Furniture as simple as a desk most of the time does not meet the desired needs for everyone. It is either too complicated, too bulky or not aesthetically pleasing to their eye. Spacious is a project that is customary to fit the needs of anyone who wishes for a workspace that is made for them.
I drew inspiration from my grandmother who is in a wheelchair and has severe arthritis. Crocheting is her hobby that actually helps arthritis so she sews and knits constantly, too. She would set up her tools and materials on small stools, high tables, or tabletops that are too far because the legs are in the way. Seeing her struggle and dropping her heavy sewing machine made me wonder how to help her so she doesn't injure herself to have to stop doing the hobby she enjoys. I originally designed this desk to fit her custom stationery needs and to be "floating" by a wall mount to give her leg room. However, with the help of my IED class, I was able to get hands-on experience with a new piece of technology that would make it possible to create customary parts for the desk to make it more interesting.
This desk is made with custom measurements to my grandmother's needs but you to change the measurements to whatever fits your desires.
- Plywood (any wood is good to fit your desired taste)
- can cut wood pieces to any length but have at least:
3 of the same sized board of desired tabletop length
- Tape measure
- Square and Ruler
- Table Saw
- Piano Hinges
- (2) 12" and (1) 27"
- (2) Hydraulics
- Occipital Structure Sensor (optional for customary 3D printed handle)
- 3D Printer and Filament
- LED Light (optional)
- Corkboard (optional)
Step 1: Taking Measurements and Pre-Cutting
It is important to have your pieces precut and figured out to make the process easier. I first made sure the table top was at an appropriate size in length for my grandmother by simply asking her how deep she wanted it to go. The height does not matter at this point because it is adjustable with the wall mounts. I planned accordingly to see what dimensions I needed. She preferred to have it deeper to hold her machine. This was achieved by adding a slightly longer piece of wood to the center to give it support but also another inch of space when folded out. The legs are precut to a curve shape to mimic the curve of a wheelchair.
Step 2: Sand and Drilling
Once the measurements and cuts have been made, I began trying to put the idea in motion. I began to sand each piece so it would be an easier process to make sure the dimensions will fit. The drilling started with slanted drills to stabilize both ends of the top and bottom. I made the mistake of having them meet at each point so keep in mind to alternate each end so it can have a stronger structure. In the third photo, The tabletop is shown with the piano hinge and space is noticeable because that is where the legs will go.
Step 3: Scanning the 3D Component
This is potion is optional because not everybody has these tools but I took advantage of this technology while I could. I first created an imprint mold of my grandmother's hand and fingers out of clay. I then scanned that clay with a 3D scanner which connected to the software program Skannet. I saved the file as an STL to fix unwanted areas. There is not very much information about the process because I am still learning, but the product was useful and easy to use.
Step 4: Attach Hydraulics and 3D Component
The hydraulics are the main focus piece in this project because it helps with the movement of my grandmother's hands. The calculations for the hydraulics are different for each brand. The hydraulics I used was 10-inch hydraulics of 100 N. This is able to hold 22 pounds of weight before closing. It gives some help to lift up.
I first had the idea of just having it exposed but later found a way to hid the hardware to give it a more simplistic look. To hide the piece, use a 2x4 piece and place right outside the hydraulic. It will keep it hidden and from that piece, attach the leg with the piano hinge.
Step 5: Call It a Day
To add some finishing touches, I added in a light and a corkboard. This was added to make the desk more useful and gave the extra space some pizzaz. It is a workplace to enjoy creating and has o be fully thorough to function as a place to work at without the stress of lighting and a bulletin space. This is a way to keep organized and have no harsh lighting to damage the eyes so this desk could be put anywhere. To hide the unwanted areas of where the wood meets, trim will be added to cover those areas.