Articles, Blog

Building a Computer Desk

August 6, 2019

Hello everybody and welcome to another video
tutorial. In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing how I created my own work desk for
my new apartment. The main reason why I was creating my own desk from scratch, was to
create something that would fit my personal needs. In the end, I ended up spending about
the same amount of money if you included both the cost of supplies and the tools required
for the job. Here’s a quick preview of what I ended up
with. Before I even began cutting out the parts
that I would need, I did a lot of pre-planning for the design. This stage was by far the
most important and time consuming portion which will end up saving you a lot of time
and money if done correctly. In these preliminary stages I took an in-depth look at different
materials that I could use to create the legs and structure of my table. In the end, I used
some pre-made banquet legs which were both foldable and lightweight. I found these legs
on a couple of different sites such as HomeDopoet, Walmart and Amazon. You’ll want to do your
own research to make sure that you get the best price for your money since prices can
vary quite a bit. Once I knew how I was going to support my
table, I could then begin designing the surface in which you see here. I created a diagram
on scale in Photoshop to help me out with my measurements.
I planned out the sections which I would divide my table into, since I wanted this to come
apart easily for transportation. The whole idea of this table was to make it easy to
move and take apart since I would be moving soon. In the end, I decided that I would make
it sub dividable into 3 different sections depending on how I would be transporting the
table. Two of the sections would be attached until it had to be disassembled.
The Red portions is where I planned to have my tablets located. This area need to be wide
enough for both models since I had two different types of tablets.
The grey areas would be where I could place both my keyboards and mousepads. These were
locations which I used fairly often depending on my needs.
In order to figure out the top shelf dimensions, I measured the base of my monitor stands and
used this as my min shelving depth. Also very important was to measure out my pen stylus
height while it was sitting in its stand, this would help ensure a reasonable height
so I could easily tuck away when not in use. With all of my measurements in place, I ended
up with the two diagrams you see here. An important thing to note however, is the
fact that you’ll want to take into account the width of your chair in your design. As
you can see in this diagram, I’ve made the tablet area just a little wider than my chair
width to accommodate my seating area. This has made a big difference in my level of comfort
with this table. With the pre-planning out of the way, we can now talk about the building
process. Since I was going to be drilling through steel
I had to replace my drill with a hammer drill and metal drilling bits. Using drilling oil
enabled the bits to slide effortlessly while drilling through the steel and made a big
impact on how quickly I was able to complete the process. I was able to protect the floor
by screwing the plates into some scrape pieces of MDF which also prevented the plates from
sliding around. Depending on which set of banquet legs you
pick up you may wish to keep in mind that sometimes they’re folded in reverse for
packing purposes. This led me to having to re-assemble the legs as a result so you’ll
want to test them out by opening them prior to drilling any holes. Since I had copied
my pattern according to my diagram, and attached the legs on the same side, I had inadvertently
mirrored my pattern and hand to remove the legs and re-attach them afterwards. This was
something I was able to keep in mind for the second part of the table but it was still
a nuisance. I attached the legs using washers and bolts to provide some extra strength and
make so that I could remove these portion if I needed to in the future.
I found that the easiest method for cutting the table pattern, was to attach the legs
on first. This allowed me to stand up the table without risking another cutting surface.
If you choose well balanced placement for the legs, you shouldn’t run into any tipping
issues with the table. You’ll also want to keep in mind that if you make any mistakes
you can take some wood glue and mix it with some of the sawdust to create some hole filler.
Although I cut out some slender rods to slide the shelving unites in, I would recommend
skipping this step and using corner brackets instead. If you know the color that you want
your table to be, you can pre-paint these prior to attaching them and end up with a
much more ecstatically pleasing look. You could even change the color of the plates
and brackets so that it acts an as accent color instead. The benefit of using brackets
is that if the wood swells and doesn’t line up anymore, you can nudge them over a bit
and it won’t be too noticeable. I initially used round dowels to support the
shelves but found these difficult to screw in straight and line up properly. These also
didn’t look as appealing and therefore I replaced these with solid panels instead.
To help with cable management, I used a spade bit to drill holes into the back panels. You’ll
want to make at least 1 hole larger than your largest plug to make sure you can fit all
of the cables through properly. I my case I created a rectangular hole for the largest
portions to make sure I didn’t run into any problems in the future. If you want to
add some extra support to these panels, you can use some wood glue in conjunction with
the corner brackets. Even if I didn’t record the painting process
I would recommend using a high density foam roller for the primer and painting layers,
making sure to use a new roller for each. Having a least 2 to 3 coats of paint will
give a much more even look to the finish and give the better results. As the for sealer
and varnish layer, you’ll want to make sure that you use a brush instead of a roller for
this step since water base varnishes tend to bubble up and this will help prevent it
from occurring. If you’ve got more time than I ended up with, you’ll want to disassemble
the legs and plates to paint all of these individually. Make sure to use an aerosol
paint for the plates since this’ll help prevent their holes from ceiling up.
As you can see this is the final results that I ended up with. Well I hope you guys enjoyed
this video tutorial and I look forwards to seeing you guys soon. Thank you and take care.

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