So for this month's project I had two main main objectives and one secondary. The main objectives being: get some
cool aluminum extrusions from OpenBeamUSA (which I learned about from one of our members at TechShop San Jose)
and see what I can make, &
get some experience on the manual vertical mills.
Second objective was to make an adjustable desk for my laptop.
As a DC at TechShop I am always trying to learn new skills and get better at using all of the machines
in our shop. Somehow the mills have eluded me this past year, but no longer!
I did some research to see what other designs have been made and I came up with this simple design
that would both use the extrusions and a few machined parts to perform the necessary functions I was
trying to achieve.
Autodesk Inventor to design all my parts
Step 1: Design
As in many cases, the design stage is the most crucial and most time consuming.
I went through several variations before settling on the design that I actually built.
First off, I wanted adjust-ability. With three adjustable arms on either side the desk
can be positioned at many different heights and configurations depending on the
situation. Secondly, this project is using the aluminum extrusions, so all my fixtures
must easily mount to the extrusions. Thankfully OpenBeamUSA was nice enough
to provide me with their CAD drawings.
Step 2: Machining
Once my design was finalized it was time to jump into the machine shop and start making parts.
First I used the lathe to turn down and create the buttons. I used a knurler to create the knurled texture.
Second was to make the pivot joints on the mill. Each joint has two pieces: one for the button to screw into and the other to hold the button. I milled my aluminum blocks to the exact size, cut out slots for the extrusions to slide into, drilled holes for the extrusion mounting hardware and for the button to go through. For the pieces that hold the button I also had to mill out a circular section using the boring bar for the button to sit flush with the top surface of the pivot joint. Lastly I use the rotary table to round the edges of all the pivot joint pieces. (I also machined a jig to hold the pieces when using the rotary table)
Step 3: Debur
After all the parts were machined I deburred the edges.
Step 4: Waterjet
Using the waterjet I cut out the top, bottom, and stopper piece (to hold the laptop from sliding off)
Step 5: Assemble
Now for the tedious fun part of assembling.
First I used locktite to secure some all thread to the buttons.
Next I attached the pivot joints to either end of the extrusion adjuster arms
Then I put all the hardware on the top and bottom plates.
Starting with the two short sides, I then slid the extrusions between the top and bottom and tightened the hardware I repeated with the longer extrusions.
Next I added hardware and slid the stopper pieces into place on the front side.
Then I mounted the first pivot pieces to the front extrusion.
And lastly, I screwed the buttons through both pivot pieces to finish the adjuster arms.
Now the Laptop desk is complete, with adjustable arms!