Corner Desk PC




About: I'm an avid self builder and workshop nut, into alternative energy and all things gadgety, living on the side of a mountain still renovating a house after 13 years, trying to be mostly self sufficient ....

After what seemed like a lifetime of building in this house, I finally got to renovate an old chicken shed into an office for ME !

I’ve worked in IT now for almost 30 years and have built all sorts of mad PC based projects, but I decided that I wanted something different as my day to day PC.

After a few designs I came up with the corner PC unit which solved a few issues I had with the location and access to the front panel which I used a lot at the time.

I’m currently on V2 of the unit, after upgrading the guts last year to something more beefy, I had to add additional forced ventilation, replace the PSU and upgrade the storage to a larger caged solution which is slung under the main box.

I hope you like it, its served me well over the years.

Step 1: Making the Box

Length of nice wood approx 48"x5"
MDF or similar 25" square cut in half across the diagonal for top
Off cuts of MDF or ply for base and supports
Scrap PC chassis
Donor PC (cables, backplane etc)
3 "L" brackets
Glass 10"x4"

The dimensions were decided by the size of the motherboard and chassis bits  robbed from an old case, mine is  14” square 6” deep.

I built a basic box frame round it using scrap ply and MDF, mounting the salvaged back plane etc and giving the inside a good decent coat of whatever I had lying about.

I built  it all up and mounted the PSU right behind it in the corner void.

Once the box was made and the rig tested, I measured and cut the opening in the desk.

The internal pictures here are all from V1 but very similar to V2 apart from the the back which changed dramatically when the video moved to PCI-e, I had to rework it to suit the slot change.


Step 2: Finishing the Box & Mounting

The front Fascia was a bit of reclaimed oak floorboard, the slots for the bays and the windows were cut with a router and a straight edge, the window was glazed with a bit of scrap glass cut to size.

The fascia was test fitted to establish the shelf height and the inner supports were set into place and secured using 6" long screwed blocks,  the shelf was made using the remainder of the 8x4, originally I had set this in as one piece but as it proved a curse to remove it, i split it up the middle with the cut being hidden by the screen base, there is a 2" hole split across the 2 halves at the back for cable access.

The Box was attached to the underside of the desk using 3 "L" brackets andthe cables were all run through, in V1 all the cables were IDE for CD roms (thick blue cable) but on the later version the cables change to SATA.

Step 3: Cabling

Longer cables were made up for the power and reset switch, and an additional rocker switch was added for the internal lights.   In the far right drive bay sits the fan controller, the original silver Aero version had a fan built in which cooled the hard disk behind it, the new vesion is a NZXT controller, which I prefer and as the disks are now underneath the fan was redundant.

The NZXT controls fans in the disk enclosure, case and processor and gives temp readouts for all via independant sensors.

The PSU sling was made from 2 old bits of case, the bends were put in where the lines are marked, the holes correspond to the normal psu mounting holes and the 2 tags at the top slot into a couple of staps mounted on the bottom of the desk for easy removal.

Step 4:

I won’t bore you with the testing phase, it did take a while to balance the airflow in such a tiny box, but I managed it with a single fan sucking air across the motherboard from left to right and it was happy temperature wise even on the warmest days.

Everything got a couple of coats of varnish, and when I updated it last year I added another shelf and an extra monitor since I had a spare video output on my upgraded rig.

The internal light is off most of the time, but provides a nice ambient light when required, I was tempted to slap some disco LED's inside, but common sense prevailed !!





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    19 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I'm curious if you've got an 'ible for the desk itself. I'm looking for something like what you've got there.


    4 years ago

    Very fine work, I love it


    6 years ago on Step 4

    This is absolutely amazing!! Now I want to do something like this!!!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm thinking of building a smaller scale version for my son, loosing one cdrom drive and the power panel to let the face sit further into the corner, mine was restricted as theres data trunking under the desk.

    If you fancy a crack at it and need any dimensions, or advice just shout, more than happy to assist.

    The original tests were done using an old motherboard, top was sealed with perspex and a chimney test smoke bomb was released in a box attached to the left hand side, in the initial tests, I had 2 fans, but a single fan centered on the right hand side appeared to give me a better airflow over the processor and GFX card, with the old rig it was easy, ran very cool under full load with a single exhaust fan, the new rig however was more of a challenge, it was my fault, I chose an AMD Phenom 965 knowing that it ran V hot, I replaced the existing fan with a nocturna and added another just behind the main screen, under full load for extended periods of time the processor does get a bit hot, 60 odd degrees C, i'm going to replace the Stock AMD heat sink when I get the chance which should help, meant to do it at the time, but never got round to it, If I did it again I would stick in a processor that runs a bit cooler, would have been much easier and I rarely need 4 cores at full tilt.

    Nice. Of all the PC case type mods I have seen, rarely is heat dissipation taken into consideration like you have done. Then they wonder why the thing stops working after a week.

    I spend a fair amount of time each month cleaning out air vents and heat sinks and dealing with heat related issues while out on site, the majority of servers that I deal with are not in nice cool filtered rooms, but sit in busy offices where they can get choked quite quickly, makes you very airflow conscious, it is important to ensure also when dealing with enclosures this small that the vents are cleaned more regularly that usual, especially if theres pets about that shed fine hair.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I just happened to stumble across this and have to say,
    "You da man! (or woman)"

    I wish I had this kind of talent but my wood-working skills are below par to say the best. Love just looking at these sorts of things and just drooling......

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, i've loved working with wood as long as I remember, its such a forgiving material (most of the time), I'm lucky to have built up a decent workshop over the years, and spend many a weekend in there with my father who has probably forgotten more than i'll ever know when it comes to building stuff and engineering in general :)

    Woodworking....comes with time and patience, i'm my own worst critic, my scrap bin is testement to that fact lol.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice build. I'm assuming the far left panel is for your power,reset, and light switches. It'd be cool to see USB in the front. Maybe modify one of the add-on USB ports that fits into a PCI slot that comes with the motherboard, that way you have easy access.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Cheers, yep rocker switch far left, sunken reset in the middle and blue power button.

    The original fan controller had some USB ports but then I ripped it out, I bought a triple headed usb block with memory card slots, with the intention to fit it, but never quite got it installed, ended up with 2 USB cables that sit behind the screen and spool out when required, one of them is visible in the photo both hooked to USB3 ports, I have a mini USB for phone/ebook etc, which is the white cable just behind the keyboard.

    I suppose if I used USB keys or external drives on a regular basis I would have got off me arse and sorted it, and I may do yet, or maybe i'll use it as an excuse to buy another screen with base mounted usb ports, the Samsung is 5 years old and I've already had to repair the PSU once :).