building a wooden computer table

Hi,
I'm thinking of building a wooden computer table, probably out of teak or similar wood. I'm in Bombay, India.
Wooden tables over here are manufactured so that there is a sort of frame on which the table top is fitted. Once the table is assembled, this frame extends vertically down an inch or two on every edge of the table, and is 1/2 an inch thick or something. I hope this description is clear. The purpose of this is to increase the strength of the table. The concept of flange is similar, but I don't know if that term is normally used here.
An important consideration is that I need to have a keyboard tray mounted underneath the desk. This would be simpler if the table top was flat, as then the extended edge of the table would not interfere with the motion of the keyboard tray - for example, it would be hard to make the keyboard tray slide out straight if the table edge was not flat. One way around this would be to add extra wood under the desktop, so the keyboard tray could be mounted "further down". The other option is to just have a flat table top, but I'm not sure if this will be sufficient for a strong and stable table. Perhaps there are other ways of reinforcing the strength of the table?
Anyway, the purpose of this message is to solicit opinions from people who are more experienced in these matters than I am. If you have thoughts on the matter please let me know. Also, please CC me on any reply at the email address above.
Regards, Faheem Mitha.
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This is probably the easiest route as long as the tray and keyboard will be above knee level and at a comfortable height to use. If that's not possible, then all I can suggest is an enclosed keyboard tray (which is what I use) that sits on top of the table and your monitor or something else would sit on that.
http://s274.photobucket.com/albums/jj250/upscale_photo/?action=view&current=KeyboardTray.jpg
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Excellent description. I've always thought our East Indian brothers had better English skills then us in the west.
The frame below that you speak of is what is commonly called an apron. It is fairly important to the structure of the table. Yes, you can use a simple thin flat top but it will most likely present many issues. So, I would propose this approach; use a frame (apron) but have a drawer that is integral to the apron as described below.
Build the frame (apron) such that is has 2 additional hidden members under the table top that run parallel to the edges of the drawer which will hold the keyboard. These should run all the way across the table, securely attached at each end to the outer frame. Cut the frame member where you will have an opening for the drawer. drawer so the cut out piece will become the face of the drawer. Build the actual drawer with the sides much lower than the face and this will allow you to add another hidden piece of frame that is much shallower than the frame, applled to back side of main frame at the drawer opening to span the cutout section and act as a stop for the drawer face when slide back into position. Not sure if you can follow that. I'll see if I can find a link sthat shows a similar configuration.
Table tops have a peculiar need due to the fact that wood absorbs and expels moisture and this causes the size of the wood to change through the year. I do suppose India has soime humidity ;^). Wood expands mostly across the grain. Therefore the attachment of the table top to the frame must allow for this expansion and contraction or the forces of nature will dissasemble the table or warp the top. You can see info on Table Irons, Table Buttons hardware items and there are several other clever methods that allow for hold down of table tops with hand made wooden attachmenets or simply using sloted holes with screws, etc.
Finally, this type of drawer is actually quite common and they actually sell hardware that allows for the face of the drawer to also be hinged so it can be folded down after opend to avoid your wrists being bothered while you type. You could easily make your own springed hinge.

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Found it! Isn't Google great. We live in a wonderful age. Just Googled "Drawer in Apron" and found this.
http://lumberjocks.com/AlphaPrime/blog/5508
This shows a very similar method as I described but they don't have the additional bridging piece along the face where the apron is cut away. And, yes you can get away with the apron being split along one side but be sure the table top has good attachment to the frame to remove the degree of freedom for the frame to twist.

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On Fri, 1 May 2009 10:07:12 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"

In addition to the illustrations: If the keyboard drawer is not full depth, an additional brace could be run from side to side, directly behind the drawer for added support.
Bill
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Faheem Mitha wrote:

What you want to do isn't hard to do but *is* hard to explain. I'll try...
1. What you call a "frame", we call an "apron". It provides a place for leg attachment and is integral to the strength of the table.
2. Make the frame wider (higher); say 3"-6". The normal height of a desk is 28-30" so you should still have ample knee room even using a 6" apron.
3. Make the apron on the side where you want the keyboard tray to be like this...
c d d c a _________________________ | b | empty | b | a ---------------------------------------------
"a" are full length pieces about 1" wide
"b" are as wide as the aprons on the other three sides but not full length. The two "a" pieces are attached to them
"c" are the side aprons
"d" are two pieces the same size as the end aprons ("c") attached between the front and back aprons.
4. When this and the other three aprons are attached - *FIRMLY* - to the legs you will have a cavity with sides to which you can attach a tray for your keyboard.
5. I assume you plan to make the desktop from solid wood (not plywood). If so, *DO NOT* attach it rigidly to the aprons...it will tear the table apart as it expands and contracts.
Solid tops need to be attached so that they can move laterally; usually, one uses brackets - made or purchased - that are sort of "Z" shaped but with the vertical part of the "Z" perpendicular rather than angled. The top of the "Z" is fastened to the underside of the table and the bottom part fits in a routed groove on the inside of the aprons.
6. I envy your access to teak. Such a nice wood but so expensive here. Not always so, I remember it at $1.35 per board foot.
Good luck,
dadiOH
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