This Instructable is a step-by-step guide to turning a cheap Aluminum Mesh Magazine Holder (available at any office supplies place, Wally World, or Target) into an attractive and stable desk-mounted storage caddy. My purpose was to hold a Keyboard and mouse, but you could put anything in it really.
Some of these have built-in mounting holes on the back of the device. I wished to side-mount mine, so I didn't use these.
***Warning*** this instructable requires drilling into a perfectly good surface. Measure carefully before you do this, as you may ruin your furniture being careless.
Step 1: Gather Tools
You will need the following:
1.) A Desk, or a Surface to mount the holder onto.
2.) A Sharpie or other form of marking device that will write on the metal of the Magazine holder.
3.) A level
4.) A pair of Di-Cutter type wire cutters. Only Dikes will do, due to the closeness of the mesh.
5.) A Pencil
6.) A Drill, with an appropriately sized drill bit. I used a 1/4 inch bit.
7.) Appropriately sized machine screws equal to the number of holes you are going to drill in your surface. Due o the weird shape of my wife's desk, I could only use three. I would recommend 4. My machine screws were 1/4 x 14 thread, 1.5inches long.
8.) Enough 1-inch wide washers to cover your number of holes.
9.) Enough 1-inch wide RUBBER washers to cover your number of holes.
10.) Enough 1/2 inch wide RUBBER washers to cover your number of holes.
11.) Enough Bubble&Hex style cap screws (see Picture #2 on this step)
12.) A small, stubby screw driver that matches your Screw's head type. (I used a small stubby one otherwise used for installing lamp kits on ceiling fans.)
13.) A Wire Mesh Magazine Holder. (nearly forgot it!)
Step 2: (Measure Measure Measure)*2
This Step is mostly measuring.
1.) Find where you want your holder to go on the surface.
2.) If doing this for a Significant Other, obtain the all-important Spousal-acceptance factor before moving on.
3.) Use the level to get an idea of how the tray should look when level. If possible, get a small clamp, or other person to hold the magazine holder while you continue.
4.) Mark a small circle on the inside of the magazine holder where you want the screw holes to go using the sharpie.
5.) Ensure these marks look right.
6.) Double check.
7.) Once satisfied, mark a cutting area just large enough for the machine screw to pass through, but no larger. The hole looks neater if you cut a diamond pattern out. The mesh naturally makes diamond patterns if mark correctly.
8.) Make certain the holes you cut line up to where you want to drill into your surface. Use the level and assistance if necessary.
9.) Use the Di-cutters and cut the patterns in the mesh of the magazine holder out. Double check that the screw can go through these holes cleanly.
Step 3: Measure Again and Drill
1.) Get your pencil, and once again hold the magazine rack up to your surface. Using the pencil, mark a drill hole onto the surface, through the hole you cut in the mesh.
You want to make certain that you are marking the surface that is directly underneath the screw hole you just cut. Make certain to account for you looking at an angle.
2.) Once you are absolutely certain you have marked where you need to on your surface, gather your drill and drill bit. Begin drilling through your surface all the way to the other side of the surface. try to ensure that the drill stays level through this procedure it will help with the next step.
3.) Once you have created the drilled hole in the surface use one of your machine screws to ensure it can go through the hole with little to no effort. If it does not, consider widening the hole or buying new screws washers, and fittings.
Step 4: Assembly!
1.) You are going to thread the screws through their respective holes now. To prevent damage to surface, do so as follows:
ScrewHead-->1"Metal Washer->-Mesh Rack-->1" Rubber Washer-->Surface-->1/2" rubber washer-->Hex/Bubble-head nut.
2.) Use the Mini screw driver, and either a socket set, or a wrench to tighten down your screws and nuts. Make as tight as you can. The rubber washers might need a little more tightening than you might be used to.
3.) Enjoy!. Place your equipment in the newly mounted Mesh Basket.