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Windows 7: Office desk (as in furniture!) tweaks for computer

27 Dec 2012   #1

Win7 SP1 x86
 
 
Office desk (as in furniture!) tweaks for computer

I'm a touch OCD when it comes to organization and the wires, perhiperals and bits and bobs lying around the office room at home are finally getting to me.

Add into this the fact that I'm military and things get ripped up and moved across the continent every 2-5 years and I'm just about to loose my mind.

So I need to do something with the desk.

Buying a new one doesn't make sense since it invariably gets banged up in all the moving. It also has to be "moveable" by two guys so a large intergrated solution is out.

The desk I currently use is something we picked up second hand more years ago than I can count. It cost me 20 bucks but it's big and sturdy. Even though it was obviouosly made by a basement handy man, it's held up well and is decently solid 1/2 plywood construction all covered in a laminate:



So the decicion is made to alter it. What can I loose? it only cost 20 bucks after all.....

First iteration was a set of "pass though" plates I picked up at home depot:



Good start. Cleaned up some routing issues with cabling. A couple holes punched in the panels below gets it routed a little better and all up off the floor. No more "bundle of snakes" on the carpet.

Next is what to do with the tower. The wife wanted what is essentially shag carpet in all the bedroom when we built the house, so the floor is definitely not the place for it. A quick fix was to pull out some drawers and make a platform:



Not perfect, but workable for now.

So that's where it sits for the moment.

Plans are evolving for what to do next with it. Building a computer into it isn't really in the plans, so it will stay with a tower for now. Taking the HP tower apart doesn't make much sense either since it's only a core 2 duo E6750. Good enoguh for what I use it for, but if I'm going custom build it will be with new hardware.

Rough plans are to have the monitor retract into the table top. Shiny black finish and a glass top. Some of the perhiperals on the table top will disappear into the desk and well. The area where the tower is housed will be reworked a bit, along with some heat extracting fans.

There's also the possability of adding a second monitor that will also retract.

The drawers will have to stay functional as actual storage drawers, but there's lots of unused space behind them as they don't go all the way to the back of the desk.

Anyone wanna "spitball" some ideas around?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Idea for tower area...cut out a panel for some mesh screen for ventilation on two sides and the back. That is the only flaw with desks of that type of setup where the tower is at the bottom....no ventilation. Something to think about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #3

Win7 SP1 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bassfisher6522 View Post
Idea for tower area...cut out a panel for some mesh screen for ventilation on two sides and the back. That is the only flaw with desks of that type of setup where the tower is at the bottom....no ventilation. Something to think about.
Good points.

My thoughts are to leave the front open, essentially "as is" and create a decent sized vent in the top surface to allow hot air to "stove pipe" up and out.

The front case has two doors; one is covers usb, headphone jacks, etc and the other was for the original HP "personal drive" bay.

I've removed the drive bay inside and installed a second sata drive. This makes the door and open passage into the case. My thought was to leave the door open to allow xtra cooling air to be drawn in when needed. Dunno, I could be off base on that one....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I see your tower is an HP brand...I'm partial to HP's...I had one exactly like that, the m8300f...lol. With retail PC's cases they are very limited in the ventilation area to say the least if at all. Instead of doing all that you've stated, which will just allow more dust and lent to find is way in down there. I would suggest a new ATX mid-tower or ATX full tower case with great ventilation and some extra fans...you will need to measure your cabinet area with dimensions of the new case to see if it will fit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #5

Win7 SP1 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bassfisher6522 View Post
I see your tower is an HP brand...I'm partial to HP's...I had one exactly like that, the m8300f...lol. With retail PC's cases they are very limited in the ventilation area to say the least if at all. Instead of doing all that you've stated, which will just allow more dust and lent to find is way in down there. I would suggest a new ATX mid-tower or ATX full tower case with great ventilation and some extra fans...you will need to measure your cabinet area with dimensions of the new case to see if it will fit.
Also good points and I probably will go that way eventually. Getting tired of buying off the shelf solutions and then being limited by it one or two years out. This one is an m8377c.

However, money is tight and this one does what I need just fine for now.

When (if) I do build my own tower, I'll probably go custom build into the desk.

I like it neat and clean, Can't do that so much with a traditional tower.

But that's at least another 8 years out. No sense building something super nice until the military stops bouncing me all over the place. Until then, It's old desks that can get destroyed and fairly affordable solutions.

8 more year and then I retire with 30 years of service and a decent pension to support my new lifestyle; ie: SLACKER!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2013   #6

Win7 SP1 x86
 
 

Got tired of lack of room and storage so I moved the desk to a different spot in the room and started building a "wing" on the side:



Excuse the mess, the room is completely tossed after shuffling every thing around.

So it's just a table top and 6 legs at the moment and fairly conventional as a computer desk layout. The side facing the chair will get a couple big drawers for cd and dvd jewel cases and a top shelf for items like disc spindles and zippered disc cases. I'm thinking the angled area on the outside will stay open and get a shelf or two for large items like extra monitors or spare cases.

It's will be finished with some black/mottled black laminate and black accents. there's about another day or two of wood working to go yet...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2013   #7

Win7 SP1 x86
 
 

Room still a mess, but progress on the desk wing:





Ran out of left over materials big enough to make the drawers bottoms so I need to actually pop a few bucks for another sheet of MDF. Also needto pick up some drawer slides. That will bring the grand total for the project to about 50 bucks so far (not counting the materials I had hanging around already. Not bad cost wise.

Today I build a couple slide drawers for CD's and DVD's, a shelf above them and possibly doors for the angled storage area on the back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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