Monday, 14 May 2012
Monster Desk for Med Student & Programmer
Materials: 5xVika Amon (black-brown, 29.5x59), 1xGalant Drawer Unit on Casters, 3xblack-brown rails (as-is), framing 2x4's, 3 & 4 inch construction screws, L brackets, straight brackets, drywall screw anchors
Description: When reading the book "Med School Confidential," my girlfriend came across their number one piece of advice for setting up a study area: a huge desk for all the books and papers that you'll inevitably need to reference. So when we moved into a new house, we know our old Office Depot-bought small glass desks would no longer cut it. As a programmer, I wanted space for multiple large monitors as well as room for books and papers when designing out new code.
We knew we wanted a floating-desk style design, or at least as close as possible to it, which meant no legs, and some tricky engineering to get support at seams where the 4 tabletops met. I knew I wanted plenty of leg room under my desk, which made us opt for the wider (29.5") Vika Amon tabletops. We also each wanted an L-shaped desk, which meant a U when put together.
We operated under a few constraints like the size of our room, the height of our windows, and the fact that neither our walls nor corners were straight, but here's what we did.
Decide on a desk height - in our case, they had to fit below our windows. Cut and mount 2x4 framing studs along the walls so that the top of the desk will be at the desired height when laid on top of it. Use at least 2 construction screws at each stud for a firm hold. Make sure to keep everything level as you work around your perimeter.
Cut 1 Vika Amon table top in half (approximately) to use as end pieces at the tops of the U. Keep in mind that depending on how cushy your carpet is, with the weight of the table top, the end piece might sink down a little bit, so cut slightly higher than the top of the framing board you put up in step 1.
Assemble a triangular support system in the two corners of the room, spanning the seam where the tables will connect. It's hard to give exact instructions here, as it was a lot of trial and error getting the angle cuts and L-brackets set properly.
Assemble the Galant unit and place at the midpoint where the desks will meet. Wood-glue the as-is rails to the top to provide extra support. Use a hole saw to drill holes in the rear corner of one table top.
Flip the two tables that will make the L over, being careful to orient the holes and seams correctly. Screw the straight braces across the seam where the two tabletops meet. You'll want a lot here, because this is a weak point in the design. While it's upside down, use L-brackets to join the end piece to the table.
Carefully, and with help, flip the whole assembly over onto the 2x4's fastened to the wall. Attach plenty more L-brackets underneath to keep the desk from coming off the 2x4. Repeat for the other side, and voila, a monster desk is born!
~ Adam S, East Coast