Space is running out in our house. We’re looking to clean out one of our bed rooms. Amanda had her craft room and I had my office. I read an article recently from Elijah Manor, a developer I follow on twitter, about how he moved his office into his closet. I got a little inspired. I probably have A.D.D. and being in a smaller space would probably do me some good.
I moved into the closet and used a spare plank and some shelves I had for a desk. This worked, but the desk was shaky and wasn’t a comfortable height. I decided that I really needed to build a desk into my wall to really utilize the space. I did little bit of research and found out I could do all of this at a fairly low price.
The Support Frame
The first step of my project was clear out the closet and setup a frame for the top of the desk to be placed on. I’m paranoid when it comes to weight. I cut three pieces of white pine. One for the back and two for the sides. I screwed them into studs with two inch dry wall screws. The sides didn’t have two studs to sink into. I had to improvise a little with wall anchors. I cut two pieces for the corners for additional support. I have no idea if this actually helps, but I didn’t think it could hurt.
The Desk Top
My next step was the desk top. I needed a very odd sized piece of wood. My desired size was 28″ deep and 59″ wide. I have a table saw to cut to fit, but I would have had to bought a piece of wood larger than what I could get home. I wanted plywood, but it was a little unrealistic and I would have a lot of waste. They came in 8′ by 4′ slabs or 5′ by 3′. Instead I bought a 14″ by 72″ and a 8″ by 72″ and joined them together with some cabinet hardware and wood glue. I save about twenty dollars by doing this. Holes were drilled in the corners for cables. I sanded the heck out of them and sealed the wood with an aerosol sealant.
The Desktop Cover
I didn’t want a wood style desk top. I had seen several do it yourself shows where the hosts covered ply wood with a linoleum style cover. I haven’t been able to figure out what they use, but I did find something that I thought would be acceptable. I used Con-Tact Creative Covering to cover my desk top. I applied the covering like a giant vinyl sticker. I experimented with a method to accommodate the drill holes, but it didn’t work well. After the covering was fully applied, I melted down the bubbles with matches and a candle lighter. Really wish I had a butane torch for this. I ended up melting the stuff a bunch of times because I couldn’t control the flame well. Overall the result was acceptable, but I wish I had spent more time looking for a more heavy duty covering. I believe I purchased the lightweight version of the contact covering.
More Support and Cable Management
I used 90 degree corner braces to help spread out the weight and secure the top to the frame. I spread out about eight of these through frame on the wall. I purchased some large hooks to help with the power cables and found a bunch of smaller ones that I used for monitor cables.
The Final Result
I’m very satisfied with the final result. The total cost was around $50. I run three monitors (currently a 20″ wide, 19″ and 17″ square). This can add up on pounds fast, but the desk doesn’t flex much. I had to run an extension cord to my power strip. I had to verify that the cable could handle the amps for the powerstrip. I keep my tower on the floor on top of some scrap wood to help with ventilation. It’s a custom setup that puts out a lot of heat. I’ve been working out this setup for about two months now and I’m very happy with it.