Sunday, January 20, 2013

Office Desk & DIY Monitor Mounts

Project:
Move my office from the small window-less room to the guest room that was hardly ever used. Building a new desk, shelves and two monitor mounts for some extra room.

Process:
I'm not sure what got into me but one day I was sitting at my desk that I've had for probably close to a decade (I had built it back in Saskatoon around 2003) and decided that I was tired of it and wanted something new. Since I was used to a 6 foot desk with a 4 foot side desk I had gotten used to the extra space and didn't want anything smaller, but anything large like that is getting close to the $1000 mark for something sturdy so I figured I could custom build me one for a lot less than that.

After talking things over with Melanie, who BTW is incredible for supporting me in all these crazy projects, we agreed that I should try to stay within about $200 bucks for the whole thing.

First I had to build the desk, then some extra shelves and last (which actually was an after-thought once the desk was built) some monitor mounts.

Pictures:
30" by 6' MDF substrate with a 1.5" high border
The back of the vertical formica pieces before applying the contact cement to it
The formica countertop material from the "damaged bin" at the Home Depot
The strips after the contact cement was applied. Unfortunately one piece broke so I had to re-do that one
The vertical piece at the front is glued
After the brackets were welded, painted, installed and the desk was put together
An under-the desk look at the heavy duty brackets that makes it possible not having any vertical legs on the desk
A picture of the old desk
Comparing left over batches of laminate flooring at Ritchie's. I ended up going with the weathered barn board look (left)
After the desk and the shelves were installed but with the old crappy MDF monitor stand
Drilling the pipe so they fit together with the nipple and so they're easier to weld and also look nicer
$17 worth of plumbing parts from the Home Depot
The end of one of the cut pipes before deburring
Before cutting through the pipe
The four arms for the two monitor mounts
Dry-assembling them before welding
Assembled mount after welding, before painting
How the pieces fit together
After painting I hung up the pieces to dry over night
The desk once the monitor mounts were installed
A behind-the-monitor look
Another behind-the-monitor look
Another picture of one of the two beauties (unpainted albeit)
A last look at the office and cables all cleaned up
Tools:
Table saw
Measuring tape
Pencil
Marker
Square
Nail gun
Router with flush trim bit
Angle grinder
MIG welder
Drill press
Drill bits
3/4" bi-metal drill bit
Cordless drill
Level
Iron
Knife
Sanding block
Paint gun
Compressor

Materials:
2 damaged sheets of formica
2 sheets of 5/8" MDF
1/2 sheet of 5/8" melamine
Iron-on melamine edging tape
Contact cement
Carpenter's glue
Masking tape
20' of 1.5" x 3/16" flat iron
30' of 1.5" x 1.5" x 1/8" angle iron
10' of 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle iron
14' of 3/4" x 3/4" square tubing
6 of 4" x 3/4" black pipe nipples
6 of 3/4" galvanized pipe couplings
About half a liter of rust paint
Screws
32 sq.ft. of laminate flooring

Cost:
$258.61 minus $125 for selling the old desk on kijiji = $133.61

Time:
Desk:10hrs
Shelves: 4hrs
Monitor mounts: 4hrs
Total: 18hrs

Savings:
Shelves: $120
Desk: $600 to $700
Monitor mounts: $235
Total: About $1,000.00

Conclusion:
I love it and the total desk area is so big (30 sq.ft.) that I have plenty of working space

5 comments:

Zac Jamieson said...

From the tools, materials to time needed, this project is nothing but perfect! Kudos and thank you so much for sharing your successful work.

sheila olson said...

This is looking really nice but, I would like to suggest that you directly install a monitor arm which will help you in saving the space in your office as well as will also help to increase the productivity of the work.
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Undecided said...

hi did you make the brackets to hold up your desk? if not, where did you get them? thank you

Chris Eigenheer said...

@Undecided, yes, I welded them out of angle iron and painted them. They are very sturdy and can be screwed right into the stud so the table holds 300-400lbs of weight without even budging

Troy said...

All very nice. I'd like to make a similar desk arrangement. Although some drawers might be good to have.

I'm enjoying looking at your projects. I find them through the Homemadetools.net daily email.

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