So, last May I was just hanging out at home while I waited for my internship start date to come around. I had about two weeks of downtime after school had ended and was living with my mom, meaning I no longer had access to the ridiculously large desk I had been using in my dorm.
Using my little high school desk for the whole summer was out of the question, so I decided to build a new one. Since I had a loft bed, I got the crazy idea to build a desk that would hang from said bed instead of resting on the floor. Surprisingly, it actually worked - and worked well! It was also super easy and quick to build.
Here are steps I took to build it. You can also view the original tutorial at my blog.
Step 1: Buy ALL THE MATERIALS
Ok, so this step may take a little longer than 15 minutes (what with traffic and lines at the cash register), but it's obviously necessary unless you already have everything laying around. Here's what you'll need to get this hanging desk started:
- One 4ft x 2ft x 1in (or thicker) piece of hardboard (HDF) - not particle board
- Four sections of 4ft-long chain. I prefer Tenso chain, because its double-loop link design makes it really strong. It's also super cheap. Whatever you get, make sure it's rated to at least 150 pounds (the Tenso I bought is rated at 244).
- Rope. Any kind will do, though I'd personally avoid super thick rope. It won't be bearing any weight anyway.
- S-hooks, spring links, or a combination of both. You need 8 in total. I'm using a combination because Home Depot didn't have 8 of either in stock at the time.
- A drill with a large drill bit. If you have a Forstner bit it'll be easier, but I got by with a standard twisted bit (college kids gotta make due)
That's it! In the next step we'll start the build process. You might notice that the picture of the board here already has holes in it; I forgot to snap a pic of it beforehand. Anyway, moving on...
Step 2: Drill the Holes and Hang the Desk
First step is to drill a hole in each corner of the wood. These holes need to be big enough for your chain to fit through - that's why I recommended the Forstner drill bit in the last step. I didn't have one, so I actually drilled four holes in each corner and then used the side of the drill to "saw" the middle part away in order to create on big hole. It looks dumb, but it worked :)
Once you have the holes drilled, thread a strand of chain through each one and use a spring link to secure it. You could also simply attach the chain to something bigger than the hole on the other side, but I chose to just loop it around and link it.
Now that all four chains are attached to the board, it's time to hang the desk off of the loft bed. Protip: it's way easier to do this is you take the mattress off the bed first. My attempt to sidestep this requirement didn't turn out so well.
You're basically doing the same thing with the bed that you did with the board; pull the chain over a board and then connect it to form a loop. If found it easiest to attach the side closest to the wall first, but this step should be pretty easy no matter how you do it.
Don't worry too much about the desk being level while you're hanging it. The nice thing about chain is that it has links! Once the desk is hung, it's really easy to change which link you're hooking into in order to adjust the height.
Step 3: Prevent the Desk From Swinging
Since this desk doesn't rest on the ground, you need a way to prevent it from swinging. This is what your rope is for!
Drill two holes near the back of the desk; each one should be right next to one of the bed posts. Then use a strand of rope to tie the desk to each bed post. Pull the rope as tight as you can. Once this is done, this hanging desk will be as stable as any freestanding desk.
Step 4: The Final Touches!
You're done! Told you it was easy.
If you're like me and have a dual monitor setup, it might be worth your time to build a simple monitor shelf out of scrap wood and put it on the desk. That way, you'll be able to slide your keyboard underneath it when you need a nice, empty workspace.
For those skeptical about the desk's strength, take a look a the second photo - that's 75+ pounds resting up there. You probably don't want to do using this desk as a step stool or anything, but it'll have no problem holding up your stuff.
That's it! Once again, you can view the original tutorial at my blog if you like.