Building the perfect computer desk — again
Yesterday I finally finished the latest incarnation of the perfect computer desk. (Perfect for me, anyway.) I still have a few final touches to add — a hole for the monitor and speaker cables, for example — but that’s it.
Computer tables are tough. By that I mean that every time I think I have the right one, I realize that there’s something not quite right. When I got a flat panel, suddenly my old desk was too deep. When I shrunk it, I realized that I missed having the extra space.
Anyway, my latest, best desk:
I knew from experience that a height of about 26 to 27 inches works best for me. Adding a keyboard drawer is expensive — a good one goes for $300. So I might as well have the whole desk at a convenient height and simply put the monitor on a riser. It works great.
(In contrast, my hands get sore after typing in the office, because the desk is way too high and the chair doesn’t rise enough to compensate. I see a request for a keyboard drawer in my future.)
So I took four 2x4s for legs, put crosspieces for stability, and simply laid the top on it. It’s not a rectangle; I learned from work that I like a bit of an L shape to have some stuff right next to me.
The top is a single sheet of MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which is darned tough. It’s 60 inches wide (the biggest that could fit in my office at home) and 32 inches deep for the most part — the L part is 48 inches. Plenty of space.
I cut it to shape (no easy task — that sucker is heavy), routed the front edge with a nice curve, and painted it with a heavy-duty enamel.
In other words, it’s pretty simple: Four legs, horizontal braces, a solid top. But what’s important is that it’s the right height and size for me. Fancy computer desks never did it for me, and with the exception of wanting an L shape, this one was incredibly easy to make. (If I wanted a rectangle, Lowe’s would have cut the top to size for me right there, and all I’d need to do is assemble it.)
Now I just need to use it for a bit and figure out the missing things — that hole for the cables, for example. And then it’ll be perfect… until it’s not.