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orcsoul

Building a new desk

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So I'm thinking of building a new desk...

 

Looking at something long rather than a corner desk and having a hard time finding places to shop.

 

So far my best find is at ikea. Looking at placing two of the Gerton surfaces side by side to make a very long ~10ft desk.

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50106773/

 

However this would involve a 7 hour drive to achieve.. or pay nearly 300 dollars (!!!) in shipping... around 2x what these things would cost.

 

Anybody else have suggestions on where I might shop for solid surfaces like this at reasonable rates?

 

I'm definitely preferring real wood versus manufactured stuff just due to the fact that it holds together better. Though other materials are not out of the running.

 

Also having a surprisingly hard time finding decent looking legs for said table. Ikea's legs, while workable, just aren't good looking.

 

Suggestions anybody?

 

 

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I'm using IKEA stuff for my new craft table (Linnmon table top & Ullrik 'legs') but I certainly wouldn't be if I didn't have a store nearby.

Another place I've recently found that I really love is the Habitat for Humanity thrift store. There are a few in your area http://www.habitatsa.org/homecenter/locations.aspx.

Pop in and look around an you may find something useful.

 

Oh, and my dad had a great old desk that was actually a door on which he put legs, so that could be an option.

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Not sure what your shopping options are, but the local hardware/lumber store would be the first place I'd start. Solid wood counter tops might be a good search term (although there are some very durable and affordable synthetic counters). Someone specializing in unfinished furniture might be able to find you some lathe-turned table legs. I'm not sure how costs would compare, but you'd probably save a bit on shipping - I know Home Depot ships to a local store for free from their online catalog.

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A thought would also be looking in op shops/dump shops for old tables/desks. Depending on conditions/shape you could always just put a new top on (you can get some beautiful old wood, doors etc) or just remove the legs and position them as you will to a new top.

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Mine was a remnant counter top piece at a local lumber yard. It sits atop a pair of old filing cabinets with a board in between the counter and the filing cabinets. The board is screwed into the filing cabinets and the counter is screwed into the board. The extra board raised the counter lip to just higher than the top most drawers being opened so bonus.

 

Here's the WIP I started for building my basement workspace ... still a WIP too.

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Depends on whether you need the desk just to be functional, or if you need it to look good as well. If functional smooth tabletop is the only requirement, then a sheet of birch or oak vaneered plywood (i.e., the good stuff and the thickest they've got, not the plywood sheathing) from home depot mounted on legs of your choice will do. A couple coats of clear polyurethane will make it look nice and shiny. Throw a tablecloth on top of it and no one can tell what the tabletop is made out of anyway. I used that for kitchen table for years when I was first setting up house.

 

My current desk was an old beat up office desk that I trashpicked for free. I painted it with black hammerite, and it looks good enough for my work area and is resistant to scratching and most chemicals, and it has the bonus of having some drawers to store stuff.. Last thing I would want is a desk expensive enough that I'd be afraid of getting paint or glue on it or scratching it with tools. Always seems like there are a few cheap beat up desks at church and charity rummage sales.

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Doors can make for solid, cheap, large desks. The pre drilled hole for the knob can be useful for routing cables, too.

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You can look for reused or salvaged building materials for a counter top or pillars that might work as legs. Look in thrift stores and garage/yard sales for old furniture which you can repurpose, rebuild, or just use parts of. I would avoid antique stores for this sort of thing, they have a hefty mark-up.

 

More expensive would be to check out interior design warehouses. Home Depot, etc will usually have stuff like this more expensive than a warehouse which caters to the industry, and occasionally the warehouses have gems they're selling off at clearance prices because they're the last one, they're an odd size, they have some perceived flaw, etc.

 

Oh, last note, I would advise you to put side board on the ends of your desk for increased stability. A full sheet would increase the stability the most, but even cross bars midway down would be a huge boon.

 

God luck and happy building!

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If you go with MDF boards cut to the size you need if shipping is not too bad try these from Ikea.

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00144763/

 

Most big lumber chains will give you one free cut and then a dollar or two for each additional one. You put a pin in the trestle and a macthing hole in the MDF top and it is secure.

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Talk to your local school board or school maintenance department (public and colleges), see if they're selling off any of their old desks, science stations, or cabinets. A friend of mine was helping with rebuilding a school, and scored all sorts of nice stuff from them.

 

Government surplus auctions are also a good way to pick up cheap but sturdy furniture.

-Dave

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So I think I've settled on getting some 2x8s or 2x10s and using those to build my own surface... I can get the planks for 30-40 bucks tops, and maybe another 30-40 in materials for finishing, prepping, etc the raw lumber.

 

That just leaves the legs, and frees up considerable budget to spend a bit more on decent legs.

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Not just salvage, you can find great deals on lots of things at local (not big box or chain) hardware type stores. I'm always finding deals on cast off lumber, extra counter tops, remnant carpet, etc. I'm good at chatting people up, though. Helps if you're not /too/ picky. I have a red theme kitchen and the local counter place let me have a bit of red counter for a song...because who wants red counters? :) I probably could've just taken it but I like to give a little back to local business.

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It's dawned on me that I have no idea how I will brace/support the unequal distribution of weight on the surface area of my 2x*s .... there will be a point on the edge that will have to support ~100lbs of weight clamped down upon it... and I don't think some woodscrews fastening them edge to edge by way of a kreg jig will be nearly enough.

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