New House, New Desk

It appears I have not posted for almost a year, but don’t think I haven’t been busy! In fact, over the past year, we have bought and renovated a house, and I have also been travelling a lot for work. We also gained a cat, Stella, but unfortunately lost Yoshi, our red-ear slider. I believe these events are relevant because I have always used the pets as inspiration for projects.  The house has also provided some new inspiration for projects. I built a compost bin, as well as some raised planter beds. Those don’t amount to much more than boring wooden boxes, though. The pride of my new office has become the desk that I built this Fall. Read on to see some pictures and how it all came together!

IMG_20151230_230244.jpg With the new house came the possibility for me to have my own office/robot lab. Tired of my small-ish Ikea desk, I decided the best way to make the most of the space would be to build my own L shaped desk. I saw a lot of DIY desks that used pipes as legs and thought they looked great and easy to put together.

It took me a while to decide what to make the desk surface out of, but after a trip to a local hardwood specialty store, Macbeath Hardwoods (they were awesome!), I settled on some ash planks. With the help of my friend Pete and a biscuit joiner, we created two different sections for the desk. Then I went back to Macbeath and had them plane all of the surfaces to get rid of the glue lines and smooth everything out.


Once I had them back at the house, I began the process of sanding and staining. I used Minwax classic gray stain, and I applied a couple of coats to all of the surfaces. I finished it with a couple coats of polyurethane.

Once fully finished, I went to home depot and bought pre-cut lengths of 3/4 inch black galvanized pipe (and a few piece of 1/2 inch for the supports). I spray painted the legs black, although the paint didn’t stick very well. I think they still look good, though, and the contrast with the gray-ish fittings looks good.


Once the legs were attached to both sections of the desk (I did a bit of a tripod for the smaller section) I attached metal plates to connect the two pieces together and support the fourth corner of the small section. In total, the desk is about 7’x7′. It gives me a lot of space to put organizers, my computer, and have a nice work area. Mounting the dual monitors to the wall also looks great and frees up even more space. I have been using the desk for almost 5 months now and it has been great so far. IMG_20160411_011713.jpg

With the big window over about half of it, the cats have taken a liking to it as well.




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