Computer Desk

by Dan Phalen
For a custom effect, combine your shop skills with a retail desk

It's always fun to build something for the shop, but my first project of real furniture had a truly useful function inside the house.

We had just moved from California and my collection of woodworking tools was meager at best. My wife desperately needed four major pieces of furniture: a lateral file cabinet, a china display cabinet, a document cabinet, and a computer desk. Hence, the project you see here.

Third Things Third

First was the lateral file, second the china display. Now the desk. Sue's desk is a combination of a knockdown unit we bought from Office Depot and some custom work on my part. The top, left drawers and left carcase are manufactured laminate on an MDF core. I used 3/4" maple ply for the rear modesty panel, the keyboard/mouse tray, the right side panel, and the base on which the computer rests.

Here it is, set up with everything but the chair. This was a major improvement over its six-year-old MDF predecessor with dark gray paint. It's amazing how well the laminate top and drawer fronts match the real maple in the file and display cabinets. Someday I may replace the drawer fronts, but Sue's happy with it as is.


Closeup of the keyboard tray. This turned out rather nicely. The desk top is a good hard surface that supports writing and tea spills and cookie crumbs. (Oops, I wasn't supposed to tell.)

keyboard tray

With chair in place.
with chair

I'm pretty happy with how these pieces turned out, and Sue says it's a keeper.

Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoyed your visit.


EB Cover

Before the age of kings,
 when God was a woman...

Sumer, 3,200 BC. Under the watchful eye of a deadly cobra, Nippur’s empath queen Uruna risks her life and mankind’s future to foresee an alternative to war. Torn between her longing for love and her pledge as bride to a nation, she defies a power-mad priest and his insurgent army. But her gamble demands a personal cost more shattering than her worst nightmare. Read more...

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