About a month or two I got an itch to build something. Typically that means that I want to build a new computer or modify a computer with new components. My first thought was to build a small micro computer for the living room TV to play PC games on, surf the web, or watch moves on. I started to do some research on small computer cases that would fit two graphics cards, a power supply, two hard drives, and a wireless modem. All the cases that I was seeing were larger than I would want them to be. My TV sits in a nook area above my fireplace which doesn’t give much breathing room for anything else. I mean look, I am not going to set the PS3 on the laminate floor to get cold. I mean I am not an animal.
From my research I came up with two options either switch out the TV I have with something smaller so I can fit a micro ATX case in the nook area with everything else or forget the whole project and move on with life. I could let go of this project. I had too much drive built up inside me to build something and it should go to waste. I couldn’t come up with a solution that would work so I stopped researching and put the project on hold in the back of my mind.
Later on that week at work I was cruising around Lifehacker when I came across an article about someone who build a desk. I opened the article because a person’s desk tells you a lot about someones personality and habits. HomeMade Modern made a desk out of one 4 x 8 sheet of plywood that served multiple functions. The desk was built to have two storage compartments built into the desk with the desktop cut in three ways and hinges attached so the desk lids could lift up to reveal the storage compartments. If you want to see what I am talking about click here because I had a difficult time describing how the desk works. Anyways while checking out the desk building tutorial I thought about those lids and semi-hidden compartments and mumbled to myself “I wonder if a computer could fit in there?” This idea brought my drive to the surface and filled me with excitement. I knew what I wanted to build. A computer, but in a desk.
I began with HomeMade Modern’s original design and began to construct the desk based on their designs. I framed the desk from the bottom up and soon realized that one piece of plywood wouldn’t cut it. The depth of HomeMade Modern’s desk was too shallow for multiple hard drives or CPU fans. I need to alter their materials a bit. My buddy Nick had heard me talking about building this desk and was interested in see it and came to visit me one Saturday. After showing Nick the progress I had made with the desk and listening to my current problems with the original design not fitting my needs for the desk he whipped up a new strategy that would require a little bit more wood and some custom alterations for the computer components.
With Nick’s analytical thinking and math skills we were able to tear down what I started and rebuild the desk into what you see here. Instead of buy all new computer components I stripped down my current gaming computer and case. Using tin-snips and a drill I disassembled the old computer case and salvaged everything. I didn’t know what I wanted to carry over right away. What you see here is the motherboard frame and the re-case panel as they would be on the original case lying on it’s side. After some talk Nick and I decided it would be best to separate the power supply from the motherboard and cut out a hole for the power supply fan to blow out the bottom of the desk (that is the black part to the left).
I have just finished cutting the circular holes for the two 120mm fans that will attach to the front of the desk, the power button hole, and the 5.25″ rectangle for the mulit-card reader adapter. Next comes the finishing and sanding of the desk with some wood putty here and there. Then I will stain it.