Intro: Merging 2 Useless Desks Into More Useful 1 With Minimum Modification
It is always hard to bear with old fashion furnitures... As the days go by, they are all away from our latest taste of style. So it is time to make some renewal but using old materials as much as possible. As being an environ(mentalist), my first priority is "repurposing" everything. Sometimes it is very good to need less, but sometimes it is a solution to make some changes in order to need less, I guess.
- Desks desired to merge,
- Screw drivers,
- Every material already installed on desks (fittings, bolts and nuts, screws etc)
- Extra fittings, bolts and nuts if you need,
- Power drill or other tools you can use to make holes,
- Plastic trash bags to lay on the working area,
- Abresives, paint and brushes suitable for coated fireboards
Step 1: Wake Up, Yawn, Look at Your Desk and Desire Something Better...
By the way, I am not an experienced maker and I do not have sophisticated tools and materials. Thus I try my best to reorganize things to achieve my aim. It means, minimum effort equals no cutting at all. Since materials I deal with is just fiberboard. I do not have a cutting machine suitable to cut them properly so I prefer to rearrange parts.
A few notifications before starting:
- First of all, please take your own risk following an step in this guide,
- Be careful with electricity if you use any electric tool,
- Screw drivers and other tools with sharp edges might require experience,
- Keep children away when working and while you leave working area unattended.
- Use safety equipments suitable to your tools or application you choose.
Step 2: A Little Help From a Relative/friend
Sometimes you might need some help from friends or relatives in order to reach your goal. But sometimes they help you in other way : giving you unwanted gifts... Like this all new but useless desk. It is a gift from one of our relatives. But the thing is that it is unwanted in our house for many reasons. First of all, the coating they put on it is a nightmare for us and does not fit with any other furnitures in our house. The design is poor and not ergonomic at all. You can not use your arms longer than 5 minutes since the keyboard tray is not properly heighted.
Since this monster is a gift, it is not a consideration to throw it away (however my wife insisted to do so). So lets repurpose it, actually reorganize it to make it more useful...
Step 3: Disassemble Everything and Put Them All Together
For a starting point, it is good to put 2 desk side by side and imagine possible options. But you will see after some point that it is not enough to see all possibilities. Instead, I highly recommend you to disassemble all the parts and put them around or lay them down on the ground. Since our fundamental principle is minimum modification, it might sound against the rule to uninstall all the parts. But that is not the case, especially if you also can not imagine combinations in a creative way (like me), you need to uninstall every piece and reorganize them aswell. Screws, attachments, even coatings if they are barriers to reach your "design".
Step 4: Imagine and Try Combinations With Puzzling Parts
Repurposing materials (actually disassembled parts) have some limitations (according to your desire and willingness) to manipulate. For instance, if you dare to choose build things without cutting, dimensions and strength of available parts is a limiting factor for you. So it is for me. But you are supposed to not limit yourself and try many combinations to find desired geometry.You might not find a solution under the pressure of limiting factors...After some several trial and spending time, things will be more clear on your mind.
By the way, do not forget to consider indoor dimensions (like door width you will pass through) if you build it outside or in your balcony etc. And also the space you desire to place your newborn baby... Dimensions are important in any way. Do not neglect them.
Step 5: Remember Your Reasons and Focus On
I do not like these two desks for some reasons. So I try to focus on that part of the issue. First these two desks do not give me enough comfort. So I need ergonomy for my skeleton and my eyes. For this reason, I try to lower the keyboard tray using connection part of "gift desk". I install it 9 centimeters lower and experience it with my chair. I also want that tray a bit away from my screen to prevent eye soar. Thus I install it in a way that it stands outside of desk, giving me enough area to put my keyboard and also hide unnecessary things to see.
Step 6: Painting and Assembling
Another reason we are giving up on those 2 guys is their color. So we decide to put a water based wood painting on. It is an obligation in our case to merge their colors aswell. I grind surface coatings with finest abbresive I can find on the market. It gives painting to strength and ease of use.
The painting I use was the one giving quick results with layered application. I put a layer and wait 2 hours to get it dried. After 5 layers, I was able to achieve a pure white color. Some people suggest to varnish to make the color permanent. I did not apply it yet since I feel a bit lazy. But I guess it is a requirement, because I start to feel not so comfort with it. And another reason is damaged painting because of hard materials struck on the desk...
Since I made it as 2 seperate parts, I need to assemble them. I used 2 couples of nuts and bolts (3/8) and it worked well.