How to put a design on a metal cup?

Hey Guys! So I'm a bit new to this (meaning I'm totally new.) So I'm not sure if this question has been asked before,. If it has, please redirect me to it :) I'm looking to 'personalise' a metal traveller's mug, and just metal mugs in general and i was wondering what options are available? I want to go through the options before i pick the method that i'll use. What i want to do exactly is to put my design on the cup permanently. I've seen someone use a vinyl decal and a powder coating machine, but that's pretty expensive to get over here. So what are the other ways i can do that?  I hope someone can shed some light on this for me, Thanks :)

Topic by AttractiveToast   |  last reply

Designer Gas Masks

My respirator has always looked a little dull. I once knew someone who accessorized her respirator with metal spikes. The only problem was that she put one right through the filter, kinda defeating the purpose. It looked good, but still... Link

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

easiest metal to work with

Can any one tell me which hollow meal rods are easiest to work with? I am thinking about building a hammock frame that will support at least 170-200 lbs. ( i weigh 160 but it never hurts to hold more). I wouldn't necessarily need to bend the metal rods but they should be relatively easy to cut. I want to stay away from hard wood and copper if possible. At first i was thinking about using pvc but i don't know how much it can hold. I only have hand tools and a power drill. Please feel free to post any suggestions. If you have a better way to build a hammock frame please post it here. If i figure it out ill post an instructable. I uploaded the top view and side view of my design. it was drawn in paint for brain storm so its not very detailed

Topic by srikar06   |  last reply

Faux Metal Plating on Books?

I'm trying to turn this old text book into the Book of the Vishanti from Doctor Strange, which features a somewhat intricate pattern of metal design work on the front and spine, as well as some hinges. I was thinking that, for the metal, I would use some thermoplastic, but I still don't quite know about the hinges. Would thermoplastic work? Should I use real hinges or just fake them somehow? How could I work around the spine and still keep it flexible?   

Question by Numbuh1Nerd   |  last reply

Putting a design on a metal plate/button. [Custom DDR mat]

So I have a metal Dance Pad for the once popular dance games that plagued the world. The buttons are like square plates made of metal. The top half is a chromed metal that is essentially hugging a wooden flat. Each button is about 11 inches x 11 inches- they're about two centimeters shy of 11. I believe they're about 10mm thick and they sit in the dance mat held down by the frame of it as well as metal washers in the corners. The back of each button has a bit of foam surrounding the sensor that is used to click down on the contact within the mat and register a button press so you can play the game. This is important because it can not be tampered with or the gameplay could be jeopardized. What I want to do is put a skin, if you will, over each plate. There are nine in total. The middle one has no button and the back corners that have no button allocated are also useless. So these can be covered entirely. Now- I want to make a fully colored design to cover each and every plate. But I want them to still be able to fit in the system and be able to take hits by feet with socks or even shoes on. So what I am thinking is some sort of clear coating that I can place a printing beneath and just laminate the top part. I also want to color the bolts and washers whatever color the designs will be. But I have no idea how I should do this. Any advice?

Topic by Sharkface   |  last reply

Metal T-Frame Basics

Hi there, I'm new here and pretty much to DIY in general (except for general repairs) - I'm planning to build a glass dry-wipe board with a simple aluminium T-Frame and need a bit of basic advice. Not knowing the lingo of the trade, its been very hard to find suppliers/information and my research seems to have gone as far as it will ever get, so I figured it was time to ask for some help. I've managed to find a supplier who stocks 25mm square al tubing and was wondering about the best way to construct the frame. My design for the frame is extremely simple - it's just a t-frame with a single crossbar which will run below the pane of glass. I have access to a reasonably well equiped workshop, but unfortunately no welding gear (I hear that al is difficult to weld anyway) which isn't too much of a problem as I would like to be able to deconstruct the frame. I would appreciate any tips which may be useful to a newbie, but mainly I need to know how to fix the al bars at right angles in a non-permanent manner. The desk which I'm sitting at right now has some sort of threaded inserts at the end of each crossbar, allowing it to be bolted a right angles to the frame. I tried googling these inserts, but couldn't find anything which seemed relevant. If anyone could point me in the direction of these inserts or provide an alternative solution, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you

Topic by CorruptioN   |  last reply

home-based aluminum foundry for small scale sculptures (8-12)?

I need help designing molds, crucible, and pouring device for small scale aluminum sculpture, using a propane -fueled roofing torch as a heat source. I make wax originals, and can make plaster molds. I have acces to an outdoor area that I can use to melt metal.

Question by Elizabeth Heller   |  last reply

Printing on Bottlecaps?

I'm doing some small scale brewing, and I want to rig up some custom labels & caps for a real professional presentation. Labels are easy enough, but caps are throwing a few spanners into the works... Does anyone have any ideas on how to print them? Here are my current ideas:Toner Transfer - use a custom template and rig to hold multiple caps, then use an iron modified into a solder-press-like device to transfer. removing the paper cleanly could be difficult, and the results are unpredictableSilk Screening - build a similar rig to hold caps in place, and screen them. i don't know much about creating screens, and longevity, but it's probably too complex/expensive for small batches.Custom Stamp - use a rubber or pre-inked stamp to impress the design. simple, but expensive for multiple designs. i don't know how well the ink for pre-inked stamps will bond to metal, and I don't know what ink to use for a rubber stamp.Any thoughts are welcome.

Topic by gschoppe   |  last reply

Help with a cast metal coin instructable!

Need help finding a particular instructable, friends.  I would almost bet body parts that I saw an instructable here that had the following process to it for making a custom fantasy coin or medallion: Use the underside  bottom of a paper coffee cup-mix up a portion of Bondo and fill the bottom recess with it.  When Bondo hardens, pop out the round disc, paste a paper disc onto it then draw out your coin or medallion design.  Carve out your design with a dremel or similar, make a silicone putty mold, then when mold is dry, pour pewter or zinc to make a custom coin. Darken and polish. I know I've seen it, I'm wanting to stick it in my favorites list so I don't lose it again, and I especially want to thank the author for coming up with such a simple process for a custom medallion. Can anyone help me?

Topic by pheenix42   |  last reply

Mating gold plated jewely and brass?

I'm working on a simple little design for a present where I have this cheap gold plated signet ring and I'm going to be taking a small portion of those spiral shavings from a piece of brass stock and creating an Archimedean spiral pattern which needs to mate with the face of the ring. The inner metal of the ring is unknown, and due to the thinness of both materials welding seems out of the question. How should I mate these two objects together?

Question by SkylerS12   |  last reply

need help with LARP weapon design and construction

Hi crafters.  I'm in need of help with constructing a larp weapon, fighting fan, that could open up with a press of a button or pull of a lever N close itself upon releasing it. could any help me with the design of the mechanics n gear system I could use to make it work? It should not be of electronic nature though. Here I attached a drawing of how the weapon should roughly looks like . i'm thinking of using rounded edge aluminium flat bars(looks like flat metal ruler) as the bone for the 'blades'. Really appreciate the help.

Topic by meowgod 

what kind of water resistant coat should i use ? Answered

Hi Everyone ... i hope someone can help me with this is, or suggest me a solution, i am trying to make a custom sink for my kitchen. so what i did, is that i bought a  metal bowl from ikea, sprayed it with white, and then i drawed some paterns with photoshop and printed them on a vinyl sticker, witch i sticked to the bowl ( see the pictures ) . To not ruin my pattern, and because i have use the bowl as a sink, i need to coat it with somekind of resistant water coating to protect it ( a transparent coating ) .. any idea what should i use ? honestly i've been looking around and i can't find suitable solution.

Question by stregoi   |  last reply

Say you had a giant wall designed for fastener storage....

I've been working on a project for the last week. When it's done I'll have a chunk of wall with: 90 1"x2"x4" drawers 64 3"x4"x7" bins 48 3"x6"x9" boxes My goal is to get all my various hardware organized and to fill in some gaps so that I always have a small handful of whatever size of nut, bolt, nail, lag screw, rivet, sheet metal screw, etc. that I need and don't have to go making a trip to the hardware store unless I'm doing something big and need dozens of something. So my two questions: If you had this setup, what sorts of less common hardware would you make room for? Where would you go to buy hardware to fill this thing up? I know if I go to the big box stores and buy those little plastic bags with four of this or five of that in them, I'm going to end up spending a lot more than I need to. I know places where I can buy hardware by the pound, so that will help keep costs down. But I'm also imagining that there are people here with on-line sources that might be cheaper still?

Topic by Austringer   |  last reply

Portable Work Space

Hello,  I have been kicking around this design for a portable work bench. My profession is product design however I am a DIYer by nature (mostly wood working, furniture and the occasional home renovation). I would always loose count of the number of trips I would make back and forth to my shop in the garage.I thought that a portable table that could fold into a hand truck would be a good solution to design, build and possibly sell. I have teamed up with a metal worker in the PA and we are considering crafting a few of these tables however I would like to ask the community if an idea like this was worth anything. If you are at all interested in something like this, could you please take this very short "yes/no" survey so that I could tally and see if there is enough interest in this idea. Also, could you please let me know what you think of this idea? If enough people think this is worth the time I will build a  few tables and post pics.  Survey Link: Thanks, -S

Topic by sricci714 

Does anyone have a suggestion for a ferret/cat friendly plant stand on wheels?

I've got ferrets and cats and I am trying to grow plants indoors. I'm looking for a simple design (preferably on wheels) which gives me good shelf space and support, but no access for ferrets/cats. I've seen good metal rolling stands for $70-$150, but I'd have to "waste" the bottom shelf or two which is in pet reach. I'm out of wall space to mount shelves out of reach.

Question by annekaelber   |  last reply

Heating Element for DIY Melting Point Apparatus

Hi Everyone, this is my first post on this site!  I am seeking advice to help me construct a home-made melting point apparatus (M.P.A).  A melting point apparatus allows it's operator to determine the melting point of a chemical sample by heating it in a controlled fashion and noting the temperature when the sample melts.  I have most of the design made up in my head, but I'm not sure as to how I can obtain the proper heating element.  The heating element I am seeking is an emulation of the M.P.A.s heating elements in my school's chemistry lab, which look like this: a metal block (about 3cm tall by 2cm deep by 3 cm wide) with vertical holes bored into the face with a pane of glass pressed against said holes so a glass capillary tube (containing the sample) can be slid into the bored hole and viewed through the glass pane as the sample is heated by the metal.  Another hole is bored into the metal, adjacent to the sample hole, for a thermometer.  So again, my question is do you have any suggestions as to where I could by a heating element like this?  Or, any suggestions on how to build one?  I have a jewelry shop at my disposal so I can probably bore any holes myself.   Any suggestions will be appreciated, thanks!

Topic by Das Horse   |  last reply

Making steampunk weapons and costumes/clothing; can anybody help? Answered

'Allo, I'm Jehosephat, a veteran modder/weapons constructor.I am a recent steampunk/cyberpunk fan and I need help from all you blokes & lasses.I have an idea for a costume design that is mainly to be a (ominous music)>>>Steampunk Vampire Hunter<<<so I do need help on coordinating clothing, gadgets & weapons.If anyone can give a good reference to a reasonably-priced online clothing store (US prefably), or a simple make-it-yourself, I would be more than grateful (for me and the needle are enemies).As far as props go, I would prefer not to use real copper/brass, glass, or metal.Reason is I was inspired by gmjhowe shotgun design, for it looks professional, is cheap, and uses everyday items (and simply I thought it looked spectacular)If anyone can use similar non-expensive materials to make proffesional-looking props & gadgets, please send me a message.Regards, Jehosephat

Question by Jehosephat   |  last reply

Portable Drawing Easel

I designed a portable easel out of two pieces of luan (1/8" to 1/4" plywood).  I originally intended to sell them, but decided I didn't really enjoy making them in production levels.  The time vs. cost factor didn't really pan out. Either way, this is a design that might make an artist loved one happy.  It is fairly quick and easy and has a bit of style to it, I think. I added some molding at the bottom to act as a sort of pencil or brush holder.  Just some metal rings to hold the two pieces of wood together and a SWEEEEET woodburning on the front with my name--feel free to put someone else's name on yours! What you don't see in the photos is a leather strap with a small dowel at the end that fits into two notches--one for holding the two sides of the wood from splaying apart when it's in easel mode, and another for when you want to keep it closed for carrying it.

Topic by MakeItWithJason   |  last reply

How would you imprint a graphic or text onto a blank aluminium or stainless steel blank switch plate cover?

I'm making a pedal board/road case with a buddy of mine. It's in its early stages, but it will consist of a pedal board and lift-away lid, covered in tolex with metal corners and such. I'd like to put some sort of small name plate or logo on the front end of it. I've found a blank switch plate cover, normally used to cover up spots where light switches or power outlets used to be, and by some means apply a logo or text to it. It's about the size that I'd like the logo/text to be anyways. I guess I could go and print a sticker and call it done, but I'm looking for a way to make this more permanent. It will be on the outside of what is essentially a small road case, so it will be up against the elements. So I guess if there was a good way to print off a design and put a layer of something over it so it will stay in place, possibly be shiny ( :D ), and be protected from the elements, I'd be all set! For the sake of aesthetics I've decided whatever plate I get, it will be some kind of metal. I've found brushed aluminium, stainless steel, and chrome.

Question by    |  last reply

Drafting table help...

My first Instructable was how to build a drafting table for $50, take a look to get a feel for the design. It does it's job just fine but I'd like to improve upon it. First of all, I don't really have a system to raise/lower the table- I've just been propping it up with boxes and stuff. I'd like to have something attached to the table so that it can easily be adjusted and I'll have a few less pieces to lug around. Second, I need to put a rail on the edge of the drawing surface to keep work and tools from sliding off. I found a small drafting table that I ended up giving to a friend with a rail like the one in the picture below. It's sort of like a metal ruler with L shaped holes in it for screws- so you can lower the rail if you don't want it in your way. Where can I get something like this- or would I be able to make one?

Topic by SirBrittanicvs   |  last reply

I patented a New LED great for home projects and display cases

I have spent three years doing this but here it is. This is a new LED and I actually patented it. Its a screw in unit that has a chip mounted directly onto a solid brass core that takes heat away far better than any circuit board. In addition it screws into any m10x1.5 hole, if you use a flat plate on the front a small insulator and a heatsink or metal on the back with the M10 thread all you need do is make an electrical connection to the plates and you can screw any colour you want into the heatsink. It comes in every wavelength from 380 (uv right up to IR at 1040nm) Ill be adding pics shortly of acrylic displays the 180 degree one is absolutely perfect for these i use frost spray on edges i want to illuminate and leave clear other bits the effect is amazing even masking a flat acrylic and putting two tone pictures using the spray is awsome. iv also designed an off the shelf PCB up to 60watts it drives any series parallel circuit, all you do is program it with the wattage of the whole array. If you program say 15watts in an array with several LED's it powers the array with the exact forward voltage required and alters realtime so the light output is near constant. Also have a patent pending on this as well. I have lots of time and plenty of these available if anyone is interested I am now running a small business based around it and have done some really nice hand crafted kit. More pics to follow all questions welcome Thanks all

Topic by L.E.D Guy   |  last reply

Patterned materials..

Trying to get  a jump on my costume this year for halloween and I want to a) plan ahead better, and b) base it on my character in Second Life. Problem is I have been looking at everything from shower curtains to upholstery materials, trying to find a solution, without much luck. Mainly due to the "best" match for what I want to try being an upholstery category material (and even that isn't.. quite right), but I have a lot of yardage involved, and it costs like $27 a yard or something... :p Basically, what I am looking for is something rubber like, so flexible, not overly "glossy", with enough thickness it can be layered, but with fairly fine detailed patterning on it. The original "suit" this is supposed to mimic looks a bit like layers of flexible armor, layered over each other, but both due to the design not being mine, and the prospect of, once done, photoing the result, doing a bit of Photoshopping on it, and "replacing" the in-world version I currently have, I want to make it slightly different. The problem, of course is that I am running into a problem of finding any material, never mind what fits the bill, save for, maybe, buying just smooth, rubber sheeting, similar to inner-tube material, then trying to do something with it. But, how, if I had PVC rubber, do I add texture to the thing (other than, for example, trying to airbursh a pattern over it, which I have zero skill at)? Nearly everything is the wrong material, too big a texture, or just.. not one that will work. Mind, best possible texture would be something like: But, that ain't happening, so.. something like:,1310971434,2/stock-photo-hi-tech-background-blue-metal-texture-81298300.jpg or even a very small pattern or honeycomb, like: Would work. Heck even if I had to decal the stuff on, somehow.. But I am at a loss here as to what material to use (mainly do to finding a place to get it cheap, and not in some insane amount), and if I can get it, how to make the result not look something like the attached image, or better, add the texture to it I would like to see. Any ideas at all?

Topic by Kagehi   |  last reply

To Pier 9, Thanks for Everything !

Tl;dr : 1. people are the greatest resource at the pier 2. sometimes it’s hard to work due to too much awesomeness Seriously. Me and my collaborator, Radamés Ajna, had a couple of projects we wanted to do in the spring/summer of 2014, and while looking for some shop space in Oakland, someone recommended we check out the AiR program. We applied. We thought that if we got accepted Autodesk would give us a desk, some nice hand tools, and access to their software. And that would’ve been great. Coming from Brazil, where it feels like we solve everything using hot glue, zip ties and duct tape, that would have been more than enough. Weren’t we surprised when we visited the shop. . . Holy crap, everything is here. Some of the machines are bigger than my apartment, and there’s even a swimming pool ! I’m pretty sure everyone has written about all the great machines, because, yeah, they are great, but to me, the most important aspect of being an AiR at the pier was the people. The shop staff who not only teach you how to use the machines, but also have enough collective experience to help you solve any kind of material/machining/construction problem. Want to vacuum form foam? No problem. Want to glue glass to cement? Someone has done it before. Want to weld titanium? Easy. Having access to the tools is good, but having people that know how to use them is even more awesomenest. The same is true for the CAD people who help you set up and use all kinds of modeling and design software. Not only that, but they get excited when you use their software. Not having had a lot of experience with 3D modeling prior to my residency, it was a great opportunity to learn it using Fusion 360. Another very special group of people were the other AiRs. The ones that came in with us (Anouk, Alex, U-Ram, Adrien, Paolo, Scott, Mikaela) and the ones that were already there when we  arrived (Andy, Aaron, Rima, Andreas, Ben). What a diverse crowd. It was great to get to know everybody, and also to be able to share experiences and expertise. I don’t even know how many times Paolo and Andy saved me from searching for “metal thing with a hole” or “thing with a thing inside” on google, because they knew exactly what I was looking for. Invaluable! Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to explain your project and get everyone excited about it, because everyone has such a diverse background and set of interests, but learning how to talk about our projects from different perspectives was a challenge that I enjoyed. And, last but not least, the IRL Instructables community; another very diverse, active and enthusiastic group of people at the pier. I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like they are always happy, and making cookies. The sum of all of these people is something awesome. There’s always something interesting going on at the Pier (even at night and on the weekends), which sometimes can be a bit distracting, but also motivating. I will sorely surely miss them all.

Topic by thiagohersan   |  last reply

The animatronic project Is finished

Here my instructableMy Animatronic Mod ProjectIn 2003 I made a casemod MONSTERMOD ( picture 1), Just a creature sculpture tearing out of a PC case.And It Didnt Move . So , I want the next MONSTERMOD to MOVE.Maybe to tell me that I have email.... Picture people's PCs having Heads .There favorite movie star or rock star maybe a animal. Maybe like Hal from 2001Space Odyssey .But, My animatronic Mod Has no A.I. But maybe one day. Im programmingthe 16 servo movements into the PC and press the play to play the movements a lipsync routine.Well, For Over 2 years now I have been working My Animatronic Mod.My Animatronic Mod is a floating creature head over a desktop case.( picture 2 IMG_1383.jpg)It controlled my a 2 Mini SSC II ( this allow the computer to control 16 RC servos.16 RC servos = 16 Movements .I made the teeth out of dental acrylic, The samething denture are made of.Teeth and fangs are made 1st in tooth color dental acrylic and shaped.Then are placed in dental wax .,the mold is a silicone putty is place on the teeth allow to setup overnight.To demold the wax is melted away with boiling water leaving the teeth in the silicone putty sockets.This is called the lost wax process.( picture 3,4,)After I made the eyes out of dental acrylic ,Which is a molded ping pong ball is 40 mm .In half 20 mm sandwhich in between the 2 halves is a metal small metal ball 10mm give me a ball joint and socket.The iris is a painted metal washer. The veins are silk yarn And is cover with clear dental acrylic .The white of the eyes was changed to black color ,To give more of a alien look. ( picture 6,7)I molding the finished eyes alginate and casting them in ultracal 30, ( picture 8) Ultracal 30 is the hardest plaster made.And place them in the sculpture.This will be for Proper registration for the eyes in the skull.( picture 9 )I had to sculpt face in Roma Plastilina Clay ( picture 10)and mold it in silicone( picture 11a,11b, 11 ) This molding process called a matrix mold . A layer of water clay cover theentire clay sculpture and Ultracal 30 is place on top of the water clay .After setup ,Its demolded and water clay removed .This water clay has made a space for the silicone.Matrix molda thin layer of water clay is place ( picture 12 ) and made the core A .This gave me the thickest for the skin .Molded core A in silicone and a thin layer of water clay is place in this mold also this made core B.And this gave the thickest of the Skull. Now I have 2 molds.( picture 13,14 )Mold 1 is the Skin moldMold 2 is the skull moldI casted foam rubber in mold 1 ( picture 15,) make the foam rubber skin337 gms. base67 grams foaming agent33 grams curing agent15 flow enhancer24 grams gelling agent4 grams ammoniaThe room temp73 degrees 40%Using a Sunbeam MixMaster Mixer1. Speed #1 - 1 minute (to blend all components)2. Speed #10 - 3 minutes : blend all3. Speed #3 - 4 minutes : refine4. Speed #1 - 30 seconds :refine5. Speed #1 - 30 seconds : ADD GELLING AGENT ( picture 16 )6. Speed #1 - 30 seconds : Backturn the bowlFoam rubber can be tricky.Mold 1 was place in a Hot box oven for 11 hours at 125 degrees .= A very soft and flexable skin ( picture 15,16 )Hot box oven 3'x 3'x 3 " plywood box with foil insulation with a single burner. This must be watched.( picture 17,18,19)I casted urethane Plastic from in mold 2.This gave me the Skull,The skull was trimed and dental acrylic teeth and eyes were place inside the skull .The mechanics were place using R/C servos.The skin was painted with PAX ( is a flexible paint). The skin was glue on rubber cement to the skull .And the hair was glued rubber cement also and placed.Hair is from National Fiber Technology ,Hair 1 was Blended Black and Brown modacrylic with White and Brown Mohair and Natural Goat hair.And hair 2 Black with gray texturized modacrylic with Yak and Horse hair.The PCMy motherboard (MSI KT6) and AMD 2500xp video card (MSI 6600)The case is LIAN LI PC-V800B .To make the lip sync move ,I used VSA , Visual Show Automation , http://www.brookshiresoftware.comThis aloud me to make a lip sync animation routine. Synchronize with graphical audio MP3 file.Not only that My Animatronic Mod looks Wicked ,It Talks Back.(Picture 1st floor) ( Picture 2nd floor)I designed the animatronic so I could repair it if needed, And the support pipe is like a swing arm so I can work on the PC too. By removing the back of the skull. Inside there are 2 floors the bottom floor has 6 servos :1 Head Up + Down2 Eyes Up + Down and left + right2 Eyelids1 Jaw2nd floor 7 servos3 right,left and center Brows1 Nose3 upper lip wireAnd also 2 servos are in the Jaw for lower lip wireand 1 left + right servo gimbal= 16 servosWhen uncovered ,Here is 32 feet of servo cable.(picture32 feet )The only thing connecting to the PC and the Animatronic is a modular cable (Lookslike a phone cable). Which is plug into a modular adapter that plug into the PC's serial port . The end of the modular cable plug in Mini SSCII Serial Servo would be surprise how many people are into making monsters. Ive beenmaking monsters , masks and makeup fx for 30 years now.I put my 2 hobbies that Ienjoy together.Computers and making monsters.Im a dental lab tech. for 20 years now .I make dentures for a living.Thank You so muchGary WillettTo see Video Demos Servos ...................For Hair ............ Silicone,Urethane PlasticbooksTechniques of Three-Dimensional Makeup by Lee Baygan Special Make-Up Effects (Paperback)by Vincent Kehoe Men, Makeup & Monsters: Hollywood's Masters of Illusion and FX (Paperback)by Anthony TimponeStop-Motion Puppet Sculpting: A Manual of Foam Injection, Build-Up and Finishing Techniques (Paperback)by Tom Brierton Stop-Motion Armature Machining: A Construction Manual (Paperback)by Tom Brierton MagazineCinefex

Topic by willettfx   |  last reply

First Woodworking Project as Wedding Gift - Many questions on desk making!

I know this is a long post but I would be grateful to any of you for being willing to read it. So I am going to be married soon and moving into my first real adult apartment.  As a wedding gift to my new wife I want to make us a really neat computer table setup.  We have a room laid out as an office for the two of us so I wanted to try and make a large desk that would run along three walls in a giant U.  I am planning to make it modular in the sense that it will actually be 3 straight desks plus 2 corner units and each can work independently of the others.  She is a huge steampunk fan so I want to use pipe as the structure  that I paint a brass color and then make a wood a nice dark cherry color. While there are some great plans on pipe desks I have a few questions. 1. Most of the desks I see are MDF/Ply + pipe.  Is this strong enough to use as a desk for crafts, art, and to hold several monitors all at once?  I am sure the pipe is but I am concerned about the ply or mdf bowing.  If I use normal wood planks to reinforce the bottom will that allow it to remain more sturdy? 2. How hard is it to disassemble these? We plan on moving many times in our life and I'd like to build a design that not only can break down into the 5 separate desks but can actually be disassembled.  I hear MDF/Plywood doesn't like taking screws more than once.  If I screw the table-top into the frame using screws and flanges is that a - do it once and it is done sort of thing or can I unscrew them to move the desktop without ruining the top? 3. Assuming trying to rescrew it together would ruin the table I had the idea of creating a frame with wood blocks screwed into the flanges that had been given raised pegs - probably carved out of the wood.  The desktops would then have fitted holes carved into them - assuming I use a thick frame underneath the ply like 2/4 lumber - so that I can just lay the desktop on the pegs and weight would hold it in place.  My question is whether or not this has the same strength as screwing the  desktop directly to the frame.  Assuming the holes and pegs are well-fitted and near flush would I get enough strength for a sturdy table? 4. I've been really fascinated with the planked wood tables I've seen on here.  It seems easy enough to build a solid wood underframe and then cut plywood planks and screw them to the frame.  My only question is for corner units.  Most modern corner desks are big pieces of MDF that have been shaped.  Assuming my corner piece is straightforward - just a square table with one corner loped off - how hard would it be to create a corner desk with a planked top?  Could I do it with just a jigsaw?   5. I've noticed quite a few of the plans use aluminum pipes and Kee Lite or Kee Klamp fittings.  These seem rather expensive, and if I am doing a cheap MDF top I want to know if there is a cheaper metal alternative that still has good structural capacity.  These are desk tops for computers - maybe 120-200 lb load limit maximum for the entire desk.  Could I use plumping pipe?  Are there cheaper fittings than Kee Lite that are still easy to disassemble when I want to move? Thanks in advance for any answers!

Topic by mduhamel   |  last reply