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Help Needed: How would i make a 3-Section Floating Computer Desk (horizontal-diagonal-vertical) Answered

I recently came upon the idea to build a floating or wall-mounted desk/workstation. I  am a graphic artist and use my computer area for computer research, drawing on my computer, drawing in sketchpads, printing/scanning, etc. its essentially my art-station....

So the idea came to give myself more room to get my work done, while at the same time not "crowding" my room, which isnt huge to begin with, since I don't have access to a separate office space. This idea could potentially give me enough space to draw and use my computer without having to constantly move things around to fit my materials.

It would also allow for more leg room, as i could use my computer chair to roll through my entire area with no interference.

I have a rough idea of how this might be able to work, but as i have never done any DIY projects, i figured i'd ask the more experienced people on here for their advice or opinions on the concept itself. and maybe if i am lucky i can get some recommendations on materials. i am VERY new to this and am running just on concept and basic logic;

So the concept here is to have 3 pieces of wood, two of them will be 4' x 1' 6" ((48in x 18in)) and the center piece would be 4' 6" x 1' 7.5" ((54in x 19.5in)) however i would need to actually measure it out to make sure on that last one as i just did some quick math to scale of my drawings...  i have a diagonal wall in my room that connects to a horizontal and a vertical wall, which i plan to build the floating desk on. i included a diagram of how i plan to cut and connect the pieces (cutting off triangular pieces from each board should allow them to fit like a puzzle, to which i have to then find a way to attach them).

Now, my question is, does this plan look doable. i feel it will be alot less expensive then buying a desk and i will have much more room for what i need. what would i need to support the desk? i would like to make this without legs if possible. while making it as sturdy as possible of course.... and i plan to add a sliding keyboard holder....i will not have many heavy things on top of the desk as shown on my diagrams, the heaviest thing would be an iMac which doesnt weigh much. i would also most likely stain the word a mahogany/reddish toned wood color. so i am looking for a sturdy would that can be stained fairly easily.... ((i will also cut a semi-circle hole on one of the boars for wires to go through, although i will have minimal wiring.

I was thinking of using those L-shaped bracket things they sell at Home Depot to support the wood to the wall... they come at a maximum size of about 12 inches i believe.... 

Does anyone foresee any problems i might run into? any suggestions? is there some materials i should purchase. i have access to a power drill, and materials/machines to cut the diagonal/triangular cuts off of the wood.

so yea, did i miss anything.. again sorry, this is my first DIY idea ever...!

9 Replies

Mark valli (author)2012-09-10

computer desksare generally designed for laptop use primarily or they are designed with specific placements. For example, there may be a rack or slot for the tower or computer as well as a pull out tray for the keyboard and mouse. A small computer desk may also be designed for use in a corner.

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Moem (author)Mark valli2012-09-10

In other news: the sky is mainly blue.

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caitlinsdad (author)2012-08-09

Just a couple of ideas:

36 inches is the height of kitchen countertops. Unless you have a drafting chair or barstool, the standard table/desk height is around 29 inches.

18 inches for the depth of a desk is pretty slim. You should go for at least two feet.

You would need some kind of wall brackets, even though it might be attached to a strip of wood on the wall, you need support in case someone leans or sits on the edge of the desk. They could just be metal or wood wall brackets that are not really visible and placed at the ends of each sections. They should not interfere with the legroom under.

You could place the printer nearer the wall/end and seat yourself closer to the angle turn. If you curve out the desk there, it would flow into the drawing area.

You could place some storage/support at the ends to utilize the space under the desk.

You can go with kitchen countertop material - they are preformed with the rounded front edge and have easy care laminate. They are ~26" depth. For value you can go with the laminated wood strip planks they have at the home center. Or splurge on a nice piece of oak/mahogany plywood,. Of course, you can mod your drawing area with a glass cutout to make it a light table.

There are plenty of desk projects out there similar to this.You can make it fancy or simple but functional depending on your woodworking skills. Good luck.

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PJ_Graphix (author)caitlinsdad2012-08-09

18 inches was chosen because the wall where the left-most board touches is 18 inches. there is a closet there (which isnt shown in the pictures). however i chose 18 inches so the wood doesnt protrude past the wall/closet.. aesthetic decision...

i just assumes since it has song a wide area to work on that it wouldnt matter too much to have it 18 in. especially since the drawing area (center) will be a bit bigger at at least 19.5 in., allowing me to use anything up to an 18in x 24in poster paper (which ive never used but would have the option to if i wanted to)

the placement of the printer is a good idea, and the drawings arent a final template. i will likely re-arrange things, however i wanted to display the majority of my likely materials i will have on the desk.

the support you mentioned seems important... especially with a young, curious child running around..... i dont want to have to replace anything...

i havent decided on the material so a open to look at anthing, as long as i can get the mahogany/ reddish wood tone i am looking for as i want it to match the wood on my dresser. and the modded glass cutout sounds like a great idea. i will look into pricing of an addition like that

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caitlinsdad (author)PJ_Graphix2012-08-09

If you have an IKEA near you, it's a great place to actually see desk configurations and they make that light table and have specialty leg/wall brackets that you can buy separately, in addition to the worksurface to diy.

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2012-08-09

and you want to joint the joints, from screwing a piece of wood under to bridge the joint to doweling/pocket hole screws/lag nuts, etc. needed to keep the two pieces from riding up against each other.

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PJ_Graphix (author)2012-08-09

i ddnt know things like "stud finders" existed, lol. we were going to drill holes or hammer nails until we found resistance, lol. (and spackle+paint over any of the "misses: since i need to paint my walls anyway...)

I am trying to make this as least expensive as possible while maintaining a great quality that is also visually appealing... so depending on the price i may get one of those stud finders. thank you for the suggestion...

If i have to put a leg i will, but if i can keep it sturdy without the need for one, i think it might look better. i will also look into the plywood and MDF. thanks for the tips

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canucksgirl (author)PJ_Graphix2012-08-09

No problem. A stud finder will come in very handy for all kinds of projects (especially if you don't want to create too many extra holes), but you could always ask around as a friend might have one that they could lend you. ;-)

By the way, when you want to reply to a member, just click on the "reply" button, located in the bottom right corner of the comment box. :-)

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canucksgirl (author)2012-08-09

Make sure you have a stud finder. You'll need it to find the framing studs in the wall to anchor your work surface. L-Brackets should work well enough as long as they are attached to the studs and you use enough of them, but for added strength, putting a leg or a vertical piece on each end would be better. (Maybe you have a set of drawers on each end?) It depends however on the material that you use to make the work surface, especially if its really heavy stuff.

For materials, you have a number of options. Plywood is relatively cheap and you can always add a veneer to it if you want to stain it; however for durability, you may be better off adding a laminate (like a kitchen counter top). MDF (medium density fiberboard) is another good option and easy to work with.

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