Makeshift desk


Simple desk top

In our house, one thing was made very clear from before we even moved in. The garage is my territory, and the study is my wife’s. This is an arrangement that works well, since her hobbies are writing and crafting and generally study oriented, whilst mine are mostly various forms of sawdust generation.
However sometimes I need to work from home, and when I do its nice to have a proper desk setup for the purpose, with a monitor and a keyboard to connect to my laptop. When this happens my wife is kind enough to allow me to use her study, so long as everything returns to its proper place at the end of the day. This is fine, and much better than working at the kitchen table, but I don’t really like to intrude in her space. So I decided that I could make myself a desk in our spare bedroom which would serve as my working space when I needed to setup the laptop.

Never one to buy something that I could make, and always on the look out to re-purpose things I’m not really using anymore, I hit upon the idea of reusing 2 old bed side cabinets. The house we’re renting already had some nice ones, so our old cheap ones got relegated to the corner of the spare bedroom. My idea was to use these as the sides of a desk, and just make a top to put across them to give me a desk surface. This really is as simple as it gets, I cut a sheet of mdf to the right width and depth to give me a reasonable desk surface without  coming too far off the top of the cabinets. I then screwed a strip along the back edge and each side, so that the whole thing would to slide around, the back edge gets basically clamped between the cabinets and the wall, the side strips avoid it sliding laterally.

The whole thing got sanded down (wear a mask kids! mdf is nasty) then painted with a couple of coats of matt white. cut back in between coats with a light sanding. and finished off with 400grit to give a nice clean smooth white surface.

The whole job took an afternoon in construction, and a couple of sessions for painting the top/bottom sides.



Here it is in situ, the next job is to get around to buying myself a monitor/keyboard/trackball to use when I plug in here.  It’s quite low, compared to a real desk, since the bedside units are low, I could add blocks to raise the height, but for the moment it is a good height to sit on the pilates ball and work.

This will give me a space to work, and potentially a space to get more into doing CAD designs. I’m really trying to get better at using CAD to work out my projects before I start them, as being able to print out templates for the pieces I need makes things faster and more accurate when I get going. Though of course this balances against the fact that the whole point of a hobby in making things in my workshop is to get away from a life spent a computer…

I love this kind of project, I was literally pacing around the workshop trying to find a focus for a desire to make something useful. Then I came up with the idea, and set to work. Initially I had to clear out the spare bedroom, we have kind of ignored it since we moved in, and then get the measurements and head to the workshop to start the build. It was well defined, relatively easy, and generally pretty satisfying to take it from idea to completed within a week!. I know that isn’t quick, but I do have a day job you know…

One side note to this project – I was going to round over the front edge on my router table, unfortunately it seems my router has decided to stop working, I checked the fuse in the plug but no joy. This was rather sad. However it did happen shortly before the D&M tool show, so gave me something to look for. in the end I picked up a dremel (not a replacement) and my wife bought me a ‘surprise’ birthday present…


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