Converting a Desk Drawer to Hold a Keyboard

I'm on a campaign to unclutter my computer desk (HAHA, yet again). I've moved the monitor to an Ergotron wall mount but now want to move the keyboard off the worksurface so it can be clutter free (HAHA, more room for new clutter). I need some advice from all the gurus here on the wRECk about converting the desk's center drawer so that the front can drop down to reveal the keyboard. Is this feasible? What hardware would you recommend? I'd probably also have to reinforce the drawer to compensate for the missing stability provided by the front. Any other things I should consider? Thanks in advance for helping stamp out clutter (yeah, right!) Izm
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On Feb 2, 7:26 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I tried converting an old center desk drawer to hold a keyboard. I found the sides and bottom to be too thin to be stable when cut loose from the drawer front. Then I tried building a new drawer of substantial construction with the old drawer front hinged to the bottom and supported by some of those sliding supports from Rockler and magnets to hold the front closed. It worked fine except I didn't like the sharp edge along the inside of the drawer front, and rounding it enough to help would have ruined the front. My final solution has no sides or front at all. Just a 3/4" birch plywood bottom with a 2" strip of Cherry forming the front edge. The cherry edge strip has a nice 1/2" round-over that's easy on the wrists. It looks OK and is very functional.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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On Feb 2, 8:26 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I once had a desk where the "center drawer" was just a facade. The part that looked like the drawer front was on a piano hinge and dropped down to allow access to the sliding keyboard tray.
It worked pretty well, but I kept on scratching the back of the drop- down front because I wouldn't always drop it down enough.
So in your case, I'd consider removing the drawer front from the drawer, assembling a frame just inside the drawer opening to hold the drawer front up, then mounting the front to it with a piano hinge, with some magnets to hold it closed when it's up.
Then you can mount the keyboard tray however you like behind the drawer front.
-Nathan
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On 2 Feb 2007 05:26:55 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've seen some of them commercially available, you may want to look into buying one that will be stable and then retrofitting the drawer-front onto it. Another option that I've seen is a flip-up copy tray that hinges up when the drawer is pulled out, leaving the keyboard exposed. Either way, I think you're going to be replacing the majority of the drawer, it just isn't built to be stable without the front holding it all together. Just make something that works, then attach the old front.
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On Fri, 02 Feb 2007 16:25:39 GMT, Brian Henderson

keyboard tray, replace the tray surface with wood to match the desk, remove and put away the drawer (if hanging under the surface) and install the keyboard tray. If the desk drawer is fitted into a faceframe then some modifications would be necessary. In any case, I have found the non-articulating trays, such as the false drawer trays, to be very hard to work from. Just my thoughts.
Dave Hall
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On Feb 2, 11:25 am, Brian Henderson

Thanks for the reply. The flip-up thingy sounds intriguing. Does Rockler etc., stock the harware to retrofit this? IzM
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On 3 Feb 2007 16:40:29 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd assume that just using a piano hinge would work for the flip-up copy tray. Maybe 50% of the drawer sides would be attached to the bottom, the other to the top and at the split, when you pull the drawer out, it's hinged to flip up, taking the drawer front and side pieces with it. That leaves you with an accessible keyboard and a tilted place to put your copy. I tried looking it up online, I found several desks that had it, but none that I looked at had pictures.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

1. Go to an office furniture store
2. Look at computer desks
3. Make notes
--

dadiOH
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I've been writing software for nearly 30 years and I don't like the keyboards-in-drawers. Too hard on my wrists in an 8+ hour day of coding. I greatly prefer the variable angle keyboard tray shown in these two photos. (Talk about clutter! <g>) In the 2nd photo SWMBO is proofreading a presentation for me.
(In the first photo you'll notice a keyboard tray on the left computer. I'ved used trays and don't like them.)
http://www.markjerde.com/img/8-Screens-Large.jpg
http://www.markjerde.com/img/Proofreader-Large.jpg
-- Mark
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http://www.markjerde.com/img/8-Screens-Large.jpghttp://www.markjerde.com/img/Proofreader-Large.jpg
Thanks for the reply and the pix. Cool setup you have. What do you do for backing up all the data? IzM
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Two systems:
1. DVDs in a fire safe, and 2. An internet-based version control system. All current work is stored on the internet and synchronized across my computers. This gives great peace of mind. ;-) When the motherboard died on my main software development computer last summer I was able to keep working. It wasn't as nice without 7 monitors, but 1 monitor is a lot better than zero. ;-)
-- Mark
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In my desk I don't have a drawer so much as a rolling tray that has a fold down drawer face attached to it with a pair of butler tray hinges. No sides or back to the "drawer". Works fine.
J.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Hmmm, I was thinking of that, but hoping to still use some of the unsused space behind the keyboard for storage.Maybe not... IzM
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