Home Woodworking: Designing A Computer Desk

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So, you decided that it is finally time to build yourself a real workspace and you need a computer desk woodworking plan. Home offices are all the rage these days. I know, because I watch HGTV and every house hunter out there wants a home office. My guess is that it's partly a place to pay the bills and partly a place to hide from the ruckus going on in the rest of the house. Still, here you are with a room to remodel and an itch to go lumber shopping.

The good news is that with compact computer towers, flat panel monitors and laptops, today's computer desk does not have to be the oversized room hog of a decade ago. In fact, with a few modifications, any desk can serve as your computer desk. Let's take a look at some features you might want.

oDrawers: Every home office is going to need file space. You can have a traditional tall metal file cabinet in the room but I still like one or two file drawers easily at hand when I'm at my desk. Some people like a long, narrow drawer under the desk for pencils and doodads. If you do, add that space into your height measurement below.

oElbow room: Sit at your kitchen table and spread out the kind of work you plan to do in your home office; bills, work assignments, homework. Add in space for the paper clips, telephone, lamp, inbox etc. Don't forget to set up your laptop or monitor. How much surface do you need for all this stuff?

oLeg room: Set your office chair at a comfortable height. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground. A chair that is too high, or too low will cause posture problems that lead to back, neck and arm strain. Now, sit in your chair and measure from the floor to the top of your legs, add 2 or 3 inches for clearance and an inch for the thickness of the desk top (more if you want a pencil drawer,) this is how tall your desk will be. Also note the width of your chair so you can plan the right space between drawers and the side of the desk. Remember not too crowd yourself. You want to be able to swivel from side to side easily.

oCord grommets: Plan a couple of holes, or slots on your desk top to run cords from your electronics. You can buy nice looking grommet covers for those at Staples.

oAir circulation: Your computer gets hot. If you have a standard computer, allow room for air circulation around it. Laptops should be fine on a hard surface.

oPrinter: If you have your printer on your desk, allow more room for easy access to the ink cartridges and paper trays. I personally would recommend a separate stand for the printer. It's a lot easier to load fresh paper, clear paper jams, and change the ink if the printer is not in the far corner of a crowded desk.

Once you have your needs mapped out, you can make or buy a desk plan to fit your needs. Remember; you don't have to limit yourself to a "computer desk plan." Any good desk plan will do; just adjust the measurements to meet your needs. Finally, be sure to pick good quality materials. You want a desk that is handsome, utile and sturdy. You're likely to spend a lot of time there!
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Lucy LaForest has 1 articles online


Lucy LaForest is a self-taught woodworker and tool aficionado. She has been working in her home shop for over twenty five years and enjoys building furniture, decorative boxes, and toys. Lucy is especially interested in attracting more women to woodworking as a hobby, or as a profession. For more woodworking tips and information please visit Woodworking With Lucy

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Home Woodworking: Designing A Computer Desk

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This article was published on 2010/11/08