Low-Budget Desk/TV Stand/Workbench

Introduction: Low-Budget Desk/TV Stand/Workbench

This is semi-typical of one room living - shared apartments or dorms. Adjectives like cramped, crowded, or cozy come to mind when describing it, but the best that describes mine is painful. WAS painful I should say! There are many "Door Desk" instructables like this, but this one is mine. Enjoy the surprising effectiveness.

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Step 1: Supplies

This instructable desk/TV stand/workbench Costs $0 and you need:
1. One large used door or 2 smaller closet doors (which I used) - Find or rip off a closet.
2. Two similar stand-alone items. An old desk and file cabinet, 2 cabinets, a TV stand, bookshelf, imagination is everything! It's best of course to use something that you wouldn't mind damaging the top surface of.
3. A scrap of anything flat to level between your stand-alone items and the bottom of your door(s).

1. Build one, requiring lumber, tools and hard work. Why?!
2. Finish surfaces.
3. A tape measure.

Step 2: Using No Skill at All

1. Remove hinges, door knobs, etc. A screwdriver and hammer should be enough to get the job done.

2. Line up stand-alone items and place door(s) on top of them. If they fit, perfect! and on to the next page.

3. If they don't fit you could use a tape measure to figure out just where to position things or use the tried-and-true method of push and pull. Even out the overlap if there is one - i.e. your file cabinet is 6" shorter than the doors, put 3" behind it and 3" in front and split the difference.

4. If there's a gap between the bottom of the door and the top of your stand-alone go ahead and shove a little wood in there. Use a tape measure to find out how much or shove plywood/pizza boxes/old vinyl records/ruined books/newspapers/an ex's photos in there until the gap isn't so noticeable.

5. Press down with your hands to see if it's stable enough, then try the sit test (be careful, nothing's nailed down). In my case it was sturdy enough to hold me up for the 30 seconds I sat on it. Also check that it's stable back and forth and side to side. If it's not stable enough side to side rearrange your file cabinet/desk/whatever until it is. More about stability in the next step if you still don't have it.

Step 3: So You Don't Have to Use Tools...

Weigh the whole thing down with something heavy on the end. Like my ancient 26" Magnavox TV (still a perfect picture).

In my case the TV was heavy enough to get the job done, but if you don't have a gigantic relic of the 80's you can place something on both ends or use another DIY-on-the-fly classic: string. Tie the doors together on the ends and voila.

And now you're essentially done - tons more desk real estate is now yours, that tiny little desk is now a leg, your enemies envy you and your friends are amazed! With zero tools.

Put everything in it's place...

Step 4: And Enjoy

All done in 20 minutes and at a total cost of nothing. If the same applies for you congratulations on your efficiency, green thinking and leetness!

The doors were finished already so I didn't bother with anything messy. The height is much more comfortable and the desk/TV stand/workbench is perfectly sturdy . Although I wouldn't try any desktop Olympics, I would surely trust it with my dusty electronics (it may even give me a reason to dust them...nah).

There's enough room to move everything to the back and use the front for paperwork. All of my cords are out of sight and mind as well. As an added bonus the finish matches the rest of my ancient woodgrain furniture and serves as an acceptable writing platform.

I'm perfectly happy with the functionality of this no-budget project.

A few ideas to complement (and complicate) this easy build:
- Throw a second monitor or 3 up there.
- Put a bookshelf, desk organizer or what have you on top of it.
- Paint/stain.
- Do a wire and cable cleanup at the same time.
- Use the old desk as storage for a footstool/PC/small table or build shelves into it.

That's it folks. Enjoy, thanks for reading and feel free to leave any comments about how instructive you found my first instructable.

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    11 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great recycling/upcycling! If you have a door that is drilled for knobs, you can use the hole(s) for cables so they stay neat, too. I've been planning to build a standing desk from a slab of countertop leftover from a kitchen remodel - now to find the 'legs' to go with it!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    dont like the neighborhood ?????????


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just think, with all that open horizontal surface, you can collect three times as much crap before you'll have it stacked as deep as you did before...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Aw ! come on now---------iwas just learning polski and you all go french--no fair !!!!!!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     well because i'm polish to just i don't  speak well.