Putting Together a New Giant Computer Desk

Ryuzaki

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Continuing my fun office / computer-related adventures starting with:
I now bring to you the new computer desk I'm putting together. Thought you guys might enjoy.

I'm not calling it a build because I decided my philosophy was going to be "Do as little as possible while getting the result I want" and I stuck by it.

That meant I wasn't going to buy boards and join them and plane them and all that crap. So the first mission was to source a pre-made desktop. Ultimately I decided I didn't want to pay someone to do all that, so I went with a pre-made slab of butcher block.

I also decided not to buy an unfinished block, so I paid extra to have it pre-finished in terms of stain. But it wasn't polyurethaned and it needs to be if you don't want to have to oil it constantly to fight off cupping and sagging and all that.

The prerequisite was I wanted 8 feet in length and 3 feet in depth. I have a lot of professional audio gear from a past life that I use on my desk so I wanted 36" depth instead of 30" to reclaim some space and to get the cat off my area. He can lay off to the side.

My current desk is 6 feet wide but only 5 feet of that is really usable, maybe closer to 4 feet. That's because it has a built in curve.

Anyways, I wasn't thinking of making this thread so I don't have pictures of hauling the block home on the trailer, but I do have some from in the store when I was trying to keep track of my options and prices. Let me get to it:

Jw3gAzA.jpg


On the right is the 8 x 3 block I chose, pre-stained in Espresso. It's Acacia wood. To the left was a 8 x 25" I really considered (and still may) buying two of to make another L-shape off the side and then use the other to build a shelf for the monitor and speakers, etc. I was going back and forth a ton about it, so I decided to just get the main desk put together first and see if the decision becomes clearer then.

snmC00d.jpg


This is what I ended up getting. You may be wondering why it's $360 instead of $1000 or more, and that's because I went to a salvage store. This store carries all of the "this has some quality issue and we can't sell it in the main production line, but someone can have it at a discount" which is why I got it much cheaper, perhaps at 1/3rd the price.

I just recently moved into a new house and now that I have a work area I'm collecting some of the tools I need to have around. This was another reason I didn't want to get into much beyond sanding, staining, and clear coating. I don't have easy access to clamps and jointers and planers any more.

I ran out the day before and picked up a new brush, the poly, some badass sawhorses, among other things. And I brought the block home on the trailer and slapped it up on the sawhorses.

6FHBIgT.jpg


You can see in the image above some of the imperfections that allowed me to have this so cheaply. Mainly, you can see burn marks from the planer, about 5 of them. They're becoming less noticeable now that I'm on my 3rd coat of polyurethane, but they popped out worse on the first coat below:

VnS5ZGQ.jpg


More details include that I got a 1.5" thick butcher block which should really help reduce any sagging. The legs will be 1 foot in from each side, leaving a 6 foot unsupported span, which shouldn't sag at all. I'm pretty sure the wood was quarter sawn and the grain directions alternate as best as possible with quarter sawn wood. It should remain stiff forever.

Here's one more picture from tonight with the 3rd coat drying on the top and sides. You can see the richness coming out. I'm using a satin finish. I wanted a matte finish but couldn't find it in an oil-based finish so I'll end up with a little gloss which is fine. I just don't like high gloss.

sIJBOcx.jpg


I'm going to see what 3 coats looks and feels like, which is where I typically stop, but I may run up to 4 or 5 this time.

My next entry in this little journal will be when I get the legs in. I'm having them custom welded and shipped across the country. It's going to take longer because after they're made they're taking a stop at another company that's going to powder coat them black.

So in about a month I'll have picks of the legs being attached and the hardware being installed. Then after that the final entry will be me getting all my computer crap on it arranged and semi-decorated.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the whole "look at other people's battlestations" as much as I do!
 

Potatoe

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Nice, thanks for sharing!

A buddy of mine got some legs for his custom desk off of AliExpress and it was a bit of a nightmare, so I'm glad to hear you went with something custom. When his desk legs showed up they were uneven and wobbly, the metal was pretty thin, and the whole thing was about 2 inches shorter so he had to buy a new chair lol.

Can't wait to see the finished product, looking forward to updates.
 

eliquid

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I was thinking last week I wanted to make my own butcher block desk, except I was going to join, plane, stain mine myself.

However, seeing your price you paid wants me to just buy one.

You're not too far from me ( regionally ) and I make trips your way sometimes.. mind sharing the store in a DM?
 

LiamGallagher

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Gorgeous color, and it looks very stable. Are you gonna pick the standing desk route?
 

Ryuzaki

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Gorgeous color, and it looks very stable. Are you gonna pick the standing desk route?
I’m going seated without the option to lift the height. Just a regular seated desk.

I agonized about the height. My current desk is 29” and it’s a wee bit too high because my keyboard is a little elevated. The current desk is 1.25” thick.

With the new one being 1.5” thick I wanted to be careful about going much lower because I lose space between the desk and my thighs.

I ended up opting for 27” legs for a total height of 28.5”. I’d have liked lower but I split the difference to be careful.

I’m 6’1” but I’ve felt chairs don’t sit high enough. I have the Herman Miller Embody and at the max height it feels a bit too low. You’d think I’d need a taller desk.

I wonder if my torso is shorter or arms longer or something. I just needed it shorter to attain the proper ergonomic 90 degrees at my elbows. I’ll fix the rest with a change in chairs if I have to rather than getting too crazy with the desk height.

I just got the final 4th coat of polyurethane on the bottom! Sides and top in the morning then I’ll let it all cure till the legs come in.