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General Chat Thread, Building a New Desk in General; So...i decided instead of doing the normal thing and buying a new PC desk for my "man-cave" im going to ...
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    HaleStorm's Avatar
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    Building a New Desk

    So...i decided instead of doing the normal thing and buying a new PC desk for my "man-cave" im going to build one to exactly how I want it.

    This is what I want it too look like:
    Building a New Desk-newdesk.png

    I'm planning on using 18mm MDF, the top surface is 1500mmx700mm to give you an idea of the size

    Anyone done anything similar? any hints and tips?

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    how are you going to fix the panels together?

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    Pyroman's Avatar
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    Cracking stuff, looks good. Just watch out for putting too much weight on MDF, it has a tendancy to bow under too much weight i.e. if you lean on it

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    indeed and because it's quite fibrous i'd be inclined to use braces of timber on the internal corners, so you screw through mdf into timber on both faces

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    HaleStorm (8th July 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    how are you going to fix the panels together?
    I was thinking using brass self tappers, using some corner batons to give the corners a bit more strength

    Or if my cousin (who is a joiner) is avaliable to come up, using hit router and stuff to make dove-tail joints

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyroman View Post
    Cracking stuff, looks good. Just watch out for putting too much weight on MDF, it has a tendancy to bow under too much weight i.e. if you lean on it
    I was thinking of maybe putting some cross batons in too, width ways to give it some more rigidity and putting a bit of a vanity plate on the front so they are not obvious

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    MDF doesn't like being screwed into its edges, and the way you've drawn it the top will collapse as soon at you put you PC on it.

    Battening the joints is far superior, although less visually appealing. Always screw through the MDF into the battens for a stronger joint. And use a good adhesive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb1780 View Post
    MDF doesn't like being screwed into its edges, and the way you've drawn it the top will collapse as soon at you put you PC on it.

    Battening the joints is far superior, although less visually appealing. Always screw through the MDF into the battens for a stronger joint. And use a good adhesive.
    Would using a different material for the desk-top be better? say using something more like a classroom desk top type material?

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    Other materials are better in this respect, but cost soon goes up. If you can accept a slightly narrower desk you might get an offcut of kitchen worktop cheap from your local factors.

    I've used MDF to make large shelves and uprights in the past using a "sandwich" technique whereby the MDF is strengthended with battens - a thinner piece of MDF on the underside making a nicer finish and a bit of beading around the edge tidies it all up nicely.

    If I can find some pics I'll post them to show what I mean

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    I built the shelves in the background of this picture - all MDF and now supporting over 300 bottle of spirits. The thickness of the shelf edges is because each shelf is 12mm MDF/18mm stripwood batten/9mm MDF - all faced with a strip of 40x6mm strpiwood so you don't see the joins.

    Woodbridge: The Angel pub hopes its collection of gin will see it break world record - News - East Anglian Daily Times

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    Nice project. I would opt for ply rather than mdf, but it will cost a lot more. There are a few ideas search Instructables for computer desks. Pallet wood seems a popular choice - free but there it takes a lot of work to get it looking nice. Here is the desk I've always wanted to make Popular Mechanics - Google Books I bought the mag as a teenager in 1973 and I still have it. One day!

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    Pocket hole screws and or biscuit joints.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaleStorm View Post
    Anyone done anything similar? any hints and tips?
    I have an Ikea desk with screw-on legs, modified with a rack on the left-hand side. If you have the space, I'd go for 19" rack fittings on one side or the other instead of a chunk of wood.

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    speaking from experience with a train set (don't laugh), I know that 18 mm MDF will not be strong enough on its own. if you want to use this, you should construct the basic frame out of at least 24mm planed timber (comes in 2.1 and 2.4 metre lengths from most DIY sheds. This should look like a table, with no top. You need to master a join at the corners, which can hold the weight of all the sections, plus load. If the width of the desk is more than 75 cm, then it will need a third leg, at least at the rear, and possibly some strengthening at the front edges. I would use a more pleasant timber, maybe ply, which will flex too, but not as much, has a nicer finish, especially when varnished.

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    It sounds like its getting more and more complicated, I've set my Chippie cousin on the task of getting a design together and he's going to get the wood for me too, so he will know what to get in the way of timber etc.
    He said MDF isn't the way to go as well but he knows what design I want.

    Hopefully we will get building in the summer and I will post some photos of the project. Thanks to everyone for there input

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