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Old 06-06-2015, 08:54 PM   #1
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Building a desk

With our upcoming trip, I need a "proper" workspace. That means space for my laptop, second monitor, ergonomic keyboard, a real mouse and not something that I have to move in order to leave the bedroom for a potty break or lunch or you name it. And, it has to be easy to setup/take down. A decent chair is a must; sitting on the bed isn't an option. And finally, I need a private and quiet workspace.

The bunkhouse wasn't an option because that's the kid's space. (Same holds true if we got a toy hauler with garage- that would still be their room.) The dinette is out because it isn't private. Outside is a no go in the heat and sun glare. The bedroom was the only logical option.

To avoid moving anything, it meant working facing the front of the camper and having my back to the door. This would allow me to leave the room if I've taken the aisle up with desk space.

I decided that I wanted to build on top of the existing dresser. The challenges here- 1) it's only 13" deep and 2) that window is an emergency exit and needs to continue to function.

With my wife's help, we came up with the idea of a shelf with a sliding drawer underneath. That would hold my second monitor on top and laptop underneath. Plus, I could close the laptop and just push the drawer in at the end of my work day. I still found that the desk I'm building has to be deeper to support both monitors side by side.

And, that didn't solve the keyboard mouse/issue. If you've never seen one, an ergo keyboard is split in the middle and they're wide. Like really wide; my keyboard and mouse together are 28" from side to side! So we came up with the idea of that being a flip over portion. (I still need to figure out how to support that, though.)

I carried my equipment out last night and started mocking up ideas.
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Once I was happy with that, I drew it up:
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Then I loaded up a trio of girls and headed to Home Depot.
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In a shocking turn of events, I had 2 amazingly helpful clerks help me out. The guy back in the wood area went above and beyond with cutting boards. He did almost all of the major cutting that I needed. Once home, I mocked it up in wood.
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I don't have time or inclination to stain it. I'm waiting on an email back from a friend with a router to hit a handful of sides with one. Hopefully he can squeeze me in tomorrow morning. Otherwise, I'm going to have to go without.

I'll post again once I get the last cuts done and assembly completed more.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:26 AM   #2
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Building a desk

I made good progress tonight. I sanded each piece (the downside to Home Depot doing all of the cuts is that their cuts are very splintery and rough). I got a radius cut into one of the corners. I drilled all of the holes so tomorrow should be a lot of assembly, but not a ton of work. I mounted the drawer slides on the risers. I cut the drawer/shelf (this was too fine of a cut for the HD saw). And mounted the piano hinge for the flip-over keyboard holder.

And now in the "keeping it real" department...

- first, a doofus move. I got my guide and work piece all clamped down and started cutting and realized I never checked for the corner of the table. Doh!

- I cut the danged drawer/shelf 1/2" too wide because I don't read; I skim. The directions said "the drawer should be 1/2" more narrow than cabinet"; I just happened to miss "on each side" because it wrapped to a new line. Shame on me.

- and well, I still haven't verified that my drawer in the dresser underneath is accessible... That could put a major cramp/roadblock on this project. I have to admit- I'm really nervous.

There is still 1 major cut that needs to happen and that is to the table top itself. I'm a little nervous, but should be able to figure it out. AND- I'm hoping a buddy comes through with his router; otherwise, I may have to drive an hour each way to my father-in-law.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:27 AM   #3
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Building a desk

Tonight's pictures...

The drawer slides have consumed me:



And then I was summonsed to see a choreographed show by the girls (decent job, actually!) and then they hit me up for a 10:30 CVS run to get ice cream. CVS was closed, so to the grocery store we went!


And tell me- does this get any better?


It did, power tools!


And then my cutting mistake.
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And finally, my drawer goof. From excitement that it was coming together.


To reality that I really do suck at this stuff!
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:12 AM   #4
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ependydad-That looks great! If you only need to recut one piece of wood for the project, that's not bad. Let us know how it works out with the dresser drawer being able to still function. The girls look pretty happy and well tended to, so you can't be TOO consumed with the project.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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Woohoo! Fixed!

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1 more cut and then routing some edges.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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Ever think about making some sort of wall mount for the big monitor or a removable corner shelf to sit it on?
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Ever think about making some sort of wall mount for the big monitor or a removable corner shelf to sit it on?

Thought about that, but in my list of challenges, I forgot to mention that I have a closet in the corner behind the desk. We keep laundry stuff in there and it gets accessed on a fairly regular basis while I'm setup for work.

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The one thing I did think about was an articulated wall mount that would let me adjust the monitor to where I want it. But I wasn't sure about the wall having backers and didn't plan ahead to buy something.
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:53 AM   #8
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Hang it on the wall.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
Hang it on the wall.

I think thought about that, but I think on the desk should work just as well. Thanks for the idea, though.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:30 PM   #10
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Understand, but it clears the desk and you can make the wall mount so the monitor just slips in it and is easily removable for travel. Get creative man!

Picture hangers and cup hooks if nothing else.
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