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Computer inside a desk


E-Day
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  • Retromags Curator

Does anyone have a desk that has their computer in it? I don't mean your tower is in a cubby in the desk, but the desk is the computer case. Like this: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/dk-02/

Has anyone built one? I have been looking at building such a desk for a couple of years, at first one where the top flips up to gain access to the components, but after seeing the above one, I like the idea of the while thing sliding out like a drawer. Does anyone have woodworking experience that would know how to build such a thing? I can build a deck, but I've never made a desk. I find my tower takes up a lot of space for no good reason, and getting rid of it would be great. I'm afraid to think what the material would cost me to make a decent sized desk. Right now I have this Ikea Malm desk, which I like a lot, but I'd like my desk to double as a case :)

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You have to decide on whether you want a glass top.  I wouldn't use a glasstop or those cheap laminate desks you buy at Ikea, Walmart, Staples Office Depot and any where else not made in Canada.  My arms sticks to cheap desks and I get a rash and glass is even worse.  You could always put a microban deskpad over top like I do but it defeats the point of having glass I think.

If you want to re-purpose that desk then leave it together.  Build three walls along the edge of it and screw in some Knape and Vogt drawer slides.  Get the longest ones available.  18 - 24 Inches.   Cut a sheet of MDF that lays on the draw slides and suspends over the top of the old desk.

I would try a professionally made counter top to be the table top.  For what it is worth, a counter store is unbeatable in price and the edges are nicely beveled and will not peel like a box store special.  You get the table ready and the drawer sliding and then take the dimensions to the store.  They are very good at this and it is easy to just screw the top on. 

You need to draw on paper how high these wall need to be, so it clears all the computer parts as well as the canopy.

Buy some MDF shelving and cut the pieces you need for the walls and other pieces.

 

These Knape and Vogt drawer slides support 100 pounds and have long life bearing.  About 50 bucks but nothing is better.

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Prebuilt Home depot counter that could work but get it professionaly made, that way you can select the patern and bevels and keep a perfect fit

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Eday's desk

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Microban Deskpad

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3 hours ago, E-Day said:

I like the idea of having glass on top. Maybe not the entire desktop, but at least part of it so I can see the computron inside.

I can tell you from experience that a glass desktop is very uncomfortable to rest your forearms on - very sweaty/sticky in hot weather.  So I'd definitely limit it to just enough to see the computer.

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On 2/3/2017 at 6:23 PM, E-Day said:

I never thought of modifying my current desk. The top it's pretty thick and I would consider that wasted space. I like the idea of having glass on top. Maybe not the entire desktop, but at least part of it so I can see the computron inside.

The top is 7/8 Inch.  To stay structurally strong the platform must rest on top the sides so all the mass is transferred to the floor.  It's the strongest and simplest method to construct something like this.

I was thinking you could use the desk you got rather than scrap it. 

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Either live with that 7/8 inch top or completely engineer a custom one.  The biggest complaint with the Lian Li DK-02 is the flimsy drawer.

I personally hate how the keyboard sits.

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It could be possible to use dowels and glue to strap together the sides and drawers but you're going to need to build up a brace to support the drawer on top.

 

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  • Retromags Curator

I like the height at which the top of my desk is at. I do not like those keyboard trays that sit lower than the desk, so anything I would do would not have one of those. If I used my desk, I would replace the top with a custom piece. It would be thinner so there would be more room for the area the computer parts would sit in. I would have to limit the available area so that I would have room for my legs. Otherwise they would press up against the underside. Below is an illustration  looking from the top down of how I think I would need to lay things out. The power cord cubby is a current feature on this desk.

desk.jpg

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Let's look at you're layout as an enclosure for now.  The top of you're desk is 55 - 1/8" x 25 - 5/8"

Take a piece of 1/4" MDF and cut it to dimension.  I lay out the computer parts one way.

The scale is inches.

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And the profile looking from the back would be something like this.  1/4" MDF and 1/4" glass.

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Do you need a graphics card?

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  • Retromags Curator

So I have plenty of room still inside of there.

I don't know if I need a graphics card, but I have one. It's 9.37x4.37 inches. It's not giant, or maybe it is. MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) DirectX 11 N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II

I don't play games on my computer that would need that graphics card, or any graphics card, really. But it is quite helpful with Adobe Creative Suite as some effects and filters will use the graphics card for a boost. So I would keep it as is.

I would maybe even move the board closer to the front so I could have a fan suck air in from the area for legs and blow it across the motherboard, and have another fan on the other side blowing the air out. The on the front of the desk/drawer, I could mount the Blu-ray burner and my USB/Card readers. And on the top I could find a home for my hot-swap SATA dock that is currently on the top of my case. Just like this case: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/thermaltake-v3-blacx-mid-tower-case-with-top-mounted-sata-hdd-docking-station-and-usb-30-w-o-psu

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  • Retromags Curator

Something to look into. The only problem with this whole thing is that access to the ports at the back of the motherboard will be hard to get to. Unless I put the motherboard right at the front, but then all the ports will be exposed and make things look ugly (or uglier),

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got interested in building myself a computer desk this year and made a blueprint.  I'll show you what it should look like wrapped in arborite with black edging.

The bottom drawer fits a bankers box which contains all my important papers.  The shelf underneath can hold power bar and router as well as being a place to rest my feet.

The depth is 31" and width is 5'.  This will take 3 sheets of 1" MDF.  After I put 3/4" angle iron across the edge, the top will support 600 pounds temporarily.

I may hide a computer in the drawer.

3LOrSqZ.jpg

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  • 5 months later...
  • Retromags Curator

I came across a couple videos on YouTube today from Crafted Workshop. He goes through all the steps, and gives you a list of materials and a cutlist, as well as the SketchUp plans (that you have to buy). That desk is a bit large for me, but I like what 's done.

https://craftedworkshop.com/blog/building-computer-desk-diy-desk-pc-part-1

 

 

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