Author Topic: WFH desk / desktop help  (Read 1663 times)

Mrs Pingu

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WFH desk / desktop help
« on: 07 November, 2021, 05:21:28 pm »
I've been planning to get myself a new desk for WFH, something a bit more of a sensible size. I thought I had a plan but the wheels have fallen off.
I was going to get some sort of Ikea desktop & legs combo but I also want to install an under desk shelf or drawer to house the laptop and the stupid universal dock thing that takes up loads of space. Like this or similar https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Price-Square-BPSCA-EX-6201B-Black/dp/B01MG8UHI3?th=1
So that will require drilling/screwing into the worktop.

Having spent some hours browsing Ikea it seems that most of their desktops are now made of cheese, or honeycomb paper to be more accurate. Doesn't seem like the best substrate to be dangling IT equipment from. So now I'm a bit stuck.

If I were to go and buy a lump of thick plywood from a timber merchant (what I'd really like is a solid wood worktop but back in the real world) and 4 legs like these https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/adils-leg-white-90217972/ would that be inviting certain disaster?
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #1 on: 07 November, 2021, 06:31:57 pm »
It all depends on what the span between the legs is.
My desk has a span of 2440 kitchen worktop that's 30mm thick, between the legs.
But that is reinforced with steel beneath (to the point where it'll take the weight of two consenting adults - don't ask).

Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #2 on: 07 November, 2021, 06:53:46 pm »
Trouible with using say a 40mm solid worktop is the standard width being only 635mm. If using the alternative 960mm and cutting to size it starts getting a tad spendy for a diy desk. Came across this...
https://www.worktop-express.co.uk/information_guides/using-wooden-worktops-for-desks-a-nutshell-guide/
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #3 on: 07 November, 2021, 06:57:49 pm »
Mine is 2 x 600 x 2440 with a splice down the middle.  So 1200 x 2440 overall. It has been strong and survived 2 house moves.

robgul

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #4 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:13:20 pm »
I've been planning to get myself a new desk for WFH, something a bit more of a sensible size. I thought I had a plan but the wheels have fallen off.
I was going to get some sort of Ikea desktop & legs combo but I also want to install an under desk shelf or drawer to house the laptop and the stupid universal dock thing that takes up loads of space. Like this or similar https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Price-Square-BPSCA-EX-6201B-Black/dp/B01MG8UHI3?th=1
So that will require drilling/screwing into the worktop.

Having spent some hours browsing Ikea it seems that most of their desktops are now made of cheese, or honeycomb paper to be more accurate. Doesn't seem like the best substrate to be dangling IT equipment from. So now I'm a bit stuck.

If I were to go and buy a lump of thick plywood from a timber merchant (what I'd really like is a solid wood worktop but back in the real world) and 4 legs like these https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/adils-leg-white-90217972/ would that be inviting certain disaster?

Those legs are crap - potentially unstable as the fixings are quite small (radius) and liable to submit to leverage and bending. 

I know this isn't a desk BUT our kitchen table was pretty simple to make and is very stable and strong - the concept would make a great desk with a drawer unit (IKEA ?) slipped underneath.  It's 140 x 75cm made from 18mm birch plywood that has 4 rails around the underside, about 10cm wide, glued and screwed on to give the effect of 36mm thickness.  Hairpin legs (these are chrome, paint is a bit cheaper) from . . .err, the hairpin leg company, were about £75.   Took about an hour to make, having had the plywood cut by the timber merchant - finish is an OSMO oil which after about 18 months of use has proved to be very durable.


Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #5 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:21:58 pm »
I got a fairly substantial and not wildly speedy desk from wayfair, and an indulgent from Etsy wooden stand to put my monitor on. That does a reasonable job of hiding the work laptop at the end of the day, and sometimes raises the laptop up a bit for a better camera angle when using an external keyboard and mouse.

Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #6 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:22:53 pm »
Having spent some hours browsing Ikea it seems that most of their desktops are now made of cheese, or honeycomb paper to be more accurate. Doesn't seem like the best substrate to be dangling IT equipment from. So now I'm a bit stuck.

If I were to go and buy a lump of thick plywood from a timber merchant (what I'd really like is a solid wood worktop but back in the real world) and 4 legs like these https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/adils-leg-white-90217972/ would that be inviting certain disaster?
Given that IT equipment isn't all that heavy nowadays,* the only problem with a drawer like that under IKEA cheese is that all the weight ends up on 4 screws and the surface material is only 3 mm thick. If you use cavity wall fixings you'll be fine.

I've hung some of these:- https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/signum-cable-trunking-horizontal-silver-colour-30200253/ from the underside of IKEA worktop that has a honeycomb interior. I just stuck some 10x10cm plywood squares to the underside with hot-melt glue, and screwed into them.

A solid worktop with the legs you linked to will be fine and you can then attach with 4 simple woodscrews. Ordinary kitchen worktop is chipboard, and plywood and solid timber are also available if the budget will stretch to it. IKEA do offer solid wood worktops like this:- https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/moellekulla-worktop-oak-veneer-70299247/

*At school, I helped move the first computer printer. It had wheels that could be added at each corner and it was around about 1 ton.
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CrinklyLion

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #7 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:25:43 pm »
This one doesn't mention honeycomb paper construction... https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/bekant-table-top-oak-veneer-20253237/

I had a plywood table top (from IKEA, funnily enough) many years ago and it was fine. The IKEA legs (different design to the ones you mentioned) I bought to go with it were bloody awful though - just not enough contact for it to fix together securely and be properly stable.

Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #8 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:41:13 pm »
Those legs are crap - potentially unstable as the fixings are quite small (radius) and liable to submit to leverage and bending. 
I'm sorry to say that I don't agree with that. I've just measured the ones that I have, and the plate is 105 mm diameter. The hairpin leg company legs that are the same length (give or take a cm) have a top plate that is approx 110 square with a bit missing. https://www.thehairpinlegcompany.co.uk/collections/hairpin-legs/products/4-x-hairpin-legs-28inch-71cm-desk-dining-table?variant=34902186557574.
Admittedly the IKEA ones that I have are on a desk that's right in the corner and not subject to being moved. The cheap worktops are chipboard at the ends where the legs fit, so the legs have to have reasonably large plates an the top to avoid pulling the fastenings out.
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robgul

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #9 on: 07 November, 2021, 07:51:53 pm »
Those legs are crap - potentially unstable as the fixings are quite small (radius) and liable to submit to leverage and bending. 
I'm sorry to say that I don't agree with that. I've just measured the ones that I have, and the plate is 105 mm diameter. The hairpin leg company legs that are the same length (give or take a cm) have a top plate that is approx 110 square with a bit missing. https://www.thehairpinlegcompany.co.uk/collections/hairpin-legs/products/4-x-hairpin-legs-28inch-71cm-desk-dining-table?variant=34902186557574.
Admittedly the IKEA ones that I have are on a desk that's right in the corner and not subject to being moved. The cheap worktops are chipboard at the ends where the legs fit, so the legs have to have reasonably large plates an the top to avoid pulling the fastenings out.

Having had some similar legs from IKEA the weak point I found is where the leg is attached to the top plate by a single central fixing - that's the bit that makes them unstable. If you look at the IKEA assembly sheet you'll see what I mean.

 I would add that the hairpin legs in my picture are attached to a 20cm square of 18mm plywood with hefty wood screws - that "plywood plate" is then attached to the underside of the table top.

Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #10 on: 07 November, 2021, 08:37:08 pm »
I'm not sure of what you use and how you set them up when you work, but instead of an under-desk shelf/drawer, how about a small platform to stand your monitor on and your laptop underneath?  I made one with some offcuts from some shelves I made.  I'm a messy desk kind of person and I find the ability to shove keyboard etc. under the monitor to free up some desk space, for e.g. when I want to use pen and paper, to be most convenient.  I haven't worked for a bit now but the photo below is from a few years ago of my WFH set-up, showing the platform - my work laptop is just visible underneath and my own tower case is under the desk.  The desk is a cheap but strong and of a decent size from Office World 22 years ago (£70) . . .and I did tidy it up before taking the photo.  ;D
A desktop doesn't need to be super thick or heavy as long as it is on a firm, strong base and doesn't bow under weight (which can be prevented by the base it stands on).  My desktop is plastic veneered chipboard and 2cm thick.


Mrs Pingu

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #11 on: 07 November, 2021, 10:04:14 pm »
Approx 10 mins after I posted, there were developments. If it comes to anything I shall post more tomorrow afternoon...
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Mr Larrington

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #12 on: 07 November, 2021, 10:40:51 pm »
The Happy Swedish Halls Of Joy seem no longer to do the line whence came my desk, which has gert big steel bars screwed to the underside of the desktop, with twist-lock fittings into which the tops of the legs fit.
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #13 on: 08 November, 2021, 08:22:27 am »
I have a very cheap ikea desk. Legs are screw-adjustable through quite a range, which is very good for getting desk at right height for me.

Tad wobbly but strong enough.
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ian

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #14 on: 08 November, 2021, 09:38:09 am »
Throw the docking station out of the window, it's 2021, and 2005 will want it back. Hope this helps.
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #15 on: 08 November, 2021, 09:46:15 am »
Throw the docking station out of the window, it's 2021, and 2005 will want it back. Hope this helps.

Eh?

Surely in the age of 15 monitors (per person), 24 USB peripherals, a dock is needed more than ever?
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ian

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #16 on: 08 November, 2021, 10:00:52 am »
I just have a little USB-C hub the size of a singular Twix that is emblazoned with ports (and will support two monitors, though modern monitors support daisy-chaining anyway).
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #17 on: 08 November, 2021, 12:45:11 pm »
I have just scored 1.3m of solid wood worktop and 4 legs from a nice chap on Gumtree, for the princely sum of zero pounds. Result!

2021-11-08_12-39-22 by The Pingus, on Flickr
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #18 on: 08 November, 2021, 01:49:10 pm »
Nice one  :D :thumbsup:

Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #19 on: 08 November, 2021, 02:21:18 pm »
Why not do a custom one with the wood. Made one out of thick ply, a cutoff of vinyl glued down and an edging to to stop stuff rolling off. This is the tidy side

Mrs Pingu

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #20 on: 08 November, 2021, 06:28:51 pm »
I just have a little USB-C hub the size of a singular Twix that is emblazoned with ports (and will support two monitors, though modern monitors support daisy-chaining anyway).
This is the cause of my pain. A stupid dock that has cables coming out of 3 sides of it. What a crap design. I much preferred the slim dock with the proprietary connector that sat under the lapdog but sadly the connector on my lapdog doesn't appear to work any more.
IMG_20211108_125622 by The Pingus, on Flickr
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #21 on: 08 November, 2021, 06:45:21 pm »
Before:
2021-11-08_06-32-48 by The Pingus, on Flickr

After:
IMG_20211108_181005 by The Pingus, on Flickr

Eagle eyed viewers will note I have implemented a cat docking station, but cats being cats they probably won't use it..

I think I lucked out there, I shall give it a couple of days before I go finding something to slot the lapdog and dock under the desk. The white desk I was using at the front has become Pingu's WFH upgrade, the crappy computer desk at the back can go on Freegle and Pingu's folding desk can go in the loft (when it's been floored..).
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Jaded

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #22 on: 08 November, 2021, 08:11:35 pm »
Don't velcro the cats to the underside of the desk.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #23 on: 08 November, 2021, 08:12:26 pm »
Mrs Pingu, in my situation I have velcroed similar hubs to the underside of a desk. In your case, where it sits now just on the underside.
Yes, I was thinking I could probably use Command Strips for the dock. I'd still quite like to get the lapdog off the desk though.

Don't velcro the cats to the underside of the desk.
;D
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Re: WFH desk / desktop help
« Reply #24 on: 08 November, 2021, 08:33:05 pm »
I've seen what looks like a cargo net which hangs under the table, and your laptop drops into that and hangs vertically. I think Greenbank otp may have such a thing in his WFH set up.