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Windows 7: Project: The Ultimate Computer Desk

07 Jan 2011   #31
crazyeyeschase

Windows 7 OEM Home Pre. x64
 
 

If you had access to a plasma cutter that would be great.

One suggestion I do have is go to your local High School. Most high schools offer welding classes now and most have a small plasma cutter along with some oxy acetylene torches.

A lot of the times as long as you supply the material and blueprints the students can do the cutting for you just go talk to a tech teacher.

Should also add most car repair shops have plasma cutters as well. Go talk to an owner and see if they wouldn’t mind doing a small favor for you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2011   #32
ultimatedesk

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 
More Drawer Work

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thefabe View Post
All I can say is WOW really looking forward to more updates. Looks like you've got everything under control. Very nice
Fabe
Thanks thefabe, I appreciate the support!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crazyeyeschase View Post
If you had access to a plasma cutter that would be great.

One suggestion I do have is go to your local High School. Most high schools offer welding classes now and most have a small plasma cutter along with some oxy acetylene torches.

A lot of the times as long as you supply the material and blueprints the students can do the cutting for you just go talk to a tech teacher.

Should also add most car repair shops have plasma cutters as well. Go talk to an owner and see if they wouldn’t mind doing a small favor for you.
Wow, that's a really good idea crazyeyes, I had not thought of that. I've got an eye out to order some stuff from Danger Den, but I'll have to check that out as a possible local solution. Thanks!

I had a bit of time in the shop this week to work on getting my drawers up to speed. I decided to take the advice of a fellow forum member and add "false fronts" to my drawers so that I can attach the "real fronts" using screws by screwing from the inside of the drawer, so I wouldn't have any screw heads to cover up on the outside.

Here they are, with my roughed out false fronts - I happened to have 3 pieces of wood almost exactly the size I needed.



Time to take out 'ol trusty



A quick test fit, and all 3 fit perfectly





Add a bit of glue, and some trusty clamps, and we've got ourselves the beginnings of some false fronts!







All 3 of them fit rather nicely. I think they helped square out the drawers overall as well (Even though they were only out of square by around 1/16th of an inch).

So, I've got some time for the glue to dry. I'm not sure if anyone can remember this, but in my original cut sheets, I had planned on cutting out a specific piece of wood using the wood that I jigsawed out of the desk surface.

Here's that piece:



Not, exactly.... square..




So I take this nice little protractor attached to a table saw slide - it's set at 90, so here we go!



I do 2 sides, and then use the actual table saw fence to square out the other 2, but something just doesn't seem right..





It's not really square. What's going on here?



Aha! Looks like the protractor was a little bit off, resulting in a shape one step closer to a diamond as opposed to a square. After a bit of readjustment, I redid that bit and cut it to size - it's the drawer face for the large drawer.



Now that the glue is settled, I decided to throw a few screws into the false fronts.





Awesome. And solid too!



Now, this is kind of embarrassing, but I had to go back and fix a mistake I made in my initial cuts. This piece of wood was supposed to be 20" x 28", but it ended up being more like 19.8" x 28". It may not seem like much, but this is the back piece to the left-hand cabinet. I would have to adjust the width of all 3 shelves if I were to continue using this, and I've got the space already pretty tightly packed with computer components on the top shelf.

So... don't do this at home, just cut a new piece of wood (I didn't want to cut into a new sheet of 4x8 just for this one piece...)

This piece looks like a good fit...







No one will see it, because it'll be in the back, but you will all know. So... let's just forget that ever happened, ok?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #33
crazyeyeschase

Windows 7 OEM Home Pre. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultimatedesk View Post
Wow, that's a really good idea crazyeyes, I had not thought of that. I've got an eye out to order some stuff from Danger Den, but I'll have to check that out as a possible local solution. Thanks!
Not a problem and I only know this because when I was in shop class in high school I did a lot of work for people around town (it was a small town) I made a lot of storage shelves for the elementary we also fixed a lot of trailers and such for some of the farmers. Even built myself a huge dog house and made a sword lol.

When I moved I had some work I needed done on a few car parts (I could of done it but didn’t have the tools) so I went to the school and talked to the teachers and they didn’t have a problem with it. They would also offer oil changes and such for the students in different shop classes.

Really it depends on the size of the school as to what they can and can't do but most of the time its free the only downside is someone is doing the work for you.

That IO metal is thin so it is a tad difficult to cut no matter what you use without punching of forming it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Jan 2011   #34
crazyeyeschase

Windows 7 OEM Home Pre. x64
 
 

Oh I forgot this thing is looking great and the false fronts is a great idea. What do you plan on using as a finish material?

Don’t worry about miss cuts even the best make mistakes.

Just yesterday I was working on my house (it caught on fire 12/8/10) finishing up the electrical and decided that the old crawlspace for the attic was way to small at 12"x12" I had trouble getting in and out with all that little room so I made it larger 24"x22". It isn't quite square its off by 1/8" so when I cut 2 of the 2x4's I needed to make one shorter and not thinking I made it a whole inch shorter (got a little cocky and didn’t cut on the mark)

I had to cut into another 2x4 but it’s the insurance companies money in a since and 2x4's aren't to pricy but those 4x8 sheets can get pricy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #35
ultimatedesk

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 
Desk Gluing Time

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crazyeyeschase View Post
Not a problem and I only know this because when I was in shop class in high school I did a lot of work for people around town (it was a small town) I made a lot of storage shelves for the elementary we also fixed...
Good stuff there crazyeyes, sounds like you grew up in a pretty nice community. I'm living downtown Ottawa right now, and I'm pretty sure most of the sharp objects have been removed from the local high schools, haha!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by crazyeyeschase View Post
Oh I forgot this thing is looking great and the false fronts is a great idea. What do you plan on using as a finish material...
I've got some solid maple to put around the exposed edges of the plywood, and I'll hopefully be staining the whole thing a nice dark cherry red of some kind.. still working on that. Always nice to be spending insurance money instead of your own, eh? I bought one spare sheet of plywood, but I wasn't about to cut into it when a simple fix like this was available, no matter how ghetto it was

I decided it was time to glue the two surfaces together that would comprise of the actual desk surface and take a break from working on the drawers for a while.

Here it is, the first piece. At first I wanted to lay it face down, so I could evenly distribute screws through the bottom, but in the end, I went face up so I would protect the surface, and it would be a LOT easier to line up the holes.



I threw on the top layer, lined them up, and thought to myself: Hmm, I wonder what it'll look like with the top shelf stacked on:



Pretty cool. This was the first time I had actually pulled a chair up to it to get a real grasp of how big this desk is going to be. I was pretty psyched.

Just a note, the two pieces of wood on each end holding up the shelf will actually be the inner supports (ie, pushed inwards towards the middle of the desk a foot or two), and the cubby holes on the outer ends will support the long shelf. The long shelf also has to be trimmed a couple inches, it won't reach right to the end of the desk.



This next part was really quite a challenge on my own.

I lined it up as best as I could (According to the holes that I cut out, since the edges are easy to trim later), lifted one end with a mighty, strong arm, squirted as much glue as I could with my other arm (And only as far as I could reach!), put it down gently, ran to the other side and repeated.

Let me tell you - with the amount of glue I put down, and the fact that each side weighs 20-30 pounds - it did NOT want to slide around easily to get into perfect position.

In the end, I had to muscle it around a bit to get the holes lined up satisfactorily.

(I spoke with a couple friends about this afterward, and one of them suggested making some pilot holes and screwing in a few screws BEFORE the gluing, and then retracting the screws so that just the tips go through the bottom board. That way after the glue is put down, you shuffle around the top board until the tips of the screws find the pilot holes, thus, eliminating the issue of getting proper alignment before the glue becomes too tacky.)

I then threw some weight on top of the table, attached as many clamps as I could find, and started putting some 1.25" screws through the bottom.



A few clamp shots of the hole - everything lined up pretty much perfect. 1/2" on the left and right, 1/2" at the bottom, and I think just a little under 3/4" at the top. (The size of the lip between the upper and lower holes)









I wasn't satisfied with the way the clamping was going on lengthwise on the surface. I didn't have enough clamps to place them every half foot, so luckily, Mike had some of these nice, big, cedar logs lying around that I re-purposed temporarily.











The end result turned out quite nicely. The hole was lined up properly. There is only a small overhang / underhang of maybe 2/16's of an inch on two of the edges of the surfaces that should be easy to correct with a flush-bit on the router later.

We'll take a look at them next update! Thanks for staying tuned!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2011   #36
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64
 
 

This is looking great!

And this,
Quote:
(I spoke with a couple friends about this afterward, and one of them suggested making some pilot holes and screwing in a few screws BEFORE the gluing, and then retracting the screws so that just the tips go through the bottom board. That way after the glue is put down, you shuffle around the top board until the tips of the screws find the pilot holes, thus, eliminating the issue of getting proper alignment before the glue becomes too tacky.)
is a great idea!

I was a cabinet maker for about 10 years, I know assembly can be taxing at times.

Thanks for the updates, this is a great project!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #37
ultimatedesk

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
 
 
Drawer Trim

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekimo View Post
This is looking great!

And this,
Quote:
(I spoke with a couple friends about this afterward, and one of them suggested making some pilot holes and screwing in a few screws BEFORE the gluing, and then retracting the screws so that just the tips go through the bottom board. That way after the glue is put down, you shuffle around the top board until the tips of the screws find the pilot holes, thus, eliminating the issue of getting proper alignment before the glue becomes too tacky.)
is a great idea!

I was a cabinet maker for about 10 years, I know assembly can be taxing at times.

Thanks for the updates, this is a great project!
Thanks derekimo - must have been an interesting job! Assembly is quickly approaching, and I am dreading it a bit.. I just hope everything lines up the way I have planned!

I got a chance to do some work on the drawer face trim - this was my first time doing solid wood trim.

I cut a nice piece of maple into 1/4" strips, glued, and sanded. I only did one piece this time, as I am not totally sure that this is the way I would like to go.

Something about the trim not meshing quite well with the plywood.

First, I set the table saw to the right width:



Measure 3 times, and you get a nice solid cut:



Made a few strips:





Cut, glued, and clamped on the initial pieces of trim. The trim pieces were about 2/16's of an inch wider than the plywood, which is great, since there will be no voids, though, I'll have to do quite a bit of sanding:







Took the sander to the top and bottom:







Overall, it looks pretty good. I'm still not 100% certain about it, however. I'm thinking there is a strong possibility I will go with solid maple for the drawer faces.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #38
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64
 
 

It was a very interesting job, I miss it.

False drawer fronts would give you a more professional look if you decide to go that route.

Just make sure you attach them with short screws or nails that don't end up coming through the front.

Looking good though, I like watching this come together.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #39
D3LL

 
 

Looks like a fantastic inbuilt desk pc XD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2011   #40
brayway

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Looks great so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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