Category Archives: DIY

DIY Desk!

So I am apparently not very good at updating this blog.  I think part of the problem is I have been keeping pretty busy with Coursera classes, programming, and surfing.  When I initially started this blog, I envisioned that it would be a good way to document all of the little side projects I was working on, but I have been pretty bad about seeing these projects through to completion, so there hasn’t been much to show for the work so far.  So I am going to change directions a little bit, and probably start throwing snippets of code onto gist and write about it here.  Hopefully that will encourage me to write a few more posts!

One ‘project’ that I did manage to complete was to build a semi-functional desk from an old Ikea bed frame.  My roommate had upgraded his bed a few months ago and had initially planned on giving away or selling the old frame.  However, it just ended up sitting in a dis-assembled pile on our back porch, and I figured it would be a good idea to build something from it.  We have this weird nook in our living room that is curved, and it is difficult to efficiently use the space because most furniture items aren’t designed for that.  Additionally, due to the windows and the orientation, the space gets great natural light, so I figured it would make a good work space (I had originally setup the dining table there and was using that as a makeshift desk).

So after some back of the napkin plans my roommate and I got to work measuring, cutting, and assembling.  Out method was pretty ad hoc, and we weren’t quite sure our ‘design’ was going to actually be stable or strong enough, but after a few hours of grinding away, we ended up with something that resembled a desk!  We used the wooden slats from the bed frame to create the work surface, and offset them so that they would fit against the curve of the wall, which allowed the desk to fit snugly against the wall optimizing the space.  We cut up some of the support pieces of the bed frame for the legs.  Pictures of the before and after are below (note: the picture of the bed frame was pulled off the internet).

So after a month or two of use, I can safely say that the desk is sturdy enough (for the most part) to handle everyday use.  Some of the slats have come loose, so I need to be careful when leaning on the edge of the desk (as they might pop off).  The reason for this problem was we did not want to have screw heads exposed on the work surface, so we picked up some small screws from the hardware store and drilled through the bottom of the frame into the  bottom of the slats.  Unfortunately, our screws were a little to short, so each slat is only held on to the frame by a few screw threads, making it fairly easy to knock them loose.  I might go back with some wood glue at some point to add some extra fastening strength if the problem gets worse.

It was fun to break out the saw and the drill.  I used to build skate ramps as a young lad, and have always enjoyed woodworking, but you don’t get many opportunities for it when you live in a small-ish apartment in the middle of San Francisco.  Anyways, thanks to my roommate Will for working with this on me, hopefully I can use this desk to actually get some work done!