Building a computer desk, need suggestions

I am planning to build a computer desk at home that will support myself, my wife, and my son's computers. The desk will have three corner units and then three straight sections to connect the corner units. I plan to make the corner units and connectors as separate units so that the whole thing will go together as modules and be easier to handle.
The plan is to build the units out of red oak. I have on hand 3/4" ply that I was planning to use for most of the unit and then band with read oak hardwood to cleanup the plywood edges.
My question now is if there a more cost effective way to build the vertical supports for the units. The 3/4" ply would work of course, but maybe a frame and panel construction of harwood and 1/4" ply might be cheaper, but just as sturdy.
The straight sections will aslo have file drawers below for support of the desktops.
What are your thoughts?
Thanks, Dave
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this doesn't answer your question, but unless you all use the machines at the same time a KVM switch will save you a whole lot of space. Basically, it allows you to use one monitor, one keyboard, and one mouse with several computers.
Link: http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code16193&pfp Êt3
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snipped-for-privacy@kreusch.com wrote in

Thanks for the KVM suggestion. There are actually four computers already in use with two on a 4 port KVM switch, but we really do have three separate setups for each person to be working at the same time. Two desktop setups and one laptop.
Thanks, Dave-
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On Thursday 20 Jan 2005 3:58 pm, David Patnaude scribbled:

BTDT, so here's my two cents worth.
1. Since you will be making (using?) filing cabinets to hold up the straight sections, I would just screw in a couple of simple metal corners to hold up the corner tops (i.e. attach the brackets to the side of the filing cabinets). So the corner units would consist of only of the top, no sides.
2. While the frame and panel would be just as sturdy (IMNSHO) and a lot more fun to build, I doubt it will save you much money once you factor in the cost of waste, etc. So are you looking for something IKEAish that just looks okay, or something nicer & do you have the time to build it?
3. I would consider using a wider contrasting wood for the edge banding. It looks better that the usual banding seen on plywood panels. But that's my NSHO.
4. If the sections are long, think of installing a 2-3" apron to avoid sagging.
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Luigi
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On 20 Jan 2005 15:58:37 GMT, David Patnaude

Check this out:
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/page8.htm
You describe a modified version of this but the point is that the corner unit picks up its support from the surrounding base units - for free.
A piece of 1X stock on the wall in the corner, fastened to the studs, is sufficient for the back of the desktop, and the base units have a cleat to carry the sides.
HTH
Tom.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 (webpage)
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wrote:

Tom, nice work. This is very similar to what I had in mind.
I will be taking a closer look at your dimensions to see how they compare to what I was coming up with. I like how you varied the desk heights since my wife and I were debating on the best height. She uses a laptop and I have tower setup like yours.
Thanks, Dave
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On 20 Jan 2005 15:58:37 GMT, David Patnaude

Cost wise, I don't think so but it depends on your design needs. If your desk height is around 30" and the depth of the top is 24" or less you can get 6 vertical pieces (or sides) out of a 4x8 sheet. To save some cost you might be able to use a ply that is only good on one side if you don't see both sides. Also, if you don't need a full depth cabinet side but just a support for the top you can cut the pieces at an angle and make a bracket that angles back toward the wall. Each of the 30" tall by 24" deep sides can now be made into two brackets by cutting the angle from corner to corner.
Mike O.
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wrote:

Mike,
Thanks for your suggestions. A good part of this will be visible and supported by file drawers.
I do like the look of the frame and panel though, so I will have to look a little harder at the cost differences.
Thanks, Dave
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One thing you might want to consider is mounting the monitors at an angle under glass so the user looks into the desk rather than on top. This also clears the desk top of clutter. An under counter half drawer might be nice for keyboard and mouse.
Sounds like your family spends a lot of time at the computer so you might want to check out the ergonomic designs for optimal placement of keyboard height and posture angles for viewing the screen.
For all of your cable requirements like connecting stuff like digital cameras or downloading palm tops, you might have a little hinged hatch where the cables may be stored when not in use but readily accessible.
Consider a cabinet that will allow you easy access to the computer itself in the event you need to pop in a CD or a floppy or something and have it on slides with some sort of light bungee cords to manage cable slack. Think of the old typewriter desks.
You might also consider head phone/microphone jacks if your son plays those blaster shootem up games, or something.
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