For a built-in writing desk I am just completing, I need to find a way to
bring some wires for a lamp, telephone, etc. through the desk top. It's
gonna kill me to have to take a hole saw and put a one and a quarter inch
hole through this nicely finished desk top, but I can't think of a more
graceful way of doing it.
Does anyone here have any suggestions? The back and sides of the desk fit
fairly tightly into an alcove, so there's no way to just drape wires down
the back or sides.
Any ideas will be appreciated.
I faced exactly the same issue (with regard to angst) on a desk. It was a
commercial desk but the concerns for the finish were the same. Rockler had
the widest range of sizes and high quality finishes in desk grommets. I
installed three antique brass finish grommets and they came out very nicely.
I used a plunge router with a circle cutting jig. It worked well. If doing
it today, I might consider using a high quality forstner bit instead, but
the router was definitely a reliable method that was easily repeatable. The
one thing I would do differently is attach a piece of wood below the
proposed hole to help hold the disk of wood that comes loose when you use a
I do this regularly when drilling unexpected holes for wiring, etc., through
expensive cabinets that were just built.
My preferred method is to drill a small pilot hole then, starting on the
visible side first, use a good Forstner bit, _from both sides_, to complete
the hole. Insert a grommet made for this specific purpose to fill the hole.
(Make sure you size the bit for the grommet you buy, or vice versa)
1) Cordless phone and battery operated lamp.
2) Fish lines through the wall and put new outlets above desktop.
3) Keep hole small by removing cord from lamp and feeding through, or
cutting off plug, feeding through, then install new plug below desk.
Could do the same with phone plug, but it is pretty small anyway.
4) A shop-made item similar to the grommets others have mentioned. I
would do a square hole (at the back edge, since my square drill bits
are out for sharpening<g>) large enough to pass any electrical plugs.
I'd glue support strips under the edges of the hole to create a ledge
for my plug to rest on, and cut a tightly fitting plug of the same
wood as my desktop, matching grain as closely as I could. I'd drill a
1/4 circle off a corner, as small as possible to still pass the cords.
I like #2 or #4, since you will be able to change lamps, add new
plug-in items, etc.
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
My suggestion, as most of the harware shown allows for the PLUG and wire to
come through the desk surface I would cut the plugs off and make the hole
size just large enough for the wire only. A 1/4" hole is all that is
necessary in most cases .which in most cases can be plugged with a standard
[plug at a later date . After installation the particular items can ne
replugged . As far as I am concerned the gommet thing is only reserved for
things like computer equipment that have specialty plugs.
Perhaps another solution along the same lines as the desk top no doubt has
an edge molding ,how about making cuts through the molding just deep enough
to accomodate the wiring adjacent to the particular item on the
YES! This is a better solution. On built in desks I've often used a
detail where there is a continuous slot along tha back. Basicially
stand the desk a few inches out away from the wall. In some cases we
add an edge band that stands up a 1/4" or so to keep pencils from
rolling off the back.
Just put some blocks at the back, on the wall or on the desk, to keep
it away from the wall.
The grommet is the most common way. I also like the idea of keeping the desk
an inch or so off the wall. There is also a grommet made for this gap, to
keep stuff from falling behind. Check out.
really what I was thinking of but could be a good solution.
Here is the grommet incorporated into design. Pretty nice.
Hmm - I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. It came with a desk I
bought from Lizel's in Lansdale, PA. It is sort of like a door sweep. Made
of rubber. It connects to the top edge of the vertical piece at the back of
the desk. It compresses against the bottom of the top. It is used to keep
cables from getting lost and holding them in place. Its not visible from top
but requires the desk to be a bit away from wall.
Good luck - Let us know what you do
Here's another thought - if the desk sits against
drywall, cut out a small piece, say 2 x 12 inches
so that most of it is below the desk. Then, make a small
box to fit into the drywall with a "shelf" through which
a (say) 1 inch hole is drilled.
Bring the wires into the "box" from underneath and through
the hole out onto the desk surface. Of course, you could
trim it out to make it match the desk.
I have never tried it, but it might work if you really
don't want any desk holes.
On Thu, 26 May 2005 10:18:33 -0400, "Virgil Smith"
The holes don't bother me since I usually have something sitting in
front of them anyway. If you just can't stand drilling through the
top you can always cut some holes in the drywall and use re-mod boxes.
You will have to fish the wires through but assuming the current boxes
are under the desk it shouldn't be much of a problem.
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