was in there as well, you might say "My brother and me." Having this pet peeve is a pet peeve of mine, too. I hate it. It makes watching Ghost Hunters on SciFi almost impossible. They say things like "Me and Grant went down to the basement." all the time. Drives me insane! I love the way you hid everything under the table, btw. I did something similar with my desk, but used perf board and plastic ties to do it. Makes a big difference when you're not looking at all those wires and boxes and stuff.

Sgt.Waffles (author)mrmath2008-06-17

*Raises arm with straight hand at a 45 degree angle*

mrmath (author)Sgt.Waffles2008-06-17

You should have waited until tomorrow. Would have been a year to the day. :)

Sgt.Waffles (author)mrmath2008-06-17

No, I did this on purpose to avoid rupturing the space time continuom. You can thank me later.

mrmath (author)Sgt.Waffles2008-06-17

I can thank you for making it so I can thank you later :)

FreshPineSent (author)mrmath2007-12-16


mrmath (author)FreshPineSent2007-12-17


flywoodkb (author)mrmath2007-06-18

My pet peeve is when "whose" is used in place of "who's" ;)

MumblingTuna (author)flywoodkb2007-11-08

my pet peeve is annoying people who have unimportant nitpicking grammatical pet peeves :) Me and wait... whose that guy again? own some 'Pod

distortedlabs (author)2008-04-03

Just so everyone knows, I did install the switch box after it was mentioned here. The house still hasn't burnt down yet so I think it's working.

grages (author)2008-04-03

This is cool. I hid my Hard Drive, router, etc on the plant shelf in my house. The wireless works great over the 8 foot partition walls with less obstruction. The cable installer thought I was crazy when I had the him put the connection up there. Out of site, and you need the ladder to get to it.

charlessenf-gm (author)2008-01-07

Neat idea, nice approach (but switch needs to be in a box as has been stated). Also: "rarely have everything charging at the same time anyway.." is immaterial. If those power modules are connected/plugged in, they are drawing current - period (and heating up, too.)

Biotele (author)2007-06-24

I use double stick velcro. This gives you the option of rearranging the devices and gives you the option of quickly removing them. The problem is with the power supply. Having a powersupply upside down tend to let the plugs drop out if the receptacle is loose. Another problem is the cords that goes to the table and come out of it. They are still an eyesore. I have given up tidying my devices.

distortedlabs (author)2007-06-18

Answering questions time!!! flywoodkbsa: The box for the All Round says it's rated to take 110 pounds. Satka: I haven't noticed any heat coming off anything yet, but then I rarely have everything charging at the same time anyway...

gamer (author)2007-06-18

wow, one more thing on my "to do list". only difference is that i have a door in front of my table, its a cupboard, but its all messy. i think this will fix it. thanks

flywoodkb (author)2007-06-18

Looks great. I would be a bit concerned about the bare terminals on the light switch... in my house I'm sure a cat would get zapped within minutes :) How strong is that "all round"? Looks like handy stuff.

tiuk (author)2007-06-18

Nice work, and a great idea. I actually have a small table that is very similar to that one near my desk, a project like this might indeed be in my near future. Thanks for the idea.

T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-06-18

Really nice, Great work! I need to do that to my desk, one of these days.....

stevoIution (author)2007-06-18

Brilliant! Except for use of the word "uber." +

Satka (author)2007-06-18

Great idea, and nice crafting ! I have a practical question: with all those chargers next to another beneath the table, how hot does it get ? Did you try to measure the temperature of the "hidden side" when everything has been running for a day or two ? If it gets too hot, maybe some insulation / cooling device would be needed ...

Antystein (author)2007-06-18

Great, I like it! I tend to do the same thing, mouting devices, cables and chargers in places that are not visible. The only difference is that i have done this on the vertical plank of my desk, (so everything is hidden between the wall and the back of the desk). I have also attached a power switch on a more reachable place, like you did. Behind there, i have 4 power bars, a couple of USB devices, ISDN, DSL, and dial-up modems, many power supplies and chargers, and of course all the cables... The only thing that I wouldn't hide there, is the hard disk, because i want to monitor its temperature, vibration etc. I really hate to see devices, transformers and cables all ove the floor and furniture, collecting dust and hairballs, with the danger of fire and me stumbling on them, dropping everything on the floor...

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-06-17


dacker (author)2007-06-17

It looks great, except for the exposed wiring on the switch. Is there some reason you did not use a $.49 switchbox? It would be a lot safer....

mikesty (author)2007-06-17

So close to being great. Bigger pics would help but I'm nitpicking there, but you really need to tie up cables and clean up the switchbox. Then you've got yourself a true ubertable.

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