Making a 'U' desk

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-19-10, 04:25 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Making a 'U' desk

My first post here!

I googled looking for a custom furniture forum and arrived here. I'm a computer geek/computer science student who is gunning for his master's in computer engineering ( I hope to work in microprocessing engineering ) one day.

This is my current 'geek cave': http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/pano.jpg

While the desk I currently have is huge in surface area, I cannot be ergonomically correct and run multiple computers on it at the same time.

I need a new desk, as I've actually found myself requiring even more room that I just can't have on this desk, and I'm already in a horrible position as far as ergonomics go.

What I need is a solid, large work surface that wraps around me, can hold multiple monitors, a tablet, and preferably have room to spare for papers/books/et cetera.

I don't mind it looking utilitarian/boxy, but I do want to bevel edges.



My current desk's surface measurements are: 60"x34" or about 5 foot wide by three feet deep. I get full usage of the width but depth wise I only get use out of the first 2 1/2 feet in depth.

So, I want a desk that has 2 1/2 feet in depth of surface area on all sides. I want the center part of the "U" to be just a bit under what my desk's depth is, let's say two feet, and the other side can be a bit smaller or equal to the first side.

Is this making sense at all? I'm considering trying to do a CGI model of it.


Now to my questions:

-What type of wood should I be getting, assuming that I will be doing everything from drawing to soldering ( Of course I'll have something down to protect the desk itself.. ) to assembling heavy ( 60+ LB ) computers on it?

-How should I place the legs? Just at every corner the desk turns? How thick should the legs be?

-Considering perfect assembly on the first round, about how much should I be paying in materials? ( I'm hoping for a number < $400 )

-Will it be possible to make this desk easy to partially tear down/put up? I.E. if I decide I just want a single part of it, or an "L", will it be possible to make it modular?


Thanks!

Oh, I do have someone who is excellent at refinishing/staining wood and can help me with some parts of it, but she has things of her own she's doing!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-19-10, 05:10 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,986
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You would probably be better off with some type of industrial workstation, maybe with a formica top, instead of wood. Building all that out of oak or a high grade wood is a lot of work & doesn't come cheap.

I'm not going for a degree in engineering but I'm a computer guy too & I'm moving towards all laptops. I'm tired of all that bulk with old CRTs. I would like to replace my towers with Lenovo Thinkpads. I hope that day is soon.
 
  #3  
Old 03-19-10, 06:49 PM
D
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My suggestion is to make 3 tables. I don't know how important those drawers are to you, but I think with the table concept, you will get the vesatility you are looking for. You can always got some kind of independant drawer setup from target or ikea or something.

Given what you state your uses will be, would it be correct for me to assume that you fully expect this thing to get beat up? No wood surface is going to survive burns from a soldering iron.

Going with the table idea, legs 2 1/2" square or better should be just fine. I recommend a plywood top with 3/4" x 1 1/2" solid wood edge
(1 1/2" vertical). That will dress it up and allow you to get that chamfer you want. You will also want solid wood aprons between the legs to support the top. I think 2 1/2" to 3" wide should be adequate. Depends on the distance between the legs. That should be enough to get the ideas flowing.

What do you have available to you as far as tools and what is your experience when ti comes to woodworking?
 
  #4  
Old 03-19-10, 09:53 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
@Pulpo
I'm doing CGI as well as gaming and other stuff so the raw power I need is just too expensive in a laptop form. I actually have all of my systems work on a render farm already, and laptops not specifically built to be workstations overheat when I make them work in my render farm.

Formica is a bit too ugly for my tastes. My total budget for this desk is $400 in materials, which should be plenty to get the wood.

@Drooplug That's kind of the direction I was going with this. Three tables fused together with sides. I was told to use oak for the surface and possibly the legs, and then grade A plywood for the sides. ( Maple would be awesome...but I'm not rich ).

I was going to actually use the sides to hide plastic drawers from immediate view, and otherwise conceal ugly but functional things.

I don't expect it to be horrifically beaten up like a workbench. I expect to have to refinish it every 4 to 5 years. I will have something like a baker's sheet between me and it when I solder. Anything that happened there would be a quick poke. Otherwise it's going to have to stand up to computer cases without getting chewed completely up.

We're fairly well equipped, we do all of our own home maintenance sans plumbing, and my mother is an expert at refinishing furniture. We do not have any fixed/heavy equipment. I may have access to my house-building uncle's workshop though. I'd have to bug him about it.

As far as my experience with woodworking goes, I've not done anything in years. Way back before I was even a teenager my friend and I used to troll the neighborhood for people throwing lumber away. We built on a multi-story jungle gym for many years. ( My mom always worried when she saw us get out the saws... ) We even built an entire addition onto it, built a waterproof roof, etc. While it wasn't anywhere near the precision needed in a desk, and it didn't involve power tools, we did do some pretty neat things with it.

I've also helped build a privacy fence recently.

While it isn't much experience, I'm comfortable making measurements and putting things together.

Thanks! I'm going to be acquiring a book of 'do it yourself desks' soon and will be able to see if there's anything in there that I'd want to modify. It'll also give me a general idea of what exactly I'd be getting myself into.
 
  #5  
Old 03-22-10, 08:22 AM
wsaend's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mesilla, NM
Posts: 103
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Are you looking for something like this or more U shaped.

 
  #6  
Old 03-22-10, 11:50 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wish I was faster in Blender, I could model it but it'd take me a bit.

I'm looking for essentially what I have in work surface in my huge chunk of a desk extended out on either side of me. I basically want to be surrounded and then some.
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-10, 03:40 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
DMI Furniture 7480-58 Antigua Executive Left U Desk - DMI U Shape Desks - DMI1598

That's actually the exact shape I want. The drawers can go away, I don't want to bump my knees up against them, and the cabinets are unneeded. I think it even has the unbalanced sides on it.

Of course I don't want a 2200 dollar desk, but that's the general picture.

Unfortunately I found it while looking for 'u desk plans', thanks google!
 
  #8  
Old 03-28-10, 04:04 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,986
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
  #9  
Old 03-28-10, 04:21 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Did you mean to post up a different link?
 
  #10  
Old 03-28-10, 04:38 PM
wsaend's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mesilla, NM
Posts: 103
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well you don't want much do you. Now you will have to decide on the wood. If you have a hardwood distributor than I would go check out the prices and selection they have there. They may have maple, oak, or birch plywood. Otherwise, like I said before you will need to do some edge gluing.
 
  #11  
Old 03-29-10, 05:53 PM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What type of wood would you recommend? I've been told to use grade A plywood for the sides and then oak for the surface, but as far as different hard woods go, I don't know much about them.
 
  #12  
Old 03-29-10, 07:41 PM
wsaend's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mesilla, NM
Posts: 103
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I would use oak plywood and solid oak. It will match each other much better than regular grade A ply.
 
  #13  
Old 03-30-10, 05:25 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: new york
Posts: 511
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If your uncle has a planer in his shop you could make your desk out of plain old 2x3's. Glue them together and plane them smooth. I made this bench for about $80 dollars. You could build three sections and bolt them together. The edge is a 2x4 so there is room at the bottom to bolt through.
001.jpg picture by mgmine - Photobucket
 
  #14  
Old 03-30-10, 11:06 AM
wsaend's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mesilla, NM
Posts: 103
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
nice table MG. 2X tables always look nice, you could make two table than make a leaf to go between them.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: