Under Table Wire Management for Computer Desks




Introduction: Under Table Wire Management for Computer Desks

I hate cables. I have many of them. I currently have a crude set of mount head cable ties and velcro to manage them. This was cumbersome and ugly. Long cables have too much slack and dangle around. When I wanted to move or remove a cable, it was troublesome getting things bundled back together again. I started brain storming a few weeks ago and walked around Lowes a few times. I liked the netting design of some of the desks at work. It swings open to allow easy access to the cables and it could hold cables and power bricks. It had it's deficiencies, but overall, worked well. After a few hours of roaming the isles at Lowes, I finally ended up with a versatile cable management that was easy to assemble, required minimal modifications to the desk (or none if used with velcro strips or double sided adhesive), and easy to remove. I guess you can also use this on a wall as a "gutter" for cables, small gadgets, mail, etc.

Original setup

Mount head cable tie and velcro. Had to undo multiple of these to get to a cable. Cables would dangle and get caught on things.

Step 1: Supplies

$3 84" Screen Frame
$4 25' Screen Spline
$6 36x84" Screen
$1 2 pack 1" Nylon spacers
$1 2 pack 3/8" Rubber lined clamps
$3 8 pack Screen Clips
$1 8 pack 1-1/4" screws
Instructables won't let me link the some items :( URL at the end of this step.
Total Cost: $19. Cost per additional organizer (up to 4 total): $5 ($3 for the frame, $1 for the rubber lined clamps, $1 for the nylon spacers)

The screen frame is a standard patio screen frame. It's cheap and is available at many home improvement stores. You should be able to find the spline, screen, and screen clips at the same location as the screen frame. Be careful with the screen clips as some are not wide enough to fit the width of the screen frame. The clip I purchased is L-5805.

The nylon spacers, screws, and rubber lined clamps are in the screws and parts section. They were in the pull out bins. You can cut a pen to use instead of the nylon spacers if you want to save $1. You will need 2 screws that are about 1/4" longer than your spacer so that it screws into your desk far enough. You certainly won't want it too long, or you'll have screws going all the way through your desk.

$6 36x84" Screen
$1 2 pack 1" Nylon spacers
$3 8 pack Screen Clips
$1 8 pack 1-1/4" screws

Step 2: Assemble the Screen

I'll try to add some pics of these steps, but it's pretty self explanatory.

Cut the screen frame to the size you wish to use. I cut mine at 36". I didn't have a saw handy, so I ended up scoring the metal with a leatherman saw blade and bending it until it broke. The metal is very pliable, so be careful of deforming it.

Measure the amount of screen you wish to use. I measured mine at 24" so my screen dimensions are 24"x36". I should have used 10"-12", but I worked around it (by creating a closed loop in case I want to "permanently" route cables). Always give yourself some extra slack. You can use less than needed and cut off the excess.

Install the spline into the screen frame. The proper method is to use a spline roller, but I couldn't find mine, so I used my curved leatherman file to press it in. You can use a comb, or headphone jack, or chopstick, or any thin, solid material with a blunt end.

Step 3: Mount It to the Desk

Setup the screen mount bracket. The screen clip will hold the screen frame to the desk. The spacer will create a gap between the two screen frames so that cables can easily run in and out of the organizer. The rubber lined clamps will hold the second rail. It will allow for easy access to route the cables. Hold the bracket against the frame and screw it into place at both ends.

If you're using this setup on glass, you can flip the screen clip, use a nut and bolt to hold the bracket assembly together, and use some adhesive strips to hold the bracket to the glass.

Step 4: Finished!


I'm happy with the result. It's super easy to pull out a cable. If the management was in view, I would spray paint the parts black.
Please let me know if you have any (cheap) ideas to improve it.

Step 5: Etc.

If you have a glass desk, you can use some double sided tape pads or the velcro strips to secure the frame to the desk. I don't have a full example available yet.



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    8 Discussions

    This is absolutely brilliant. I've been reading cable clutter solutions on this website for years and this is the first time I have thought, "Oh, that's what I should do." Thank you.

    1 reply

    Thanks! I've never found a cable management system that I've liked that was affordable. It's been a project I've wanted to do for a while and it was much easier than I thought. I'm still trying to refine it and I need to buy another bar and bracket set for the other side of my desk. Once I get those parts, I'll take pictures on how to mount it on a glass desk.

    Good! Such thin wire mesh covers are useful to avoid dust from air and save wires from scratching or biting insects. http://www.brand4india.com/wire-mesh-suppliers/products/crimped-wire-mesh/

    I'm gonna try this...Thanks for sharing!

    I think you have the exact same desk as me. So I think I'll be using at least a version of your management idea. I need to get the cables out of reach of my cats. Thank you for posting this!

    awesome...i saw a neet trick somewhere, where someone screwed a piece of abs gutter behind their desk ta catch n hide the cables...it worked gr8

    Neat looking idea.

    I recently used a similar concept seen here:

    Thought I was so clever coming up with idea. BUT as you can see on that site, someone else did a very good job explaining it. Obviously, I wasn't the only one to think of this!

    To simplify attaching hooks to the underside of the table, I used threaded inserts and screwed hooks into them.

    great idea...i used a small length of abs rain gutter mounted under the desk to hold all my cabling