Lee Brubaker's Computer Desk

Organizing the electronic clutter.

SHOP OWNER: Lee Brubaker
LOCATION: Edmonton, Alberta

    This computer desk is constructed of 3/4-in. birch plywood edged with 2 1/2-in. red oak, with a relief groove cut to emphasize the panel look. This treatment was applied to the pedestal sides and front doors. The center section is dropped 4-in. because I use bifocal glasses and I needed the monitor lowered to prevent a crick in my neck from long sessions at the computer. The lowered surface also eliminates the need for a pull-out tray for the keyboard. The third "leg" (under the monitor) is merely a panel across the back underside of the dropped center section.
    The entire assembly can be dismantled; that is, the third leg and center section come apart and the desk tops can be removed from the pedestals. It's a good thing too, because it is quite heavy.
    The CPU is hung from the underside of the right hand desk top. It pulls forward and swivels allowing access to the rear plug-ins without crawling under the desk to get at them. (This is handy when that "wonderful" Microsoft program can't find the mouse.)

Left Cabinet Right Cabinet
    The left-hand pedestal has storage drawers, and the right-hand pedestal has another storage drawer and a roll-out tray for the printer. When the photos were taken, I still had not decided where to drill the holes to tidy up the power cords, so they look a little messy as a result.
     I somewhat haphazardly followed suggestions in one of Jeff Jewett's books with respect to wipe-on finishing, as I do not have spray equipment and I have to do my finishing in the shop where I create all my sawdust. I masked the oak and wiped seven coats of Benjamin Moore 1-hour varnish, thinned 20% with naphtha, on the birch, sanding between coats with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Ditto for the drawers and the pull-out tray holding the printer.
    The oak received a quick wipe-on-wipe-off coat of Watco Dark Walnut stain to mute the reddish tone of the natural wood. I followed up with two coats of Watco Natural, buffing after each coat. The result is that both the birch and the oak have a golden tone of color, and the different finishes preserve the panel look of the project.
     The desk took four months of thinking about it, three weeks to construct it, and three weeks to apply the finish.
. . . Lee Brubaker




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