Another thing, if your going to put laminate on PB, do both sides.
In any case, you will need to finish both sides of PB, or it will absorb
water and warp. A double layer of 3/4" PB (particle board) or ply with
laminate on all sides, makes for a very good desk top.
In fact, with a double layer of 19mm (3/4" 13plies) baltic birch
hardwood plywood, a laminate top, or stain and hard poly finish would
make a hell of a desktop. You could just round over the edges, and leave
the interior plies edges exposed. A sheet of tempered polished glass is
common on fancy wood desks/tables for a really durable finish.
You can usually get away with just sealing the underside (even shellac).
Laminate on two layers of MDF (or one layer with a partial skirt)
is even awesomer ;-) It's heavier, so it stays put better, and much
better machinable, so you can get a lot more fancy with edges - curves,
profiles, etc. Even paints well.
I'd never waste plywood that expensive under a laminate or otherwise opaque
surface finish. Except if I needed really light weight.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
I thought of that, but thought the cost might be more than I care to spend.
I'm not scrimping on the filing cabinets; they will be top commercial
quality. However, this arrangement isn't really permanent and I don't
expect to use the top more than a year or so. An expensive door or
countertop wouldn't make sense.
If you check around you should be able to fine a piece of counter top at a
My current, temporary, (well for the last 8 years anyway!), computer desk is
two, two drawer Hon file cabinets and a six foot piece of counter top. I
built a pencil/crap drawer out of some scrap for it too. The counter top
came from one of the home centers in town, it has a chip in it some where so
I got it for $10. The drawer and hardware was stuff I had laying around so
really no money in it to speak of. The computer CPU sits on the floor, I
have a riser for the monitor so the base of it sits about six inches off the
I have been threatening to build some real cabinets and desk for the office,
but it is pretty low on the "list"! The Mrs. has the project a bit higher on
her list, so I may have to get to it in the next decade!
I'm going out looking tomorrow. At this point it sounds like a
"seconds" countertop is a much better choice than the door for several
reasons; probably cheaper, already finished with laminate, a better
writing surface, and probably sturdier.
I'll be moving in a year and will buy a "real" desk then. I will still
use the filing cabinets, but the countertop will probably be relegated to
the garage or shed.
I have that exact setup. I'm using a hollow-core interior door.
It's okay except that I have my computer on it with two
monitors and it's sagging ever so slightly in the middle! Other
than that, it's fine.
I think the height for interior doors is all about the same, but
the width varies. Choose your width based on what you plan to
do. I got one that's wide enough for my computer with about
10-12 inches to spare. My keyboard is in a special thing I attached
"under" the door/desktop -- a pull-out keyboard tray.
I don't know your full setup, but if you set the filing
cabinets at less than the full width (length? height?)
of the door it probably wouldn't sag. It they were set
down about 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart it should take care of
it, and still leave plenty of room between them.
My thought, too. I'm using legal size files, so the support width is
increased by a few inches. I certainly don't need more than 30-36 inches
of "kneehole" space. Also, my weight load is probably less than typical.
I have a flatscreen monitor which is very light, as is the scanner and
inkjet printer. The CPU will be on an area directly above one of the
On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 05:49:45 GMT, Wayne Boatwright
If you have the $$, check out 'benchtops', too. That's what I had at
work spanning two 2-drawer filing cabinets. It was like a big
butcher-block -- about 1.25" thick, finished, and sturdy. I don't
remember the cost -- I didn't buy it.
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