Mount a 2nd Display Into Your Desk




I always wanted to have a secondary desktop to manage all open windows and programs at one time.
But my table is too small (and most time too crowded) for two monitors standing around.
So i thought, having a display embedded flat to my desk, would be comfortable.

This is not a very detailed instructable, because i couldnt take enough and good pictures with my crappy webcam. In addition, every TFT monitor is constructed in a different way, so it wouldn't make much sense to show in detail how i fiddled around with the one i have used.

The idea is not new and it would be better if it was a touchscreen,
but it's much fun using it and was not expensive.


Step 1: What You Need

At first i desided where the embedded screen should be placed and how big the tft has to be.
15" and a position between the keybord and the edge of the table seemed to be good.

Then i ordered the cheapest but working 15" TFT display i could find at ebay: An EIZO L350.
It is used, some years old and only analog, exactly what i needed, because my graphic card just takes one digital and one analog monitor.

I also bought a 28,5x36cm and 0,5cm thick Windowpane (usual glass)
and black silicone.

And i needed black insulating tape, some screws and attachments made of metal.

Step 2: Disamble the Monitor

Remove the stand and take apart the platic hull of the TFT.

Now the monitor is naked and you measure how big the hole in the desk has to be.

Step 3: Preparing the Metallic Housing

Because some parts of the metal would reach into the table, i cut some of them a bit smaller.
Don't have detailed pictures, but this step would be different with every other kind of monitor.

To make the framework even and as one surface, i added some fitting polystyrene around the display.

Then i covered the whole framework with black tape.

Step 4: Preparing the Table

Now, saw out the hole just big enough to hold the modulated monitor.

I took the chance of a clean desk by giving my table a fresh glossy painting.

Step 5: Mounting the TFT

To hold the monitor in position, is attached several pieces of metallic punched tape.

These are mountet to the table by screws and nuts.

Now its time to place the glass, it leaves a 1mm joint to the wood.

You can lower and higher the Display by turning the nuts.
So you lift the screen right in position.
I left the display exactly 0,5cm below the tables surface, because my glass plane needed that room.

I covered the backside of the monitor with a part of the original case.

And i mountet the display's adjustment buttons beside and the power button under the desk.

Step 6: Making It Waterproof

Finally, the little groove between the glass plane and the table has to be filled.
I recommend black silicone, because it's waterproof and elastic.
(Unfortunately, i took the wrong material, which is black but not even and flat, when it's harden.)

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Workstation

You're done!

While working on this, i worried about the viewing angle and if this would be ergonomic and economic at all.
But the result blasts away every second thought.
There ar many advantages of having a screen in your table.
And because the screen and the table are even, you still can use your desk in a regular way.
Or also use it as a light box for photo slide, to copy digital images by hand, or just as a animated glowing desk pad.

(to manage two or more desktops in Windows, i recommend the software ULTRAMON. You can set different Wallpapers and screensavers, arange programs permanently to a display and do much more)

Now can anyone sponsor me with a touchscreen display?



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    39 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Is there anywhere you can buy something similar to this online? I ask this because I'm building something similar to sell.


    3 years ago

    dexpotalso keep in good program supports more than one monitor and up to 20 virtual desktop each with their own icons, background picture, its own resolution and screensavers.


    If you've used an old CRT screen You can use the light pen so that they become something like touch. Before so they worked when there was no touchscreens.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm interested in this...I just got a Dual-monitor system working using display fusion and my laptop but you were saying you could have more than 3? That sounds awesome. Having a multi-touch monitor embedded into the table with an array of monitors around that. Sounds like something from Batman or Iron Man. I would like to do something like this one day. Keep up the good work. :)


    10 years ago on Step 7

    I really like this! This might sound dumb though, but When you cut the hole out of the table, how did you do it so nicely? whats your secret.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    when you are cutting the hole, cut it around 1 cm (0.5" in) smaller, and then sand all the edges till you are satisfied with the size and the look of the hole!

    BTW I found out how to use the "IR/Camera"-Multitouch (the one all the surfaces are using) with any LCD...
    I will make a Instructables when finished experimenting and testing everything ^^

    This is nice! But i don't think I would like to do it because i like to have the keyboard within 7 inches from the edge of the desk.

    Now if i had a 2 part keyboard and put one on each side of the monitor that's a different story ,man that would be sweet.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    This is awesome! im in the process of making a table with a monitor build in but i couldn't figure out how to keep it in place. thanks, this helps a lot!  Ive actually modded the 2nd display im putting in into a multitouch screen :D


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I use reason alot and this actually looks quite useful! Everything is right where you need it!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    wii remote touchscreen would be a good idea to mount above it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice!! Getting a light table for free by displaying an all-white image is a nice bonus.

    I've been wanting to put a computer & monitor at my workbench / drawing table and had been thinking off hanging it on the pegboard. But, I really like the idea of looking down at my reference pictures while sketching rather then continually looking up from my work to a monitor.

    If you used Johnny Lee's "whiteboard" Wii Remote project, ( ) you could effectively turn the LCD into a touch screen for $45 + an IR LED pen + Bluetooth adapter and only use a wireless mouse when more precision is needed.

    Off to my drawing board to plan my adaption.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool instructable. It's very practical for musician and some photographers. Rating +1


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Now if you could only find a way to make a clear, touch sensitive overlay to put over your new "desktop". That would be sweet!

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    What would be cool is a multitouch setup - see The only problem is that they can get quite thick: they use a webcam looking up at the desktop from below to see your fingers, so obviously fisheye lenses + more webcams = a thinner device. Lcds are admittedly experimental (they usually project the image) but I think they have got them working.

    So much better that simgle touch - and actually quite cheap.