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In this two part video and Instructable, I'll show you how to build your own computer desk / desk PC. What's a desk PC? Well, you take all of your computer components and shove them into your desk, negating the need for a computer case. More importantly, they're fun to build and trick out!


Show All ItemsIn this two part video and Instructable, I'll show you how to build your own computer desk / desk PC. What's a desk PC? Well, you take all of your computer components and shove them into your desk, negating the need for a computer case. More importantly, they're fun to build and trick out! Make sure to check out the two videos above before moving onto the Instructable! There's a lot of detail that's hard to convey through pictures and text alone. Onwards!


In this two part video and Instructable, I'll show you how to build your own computer desk / desk PC. What's a desk PC? Well, you take all of your computer components and shove them into your desk, negating the need for a computer case. More importantly, they're fun to build and trick out! Make sure to check out the two videos above before moving onto the Instructable! There's a lot of detail that's hard to convey through pictures and text alone. Onwards!


Step 17: Install Computer Desk Hardware & ElectronicsShow All ItemsWith the finish applied, it was time to install all of the hardware. First, the access panel for the subwoofer compartment. I installed this door using a piano hinge and barrel bolt.Next, I installed the fans. One of these 90 degree impact driver attachments is a necessity here.I continued installing the electronics, attached the USB hubs and power button. I used the playing card trick again here to get even spacing.Next, I installed these cable pass through brush plates. There are a total of five of these on the desk. Two on the front, behind the keyboard tray, for the mouse and keyboard cables to pass through into the desk. The other three are on the back of the desk, and this is where the cables for the three monitors route into the desk. Pretty slick.Next, I installed the piano hinges on the back of the top. I used two 30" piano hinges, and they seem plenty strong to support the top.I installed the drawer slides for the keyboard tray next. I'm not super happy with the way the keyboard tray works, since it's a little loose when it's fully extended. It's not a huge deal, but not as good as I had hoped. I think some different drawer slides might have worked better.Finally, I installed the gas struts that help lift the top and hold it up when working "beneath the hood", so to speak. These were a royal pain and took a lot of fiddling, but I finally got it right.The last step in the build was to install the casters. These were simple, just drilled a few holes, pounded the caster sleeve into the hole with a hammer, then popped the casters in. Done! Also, my niece found these casters fascinating.


Idea for New Computer Case The desk would: have a built-in case. use existing glass top from old desk. filter air flow, just enough to keep dust bunnies out. incorporate a lifting mechanism -- allowing me to sit or stand at a push of a button! This also has the added bonus of lifting the computer from the dusty floor. Okay, so my plans are maybe a little over the top. I tend to overcomplicate projects from time to time. Ready . . . Set . . . GO . . . Sketched the basic design out on paper, using my superb drawing skills. March 17, 2013


Step 15: Paint the Computer Desk (aka a Complete Nightmare)Show All ItemsFor the finish, I used a black milk paint covered with a clear polyurethane top coat for protection. I attempted to spray the milk paint, and it was a major fail.Here I am trying to spray the paint, trying being the operative word. This was a HUGE pain and was incredibly slow, no matter how much I thinned the paint. I ended up having to paint the desk by hand, and it was a very, very, very slow process. It took my wife and I over seven hours to put two coats onto the desk. It was not fun. I almost had a breakdown here. Many thanks to my lovely, patient wife for keeping me sane here.


Next, I installed these cable pass through brush plates. There are a total of five of these on the desk. Two on the front, behind the keyboard tray, for the mouse and keyboard cables to pass through into the desk. The other three are on the back of the desk, and this is where the cables for the three monitors route into the desk. Pretty slick.


With the finish applied, it was time to install all of the hardware. First, the access panel for the subwoofer compartment. I installed this door using a piano hinge and barrel bolt.Next, I installed the fans. One of these 90 degree impact driver attachments is a necessity here.I continued installing the electronics, attached the USB hubs and power button. I used the playing card trick again here to get even spacing.Next, I installed these cable pass through brush plates. There are a total of five of these on the desk. Two on the front, behind the keyboard tray, for the mouse and keyboard cables to pass through into the desk. The other three are on the back of the desk, and this is where the cables for the three monitors route into the desk. Pretty slick.Next, I installed the piano hinges on the back of the top. I used two 30" piano hinges, and they seem plenty strong to support the top.I installed the drawer slides for the keyboard tray next. I'm not super happy with the way the keyboard tray works, since it's a little loose when it's fully extended. It's not a huge deal, but not as good as I had hoped. I think some different drawer slides might have worked better.Finally, I installed the gas struts that help lift the top and hold it up when working "beneath the hood", so to speak. These were a royal pain and took a lot of fiddling, but I finally got it right.The last step in the build was to install the casters. These were simple, just drilled a few holes, pounded the caster sleeve into the hole with a hammer, then popped the casters in. Done! Also, my niece found these casters fascinating.


This is fascinating. Fifteen years ago, when I was working in real estate development, I noticed that everyone moving into their apartments had a stereo, a big TV and a computer and monitor. There wasn't room for it all. I started working with Toronto designer Julia West on what we called convergence furniture, (see one example here) where we built 486-powered computers into furniture with all the software we could find that would let the computer work as an entertainment center, home computer and all those other functions that we now take for granted on our notebooks, tablets and phones. Nobody needs such a thing anymore.


Red Harbinger intends to sell a smaller, midrange version of the Cross Desk in the future, along with more accessories. And the company isn’t stopping with computer-ready furniture. Other enthusiast-grade PC cases are coming through the pipeline, Rabensburg says, though he won’t go into detail. (Releasing the early images of the Cross Desk taught the team a lesson in silence.) Future announcements will come on the Red Harbinger Facebook page, the company’s preferred means of communication.


Step 10: Fit the Computer Desk TopShow All ItemsNext, I chamfered the top and bottom edges of the desk top with the router. This helps with wear and tear on the edges of the plywood, and also gives the top a nice, finished look.


Step 19: Trick It Out With Your Computer Components!Show All ItemsObviously, this desk can be customized to fit any configuration you need, and you can also swap out parts as they become obsolete in the future. This desk should last for many, many years.


Step 4: Cut Holes Needed in Cabinet Legs & Assemble Cabinet CarcassesShow All ItemsAfter the pieces are broken down, I cut the individual holes into the various pieces using a jigsaw. This is the back of one of the cabinets, and is where the cables will run out. In the second photo, I'm cutting the hole for the subwoofer compartment.After cutting the holes, I assembled the cabinets and most of the desk using pocket holes. Pocket holes are a great choice for assembling sheet good projects (plywood, MDF, etc). They're fast and plenty strong for these applications. This is the pocket hole jig I used. It has paid for itself many times over, I use it all the time.I assembled the desk with 1 ¼" pocket screws and glue. When drilling your pocket holes, make sure to orient them so they're facing either the inside or the back of the structures, this way they'll be hidden in the final desk.In the second to last photo, I'm assembling the cable channel that is mounted in the back of the cabinet. Brad nails and glue are plenty here.The last piece in the cabinet carcasses are these top stretchers. These help to strengthen everything and keep everything square.