Introduction: Industrial Computer Desk

A sturdy and versatile desk.

Step 1: Prepare the Desk Top

The top is an IKEA countertop that is made from solid oak and was good quality for the price.

Finishing the surface was a multi-step process and went as follows:

  • 3 passes were made with 320 grit sandpaper
  • A mixture of 50% oil-based wipe on poly and 50% mineral oil was spread over the surface and sanded into the wood using 400 gritpaper
  • After drying for 24 hours, 2 more passes with 400 grit was made
  • Surface was properly cleaned to remove excess sawdust before applying a coat of the 100% wipe on poly
  • After drying for 3 days, another pass using the 400 grit was done.
  • A final coat of the poly was applied


Wipe On Poly


Step 2: Clean and Prep the Piping

The black iron piping is often dirty with adhevsive product stickers that needed to be removed.

Start by scraping off the sticker with a razor blade as best as you can, do not worry about scratches as the paint will cover those up. Once the majority of the sticker is gone, there is still residue and dirt on the pipes. Wearing gloves and in a well ventelated room, acetone was applied to a rag and the pipes were wiped down. If you are having difficulty with the residue, try using some of the 320 grit sandpaper to sand some of it off and hit it with the acetone.

Step 3: Assembling the Frame

Putting the frame together involed some trial and error to get the sizing and functionality desired. The final version consists of the following pre-sized pieces:

  • 4 x end caps
  • 4 x flanges
  • 3 x 4 way fitting
  • 1 x 90 degree elbow
  • 2 x 3 way fitting
  • 2 x 18" pipe
  • 5 x 24" pipe
  • 2 x 12" pipe
  • 1 x 36" pipe

This desk is rather heavy which makes moving it around, a small feat. To help with this, casters were mounted to the 4 legs utilizing end caps with a perfect center drilled hole. This allowed for them to be bolted into the cap and screwed on to the bottom.

Several coats of paint were applied after all pieces were fully assembled.

Step 4: Adding the Shelf

A 10" section of the top was removed to act as the computer shelf.

The shelf sits atop the back cross bar and the dropdown section. In order to strengthen the shelf, angle iron was utilized to run the distance between the two bars. Along with adding reinforcement, it also served to keep the shelf from sliding back and forth atop the bars.

The black rubbery stuff on the support iron is Sugru and was added as padding so that the shelf would not make noise if it did slide around some.

Step 5: Mounting the Top

Top affix the frame to the table top, flanges were utilized. Given the size and weight of the desk however, the top needed to be easily removed and re-attached.

To accomplish that requirement, the use of metal inserts were used. These inserts allowed for the bolts to be inserted and removed without impacting the wood itself.