I recently purchased an IKEA Alex desk and wanted to add a stand for my PC so it wasn't sitting on the floor.
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Angle grinder with cutting discs
- Saw horse
- Ruler (30cm & 1m)
- Set square
- Marking pens
- Metal files
- F clamps
- 2mm hole punch
- Drill bit set
- Sugar soap & scrubber pad
- 300 x 600 x 2mm tread plate
- 25 x 20 x 1.6mm 1m aluminium unequal angle bar
- 1m chrome car trim
- 150mm adjustable furniture leg
- M6 x 16mm countersunk socket screws
- M6 nylon lock nuts
- Dulux Metal Shield Etch Primer spray
Dulux Metal Shield Iron Stone spray
Step 2: Marking and Cutting
I made this stand for my NZXT S340 case, so the first thing I did was measure the case and decide what size the tread plate should be.
The case measures 430 x 200mm, so I drew that size out on the plate and then added a 20 mm border on top of that. Then using the set square I put a 45 degree angle on the corner of the 430 x 200mm markings.
Using the off cuts of wood and the angle grinder, I cut the tread plate along each line.
I measured and cut the the aluminium angle to be about 30 mm shorter than the back and right sides, with 45 degree angles at the ends where they meet.
Step 3: Adding Trim & Drilling
I decided to use trim to clean up the edges and create a border around the PC footprint.
I ended up using chrome car door edging I found on Ebay. Adding this was quite easy and only involved clipping the edging on and then cutting the corners on an angle to line up with the other pieces. The edging came with glue on the inside so didn't require any other fixing.
There are two rows of holes I cut. One to attach the angle bar to the desk frame and one to attach the angle to the tread plate.
I marked out each hole approximately 50mm apart. This was probably too close as I ended up using a lot more bolts than I needed to. You could get away with 100mm spacing easily.
After marking out all the holes, I used the punch and hammer to dent each mark and then drill using a 6mm drill bit.
I then clamped the angle bar to the tread plate making sure it was flush and drilled through both angle bar and tread plate with a 6mm bit. I left the trim on while doing this to ensure that everything would line up in the end.
I then took everything apart and used a 9mm drill bit to make the holes in the tread plate bigger. The bolts I used have flared heads – this allows them to sit more flush than with a 6mm hole.
Using a large drill bit and the round metal file, I smoothed the edges of the holes to takeaway any jagged edges.
Drilling the holes into the desk frame involved bolting the angle bar to the tread plate and then clamping it to the frame making sure everything was flush. I was then able to mark and punch each hole on the frame ready for drilling.
To thread each hole with the 6mm tread tap, each mark was drilled with a 5.5mm drill bit. This allows the angle bar to be screw directly into the desk frame.
Step 4: Adding a Support Leg
Initially I was hoping this would work without any support, but after testing it with my PC I concluded that the tread plate bent too much and I would have to add a support leg.
I found a generic appliance leg at the hardware store that had an adjustable foot at the end.
I measured I needed around 130-135mm in height, so this meant shortening the 150mm leg by about 20mm.
After removing the adjustable screw foot, I measured the 20mm I needed to remove from the end and then clamped the leg to the saw horse.
With the hacksaw I was able to cut through the leg easily leaving minimal filing to take the sharp edges off.
I also drilled the existing mounting holes to fit the 6mm bolts I am using.
Mounting the leg to the tread plate required clamping it to the tread plate (20mm from the front and 25mm from the side) and then drilling through the hole in the leg finishing them in the same way as the others.
Step 5: Painting
I painted the pieces so they would match the colour of my desk and think I got quite close.
To prep for the painting I used a scouring pad and sugar soap to clean the plate, angle bars and leg. I used my oven to make sure everything was dry before painting.
First using a Dulux Etch Primer, I sprayed each piece in a box allowing them to dry before flipping them and spraying the other side. After two coats of primer I added a couple of coats of Ironstone paint making sure all sides were covered.
Step 6: Final Assembly
After allowing things to dry for about an hour, I returned the chrome trim to the plate and bolted on the leg with the adjustable foot. The easiest way to attach the plate to the desk frame was to screw the angle bar to the desk and then bolt the plate to the angle bar.
The hight of the adjustable foot can be set by adding the PC and screwing the foot out until the plate is level.
Things to be careful of:
- Clearance – my PC case is reasonably small and only leaves about 10mm clearance from the top of the desk frame.
- I/O – due to the clearance issue access to the I/O (power button etc.) is now limited.
The clearance isn't really an issue for me as there is still plenty of room for the top intake fan to pull in air.
I plan to fix the I/O issue by creating an external power switch I can mount into the top of my desk, plus adding extensions for USB and audio to the top of my desk. I will possibly do an Instructable on the switch after I finish it.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have something similar.