The desk in disguise

Hi all!

The Desk

As some of you may know I live in a not too big apartment and one of

the first problems I walked into was: DESKSPACE. Yep I wrote that in capital letters “Why?” you ask. When you are working on different projects it is just very nice to have a large surface to work on them.
One of my main issues was when I was working on a project I was using my diningroomtable and when it was time to have dinner I had to move/clean up everything first in an order that was easy to recreate after dinner, so i could resume my work.

I started the project and set up my requirements:

  • It has to be easy to maintain
  • Doesn’t take up too much space
  • Must provide enough room to work on
  • Affordable
  • I would like to use prefab elements
  • I would like a standing desk, because otherwise I would be sitting a lot all day and I do not want to invest a good office chair
  • My DJ equipment should fit nicely in the desk
  • And the most important one, it shouldn’t be a hassle to clean up after using it.

After several brainstorm sessions and some trips to the Ikea and other furniture stores I came up with the following ideas:

Sketch 1
Sketch 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch 3

 

Illustration to explain sketch 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ended up using the first sketch, this was the on to build without drilling too much holes in the wall. Due to the plaster I wanted to keep the drilling in the walls to a bare minimum.

 

Good planning is half the effort.

While I was planning, gathering equipment and materials I ran against a couple of hicups. I needed wood with specific measurements, the screen was based on those dimensions, the type and placement of the supporting beams and of course I wanted to maintain the sleek Ikea design.

 

Problems which I across with:

Finding the right sizes of wood without getting a bulk set. Because I don’t have a lot of space to store the leftover parts and I didn’t want to invest in which I didn’t need as well.

For the height of the desk I used the standard sizes Ikea have for their higher tables and their recommended chairs. That way I wouldn’t come into any ergonomic problems (Please note that it is dependent on your actual height and that you have to look into a height which suits best for you!) I was in luck that the Ikea standards were suitable for someone of my height.

Getting the right monitor (read: flattest affordable monitor) and the flattest monitor arm.
The first thing I noticed was that Google isn’t your best friend with this question. Also the websites of the manufacturer aren’t really the best sources to look on as well. Forums and review websites are more keen into giving you the specifications and the best bang-for-your-buck type of screens. So there was just one thing left to do and that was going to the store and measure them myself.

What parts am I going to use and how am I going to construct it.
I am a big fan of Ikeahackers.com so it was obvious for me to make this desk out of Ikea furniture.
In my first designs I had supporting beams at the end of the Expedit but when making the designs I was affraid there would be to much force on those beams which could let into bending or breaking the the tabletop. While making some adjustments I went for trip to the Ikea and found a tabletop (Vika Amon) in the same colour as my Expedit. I was sold!

 

Let’s get our hands dirty!

For the actual building part I worked for about 2 days on it. It isn’t a big project to do. FYI I have build this desk by myself, so if you are working together with someone I reckon this is a days work.

I will not explain the exact detail how I made the desk, a picture says more than a thousand words. Click on the pictures below to start a slideshow of the whole process from start to finish. Or click here to see the whole photoset on Flickr. If you have any questions just place a comment below or send me an e-mail.

Accessories

So the desk was build and ready to be used. I haven’t forget about my goals and needed to implement a way (or in this case several ones) to tidy my workplace with the least amount of effort.

Whiteboard: This is my cherry-on-top for this project, if I ever just want to brainstorm I can just start with it and leave it on the board if needed.

My to-do basket with a small see-through envelope for smaller items: Here I put my paperwork which I am using for the current project(s) which I am working. On top of it there is a small place to put those smaller items which easily can be overseen by bigger items.
The main reason I picked for the clear case is that I want to be able to see everything without having to take it out of the to-do basket. If you don’t see it, you’ll forget it.

Kvissle on the side: This is just a quick place to store some magazines, notebooks and the more bigger items which are not neccesarely related to projects.

Keyboard basket: Not sure how to name this, but it is just a simple way to store the keyboard and mouse in a swift move.

     Some articles which I taped on the tabletop to prevent them from falling:
Usb hub: the wireless keyboard is connected to the hub and it is handy if I need to connect more peripherals to it. One usb cable to connect them all!

Cable organizers: to prevent the cables from falling behind the desk.

Mousepad: not necessary but it works a lot better and prevents the batteries from running low quickly.

2 coasters: Why 2? one is for a bottle of water and the other one for a hot beverage. Always keep yourself hydrated!

Next to the desk I have a wireless printer and a nas server installed. Everything black, just to keep the attention away from it and keeping a sleek overall look.

 

Costs:

Receipts

The costs for all the parts weren’t that disturbing, also I tried to use a lot of parts I still had lying around. I have divided the costs into the different stores I went to:

Ikea:
Kvissle: €14,95
Kassett: €5,99
Lack tabletop (discount): €2,50
Vika Amon Tabletop: €39,00

Saturn:
LG IPS235V-BN €157,00

Building Materials:

Fixet:
Elektra cable: 5 meter €5
Connector: €1,99
Screws: €2,95
Cornerpieces: €12,99

Gamma:
Vuren hout 22x75x2400mm: €3,99

Praxis:
Hinges: 2 x 2,99 = €5,89
Wood: 3 x 44x69x2100mm = €11,91
Hangelslotgrendel 100mm: 2 x €4,79 = €9,58
Meubelvilt: €3,99

If you would add all the separate prices together you could buy a simple desk for it. But I am happy with this desk because it is suited to my needs.

 

Summary

I enjoyed planning and doing this project. It has made my life a bit easier :). If you are planning to make a desk for your own and you need help with a certain topic please do let me know and leave a comment below.