I've been thinking of building myself a new desk for my office. I've got a
design in mind but it brings a couple of questions to mind, as I've never
done a desk - lot's of cabinets and furniture of many kinds, but never
something that is going to span probably 60" (by 30") without a whole lot of
(Actually I'd post a picture of one that's very similiar to what I want to
do, as reference, but I hate to take the copyright beating and lectures that
I know I'll get :) )
1. What I've got in mind has a mixture of white and black (possibly
melamine) panels and wood - very modern looking. How would melamine hold up
as a desktop ? It's easy enough to go ahead an laminate something but
melamine was a thought, as an option.
2. I'm not planning any side drawers - only a pencil drawer. That's going
to mean I'm spanning about 60" with only the support of that front partial
panel (I believe thay call it a 'modesty' panel). Even if I set it back
from the front a foot or so, that seems like minimal support for a 60" long
3/4" thick inch span. I hate something that sags over time. Double
thickness for the top maybe ? I'm afraid that's going to make it so heavy
I'll never move it !
Post the picture. I don't think you can take a beating for showing us your
inspiration piece. A lot of creativity starts with others ideas. If you
are going to put a back panel or partial back panel it can help with some of
your span concern.
I'm sitting at my "down and dirty", temporary computer desk. I've used
it daily for at least five years. The top is 3/4 PB with melamine. It
is still good. One of these days I am going to make my permanent
Surely, you will have aprons under the top. If so, they will be
entirely adequate for weight of the top (my temp one is 24" x 72"). The
lies in the apron where the drawer is to be...they wind up pretty skinny
where the drawer will be. The answer is to put in cross pieces each
side of the drawer (between front and back aprons) and use them for
drawer runners too.
Just looked at your picture. With end panels like those and that huge
apron you have all the top support you would need for the top but
personally I'd still put in the cross pieces. That way you can sit in
the center of the top :)
I'd also make it longer than 60" unless you are really cramped for
dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
A laminate on plywood will be much stiffer than the typical melamine
panel, which is MDF.
While using plywood will help, the real answer is a torsion box. It
doesn't have to be all that thick to give you the stiffness you want.
My desk only spans 48" between the pedestals, but has no modesty
panel. It is 2-1/4" thick and has no give that I can detect when I
plop my 200-lb derriere on the center of the span, even if I "bounce"
on it. It is made from two pieces of 1/2" plywood, over a core of
1/8"(?)x1-1/4" stirps in a 8" grid.
Mine is probably overbuilt, since I don't have the knowledge to
engineer it properly. Maybe someone else here does, or can point you
to something like the sagulator, but for torsion boxes.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
I quite like the design. It shouldn't be that hard to build either.
Put laminate on top with wood trim. melamine, even the 120-gram stuff is
not really designed to be a continuous wear surface. Shelves, which are
more passive are okay, but in a few years, melamine will show it's use.
Having said that, I have a melamine top on my office desk, and it has
held up well. I have, however, seen others which didn't fare as well.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.