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Thread: Bombproof Builders Desk....Build

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  1. #1

    Bombproof Builders Desk....Build

    (Just found this site so here is everything so far on my build. This is my first major build of this type and I would love some feedback)

    Ok so I have been planning on building a new desk ever since me and my brother in law built me a new PC work bench (Pictured below)

    Using Just 2x4's and some melamine we built a super sturdy bench for about $120 and I couldnt be happier with it. Since then I have been looking at my current work/play station with a little bit of disgust, its made up out of 3 seperate desks none of which are exactly the same height. Further more due to my affinity for eyefinity and large PC cases I am finding that my little work nook is getting more and more cramped and cluttered. Heres a pic of the space I am working with please excuse the mess.

    So the new plan is to gut the whole thing and create a desk that wraps around the entire area Like so (sorry for the small paint image)

    Then I am going to wrap the top of the desk with custom printed Mechwarrior themed vinyl using my wide format digital printer. So on to the construction phase. I have to give a ton of thanks to the two guys working with me (these or their online handles), Talster91 aka my old room mate and Dreyco Valentin who is my brother in law. With out them theres no way I could get these kind of projects done with the quality and speed we do together, We are also building Talster91 a new desk for the gaming rig I helped him build. So here is the start today, we are using birch plywood for the top and kiln dried 2x4's for the frame, using a overlapping design to interlock the tops and frames together. So today we ripped the plywood and tomorrow we will build the frames.



    Also this arrived today

    Day 2

    Ok Most of today is dedicated to Talsters desk build Which is specced to be L60xW30 with a 30 inch height

    For legs on both desks are a L shape made of two 2x4's screwed together gives great stuctural support.

    Next up us cutting and laying out the lower braces and the leg spacing.

    When building your own desk its important to have the imagination and vision to know what you want as Talster demonstrates

    Next up is setting up the top box

    Next up is checking to see if the frame is square.

    Damn its a inch out but dont worry theres a easy way to fix that!

    Tie Downs are like duct tape for woodworking

    Next up is cutting the top to length, we will be anchoring to the top to keep the desk in square.

    For everything to look good he mapped out his screws and is pre drilling then using a cone bit for pre seating the heads.

    Next up is taking a router to all the edges for that smoothed finished look.

    Ready for sanding and staining

    Also these showed up on my door woo!

    Throw some stain on and thats all for today

    Day 3

    I was down a day more than I expected ( the multi-player demo of Mass Effect 3 may have had something to do with that ) Ok so first off I want to thank Dreyco again without him this desk would not have happened and the next stage wouldn't even be possible. Ok down to business, to start with I happened to snag a great deal on a 720p projector which I had been wanting for the launch of ME3 for Xbox 360 (yes I play it on console thats where all my saved games are) so we will be starting there. Parts involved are

    Optoma 536 720p 2700 lumen projector

    Elite Screen 100 inch 16:9 manual screen

    Ceiling Mount For projector

    Plan is to recess the screen into the ceiling and then re-route the surround sound and video/console equipment.

    First off got to get all electronics out of the room as sheetrock dust is not good for electronics.

    Next up is measuring the screen housing and cutting the hole

    That done we just put some hooks in the floorboards and time to try a test pull

    Threw the projector up and time to see how it looks

    Ok that done on to the desk, Cleared out all of the old stuff

    With a blank slate its time to get to work

    The key to building a desk with lumber like this is to never pre cut, make each cut to the specific spot so its always spot on and you can compensate for imperfections in the wood.

    With the first section built (it will be the only complete section with 4 legs each section after this with be missing at least one leg to create a open front for chair and legroom)

    Now we are joining the crossmember with a T bracket

    We are double butting our legs for extra support

    To limit flex we added a cross support.

    Frame is complete

    Cutting the tops to fit.

    Test fitting the tops and monitors

    Next up we mark out the monitor slots and our wire slots

    The mounts slide into the slots and get 4 lag bolts into the 2x4 below

    Next up we router the holes and screw down the top.

    Time to start putting things back together

    The next stage is the vinyl top but I have to wait until we change our machine out next week also the other part of the project is being drawn up in CAD I will post something up soon enough.

    Ok so the next phase in the build involves incorporating a built in gaming PC plus my surround sound, Xbox360 and PS3 plus cooling all of it in a efficient manner. but in the mean time I scrounged a WinTV Card from Haupage off a old PC and ran the antenna and bam I have a DVR and HDTV to my projector!

    Also my longer cables came in so cleaner desk!

    You will notice Craig Feurgeson from the late late show (DVR FTW!)

    Ok so when I installed my projector I was left with a 42 inch Vizio 1080p LCD with no where to go, I sure as hell wasn't going to sell it as I would eat my shorts so I decided I didn't need a whiteboard anymore and used a old wll mount I had kicking around and BOOM

    It kinda feels like I am living in a sports bar now.

    Sorry for the day late update my new wide format printer showed up a day early so it's been a little crazy here but it means vinyl day is moving ever closer (gotta get some actual work done with it first though) here is a preview of some stuff to come

    This just came in I will be posting pictures and a full review of it later

    Annnnd then theres this addition to my monitor setup

    Small update, my new keys showed up and I am lovin 'em, gonna try and get some MW:LL in tonight so I can get to work on my quickfire Review.

    Loving having a nuke key for my delete

    Ok well my buddy is running behind with the CAD work at the moment so I am taking a whack at it. Using Free CAD this is what I got together tonight (I have never used any form of CAD before)

    Basic model of the area of the desk I am working with the green area will be hinged and the entire PC will be mounted underneath trapdoor style.I have mobo tray and back I salvaged from a LanCool Case.

    This will be mounted to the bottom of the highlighted piece of desktop. More CAD stuff to come as soon as I figure out how to make it

    Also this showed up today

    (wish there was a bigger smiley option.)

    Just realised that I haven't posted up any good pics of the area that I will be installing the PC into. Here it is the area is about 30x19.25 on the outer dimensions.

    The goal is to have 2 shelves for the surround sound, XBOX 360 and PS3 with fans cooling them and the computer hanging above

    A little better CAD model the bottom shelf is a piece of ply thats already there, while the other 2 with be a rubber coated wire mesh for maximum airflow. Bottom is Surround sound Head Unit then Xbox360 Slim then Big fat oldschool PS3 next this to work on is doors, fans and PC placement.

    Small update

    My 2x4 HDMI Matrix Showed up in the mail yesterday, this little box of awesome will let me switch between 4 different HDMI inputs and out put them to either the 42 inch LCD or my projector or both at the same time! The reason for a device like this is that I plan on watching more stuff on my LCD than projector as much as possible due to the significantly shorter lifespan of the projectors bulb.


    Next up is my XFX 6950 2gb showed up today! Its been flashed to a 6970 Bios and although used is in like new condition. I moved my sapphire down to the next slot and slid the PCTV card inbetween and presto enough power to rock my triple monitor setup properly. I added some extra fans to make sure cooling doesn't become an issue.

    Now this is not the hardware I plan on mounting inside the desk its just my benching/review setup. For the Desk build I am hoping for a 2011 or AMD build so I will have enough PCI-E lanes for all of my needs.

    Ok New update, while I am still wrangling with Cad I decided to start working on the layout of the custom printed vinyl layout for my desk top. As I have said before it will be Mech Warrior themed as that is my favorite gaming franchise and with the advent not or 2 but 4 new Mechwarrior games in the works I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. So right now I am going to be doing some test runs with the artwork and sizing for the areas I have to work with. First up I have the Map of the entire Inner Sphere which I got from the MechWarrior Online art page. I blew it up to 30' tall by 47' and printed it on some heavy duty paper, this is just to see how the artwork looks at this resolution I have not vectored or tweaked it yet but its always important to test print as you never know what you aren't seeing on your monitor.

    Doing a rough trim.

    Next tape it down to let it stretch a little and offgas.

    This is the area I want to put the map on.

    Do the final trim.

    And check how it lays out.

    Ok I am getting alot of pm's for a update so here is what I have so for in Sketchup (I switched from free CAD due to the huge amount of models available in sketchup) I will be using either a bench hinge or piano hinge (I am open to suggestions) The model is missing several components at the moment, I couldnt find the right fittings to go between the vid cards and I have no idea how to make tubing yet (still new with digital design stuff) I am using 7970's with EK blocks but that could change depending on parts sourcing ect... I am going to do the entire desk and then make the cad file available to anyone who wants it. The plan is to run a long loop to the radiator with enough flex for it to open or create a joint with 2 off valves and a quick disconnect in between. I am open to idea's for alternate whats to setup the WC loop or any suggestions in general, I want this to be as awesome as possible. I am also going to try to get sponsors for the next stage of the build so hopefully I can take this build up another notch!

    Feel free to post questions and critiques and thanks for all of the response guys!

  2. #2
    Ok guys, small update, today I am back over at Bryans shop to get some parts fabbed up. Here we have the Plasma Cutter we will be cutting the parts out with.

    And these are the items the parts are being made for.

    Templates made up, its time to cut.

    Smooth em out, and drill out the holes for attaching to the 2x4

    Bend them to shape and I have some sweet purpose built Brackets to hang my Rad from.

    Next up is a new triple rad template, as the compessed paper one I have is just not going to last. 16 Gauge steel, should last me the rest of my modding career

    Went outside, and who do I see? Gerry! Man he has gotten big!

    Ok so I will be having Bryan make alot more parts for me after the first of the year. But now onto the actual area I will be installing the wall PC into. Now, to be clear everything I am doing is just test fitting. I will be cleaning up the area and paint it as well.

    Next up my 6970 came in and I got to slap my Heatkiller WB on it (Man I love the way these look)

    Sorry I dont have more to show right now, I hurt my hand, and due to the holiday. I will have more soon and hopefully have the wall mount fabbed up in the beginning of january.
    Last edited by dieseldog49; 01-22-2013 at 02:07 PM.

  3. #3
    My new power supply showed up today Seasonic 1000w Platinum

    This will be the PSU for the Trapdoor PC with the 750w Seasonic for the wall PC I will be Sleeving both of these PSU's and it will be my first time doing so. Thanks again for reading!
    Last edited by dieseldog49; 12-21-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  4. #4
    hey guys, sorry for the break in updates. However my finger is pretty much healed up and over the last 2 days pretty much all of the parts for the wall build have showed up in the mail. I am only waiting on the screws to mount the radiator.

    I am having a hard time deciding which res to use for this build thoughts?

    Also over the new year I managed to score a 1080P Viewsonic Projector for really cheap and with 0% financing for 18 months

    I also upgraded to a Motorized 100 inch screen which means I can run everything from my desk, double

    As soon as the screws come in I will start fitting everything and moving forward however I am in need of some 45 and 90 degree adapters for my compression fittings and I am pretty much out of budget until next month so I will have to source some through trade or whatever. Anywho thanks for reading as always, my next update will be a video of me explaining the full wall PC setup.

  5. #5
    And here is a mockup, the tubes are too long atm but I wanted them that way till I am finished so I have some play room. Now I just need to get a bracket for the PSU and a couple other things and this thing is ready to rock! As always thanks for reading.

  6. #6
    Ok guys, time for a fairly large update. I was going to make a video of me explaingin how the wall pc was going to work and the purpose of it but I came home from work today feeling angry for no good reason so I decided to take it out on some modding. So here are the fruits of my labor for the afternoon.

    First off I cut the Screws i had ordered from frozen CPU to leagnth so I could mount the rad.

    Next up I needed to remove a bit of pipe from the area I would be working in as it was no longer in use.

    Then vacuum and mount the rad

    Next up is the pump

    Then the Res.

    After that i needed to get the 2x6 I would be using to mount the hinges to level and secure.

    After that it was time to make the plank I would be using to mount all of my hardware. There are 4 holes in the lian li trade that make good mounting points.

    And just my luck the Seasonic PSU fits perfectly between the nuts

    next up was mounting the hinges and testing out the concept.

    Woo Hoo, all looks well. Time to start running some tubing. Unfortunately the danger den res. I am using will not allow me to us compression fittings, so I am going to have to use barbs on the res (eww )

    CPU heatsink installed

    and the video card next.

  7. #7
    Ok a slightly smaller update today. I am still waiting on some parts to arrive (A huge thanks to deadlift1 you are truly [H]ard!) He offered me some free extensions so I can use compression fittings on my reservoir. However I did swing back by Bryans shop to have a PSU Bracket mad up yesterday and I got the rest of the mounting hardware for the tray installed.

    First off is the Latch to hold it in the upright position, nothing fancy but it works like a charm.

    Then we have a tensioning cable to reduce stress on the wood the hinges are mounted to and prevent sag. I mounted a adjustable hook on one end so I can adjust sould the cable stetch out or I need to alter the position.

    Then off to the plasma cutter again.

    And viola a PSU bracket.


    And we now have a place to slap in the Seasonic 750w PSU

    You can see here the PSU has plenty of room to breathe and there is only a slight gap between the wood which I will address when I do cable management.

    Hopefully another update and maybe a video by the weekend. As always thanks for reading!

  8. #8
    Ok guys, I am getting close to being done, last night though I decided I needed to re work a bunch of stuff to get the Wall PC right, so I ended up working until 3am on it then spent the next 3 hours after that ordering more parts. So much for this being a ultra cheap build ( Facepalm) Anywho on with the update.

    First off is wiring up the power and restart buttons, I am using a run of cat5 wire so that if I decide to get LED buttons later on I can use the extra 2 pairs for the LED's, Green is Power, Orange is Reset.

    Side note I found a great new way to use the little LED flashlight in my mini leatherman

    Now that gets passed through the wall and that brings us to the wall side wiring.

    First off the Fans, I am using a Phobya fan splitter.

    Now Cables you see here from left to right, Pump Cables,Power Switch Cat5 Cable then the Fan Power cable.

    Here is what its shaping up like on top, please ignore the terrible wire sleeving as I realized the stuff I have it just terrible and I have just ordered Paracord this morning. I also will be sleeving all of the Seasonic PSU cables as well, which will be a first for me.

    Now I also decided to replace of of the tubing with Tygon tubing as the Flexability will come in handy plus I get to use Mayhems Deep red Dye for a better color scheme

    Next up is test fitting my hard drive mounting solution, a Syba Dual Slot 2.5 caddy.

    Its quite light and should suite my needs quite nicely, I have a 1tb Spinner and a Intel 160gb SSD in the mail. I also have the wall pass through and a USB slim housing for a disk drive as well as a couple other things on their way. As always thanks for reading!

  9. #9
    Ok guys, another big update.

    I had a bunch of stuff show up today including my paracord

    I will be using the 3 colors on the left.

    My 160gb Intel SSD and Samsung 1 Tb Spinner for storage.

    I also got more heat shrink, ordered a Crimp setup from MDPC. I also got deadlift1's Extensions for the DD res in.

    Thanks again man they did the trick perfectly!

    So with those, I had everything I needed to get this setup wet. I was super stoked so I started wiring up and sleeving the power and reset switches.

    Then disaster, as I was measuring out a wire length and I bumped the latch holding the tray up and slamming it down. The heavy water blocked video card ripped the PCIE 16x Slot right from the motherboard

    Now while this is frustrating, it is also entirely my fault, I had considered a better more secure latch but opted for the simpler setup. I am sad to see this mobo die before it even had a chance, I rather liked how basic the bios was and I also liked the built in buttons and display, however I picked this board cause it was on sale and I got it for a good price. I am undeterred however because I really do want to see the effects of cooling a CPU upside down and you can't try something that hasn't been done before without some risk . First priority obviously is a MUCH better latch and then a new motherboard, any suggestions that will go with black, red and grey and are fairly affordable please let me know.

    Well instead of posting a video of getting my system topped off with water and leak checked I leave you with pictures of a ruined motherboard but thats modding, some times it all goes terribly wrong and thats what makes it exciting . Now if you will excuse me I am gonna go to the gym and take my pent up rage at myself and take it out on some weights then have several pints spiked with whiskey.

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