Introduction: Desktop Organizer - Monitor Stand

About: I've been an artist all my life. Probably nothing I couldn't accomplish according to my grade school teachers who said "I would make a perfect student if I would just stop drawing all the time". I'm …

OK, stay with me… not a lot of time since this is a speed challenge. So I’m going to be moving super fast….

This challenge is the perfect reason to keep everything and not just throw stuff away because you’ve used it for its original purpose. Looking through my various scraps available… I came up with something I’ve been pondering doing for some time. A Desktop organizer.

As you can see by the intro picture I have two monitors / two keyboards, & 2 meeces. Its some time problematic having both of these out on my work area at both times. So this organizer will provide me a place to store the keyboards when not needed, and put the mice out of the way as well.


All Scraps....

  • Composite Pallet Skid boards
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Finishing Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Faux Leather Contact Paper
  • Spray glue
  • Green Felt

Tools (in order of appearance)

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw (to cut down boards)
  • Hand Trim Router (to round top shelf edges and route our special areas)
  • Detail Sander
  • Hand drill (for Pilot holes) 1/16" bit
  • Hammer

Step 1: Scrap Materials

At my work we have skids of these old composite skid separator boards. They are used out in the printing plant. When they get old or we have too many they quite often get pitched. But I’ve convinced them to hang on to a couple of skids for emergency use. Other scraps, I had laying around, are some old green felt, Faux Leather contact paper. Black spray paint, Wood Glue, Finishing Nails.

Step 2: Design and Board Cuts

I took some quick measurements of my office desktop being sure to allow for two monitor bases and their shapes to be accommodated on the top board. Plus an appropriate depth to allow for keyboards to hide underneath and for cords to hang in the back unencumbered. I mapped out my design in Tinkercad first just to make ensure structural stability. Then using my scrap composite boards I cut down my section as indicated in my board cut graphic.

Step 3: Assembly

Following my cut dimensions graphics, I cut down the boards to the sizes I needed.

Assembly needs to follow in this order:

Bottom section:

  1. Placing the two sides standing up, I clamped each center piece on the inside of the sides. With them clamped lay the bottom shelf between the two sides (resting it on top of the clamped center pieces.
  2. Measuring up half way 2.25” the side boards I drilled 1/16” pilot holed through and into the bottom shelf.
  3. Then put a small bead of glue at the ends of the bottom shelf. (NOTE: since this is composite board it doesn't take much as it soaks it up pretty good)
  4. Then nail into position from the outside edges of the side boards. Unclamp your centers from the sides.
  5. Take one Center support and position it in the center under the bottom shelf. Measure half way and drill three pilot holes into the bottom shelf and into the bottom center support.
  6. Add a bead of glue to the bottom center across the top and then nail into position.
  7. This completes the bottom portion.

NOTE: Prior to final assembly of top to bottom you might want to spray paint section separately to be sure to get full coverage. I almost made the mistake of assembling before. But realized it would be difficult to get inside the drawer.

Top Section:

  1. Add bonus features to the top shelf. I routed out a slot for the iPhone and another section for pens and post-it notes, business cards. Using my hand router I notched out the sections. Use a straight edge clamping to top board to give you a clean straight outer edge and then slowly remove out excess.
  2. I switched my hand router to a 1/2” rounded edge bit for around the outer edges on top. With my routing done, I flipped the top shelf over and finding the center I drew a pencil mark on the front and back edges of the top shelf.
  3. Flipping back over and resting the top on the assembled bottom portion I drill four pilot holes to attach the upper center support piece. Put a bead of glue on top edge the center support and nail into position.
  4. Square up the top to the bottom assembly and again pencil mark where your center support will rest. Lift and put a bead of glue the bottom shelf for where the center support piece will rest (NOTE: this is important as you won't be nailing this portion to the bottom).
  5. Now position top shelf again square up the shelf from front to back. Making sure the center support is still in proper position nail into place using the pre-drilled pilot holes.
  6. TIP: Take a piece of tape and run from the front side board to the back of the same side board this will give you a visual line where to drill your pilot holes on the sides. Do this on both ends.
  7. Prior to nailing in place put flip over and put a bead of glue on top of each side supports. Flip top board back over and square position again. Finally nail into position.

Step 4: Paint

I used spray paint. I had several old cans left from other projects, three in fact. However, since this composite wood Sucks up paint like a sponge, so I ended up using them all and had to go buy another can make sure it had a good even coat.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Using some old Faux Leather Contact paper I covered the entire top and trimmed it to fit around the edges and cut out the routed holes I had created.

Before applying I hit the back of the contact paper with an additional coat of spray glue and burnished it all down to help it last longer. Be sure to smooth it out as much as possible to eliminate air bubbles.

For the routed out areas I cut and spray glued in place green felt. This really gave it a professional touch I think.

Step 6: Install at Work

After I was happy with the look of it, the last thing was to take to work and install. Clearing my office desktop was harder than making the organizer.

With everything cleared I placed the monitors in their respective positions. Then fed keyboards and meeces through the back in their respective bottom slots. Everything looks great.

The only thing I’ll probably add is a back support for my phone. On its side it stands up just fine. But when I stand it up right for FaceTime function it won’t stay up. So I’ll have to find another bit of scrap to make that happen.

I was pretty much able to do this all in one weekend. Painting and drying was the the longest process out of the whole thing.

Oh you may noticed I opted not to make the drawers that I had originally intended. I may go back and add. But for right now the two areas are still great places to place papers for next projects, etc.

I highly recommend making one of these even if you only have one monitor. Having the monitors higher up in my line of sight really helps with posture and my neck.

My boss was so impressed with it she’s going to have her husband make one for her.

Good Luck.

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