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Support material for wall-mounted desk

post #1 of 22
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I'm buying a new house this week, and I'm going to be building a desk for my computer room. Being obsessed with wall-mounting things, and having clean floors, I'm going to be building it attached to, and running the full length of the wall. With no legs. Only thing is, the wall is 11' wide. I've built a few desks, and have been woodworking since I was a kid, so it's not the actual construction I'm worried about, it's the material. I've really only ever used lumber. First off, here's the pics of what I've got so far:

top view


from underneath:


If you can't tell, its gonna be 2x4's screwed into the wall to act as ledges, then more 2x4's laying on top of the ledges spanning the width of the desk to be the supports, then the oak desktop on top of the supports. I know the concept is good, I've been using an L-desk version of this for the past 2 years, only running 8' though.

Finally, my question. Anyone know of a better alternative than 3+ 2x4's to be the supports? Like something metal perhaps? Like I said, I know woodworking, so I'm comfortable with lumber, and know next to nothing about metals. I know the 2x4's would work, but they might have a little more spring than I'd like. Thanks in advance for any suggestions

post #2 of 22
I would use L brackets and screw them into the studs below the desk. If you wanted to be ghetto you could 45 off some 1X4's and screw them in for support.
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post #3 of 22
What all are you putting on the desk? I.e. how much load?

If you're loading it up with an ATX full tower 40lb case, 3x15lb monitors with peripherals and clutter in drawers you're going to need reinforcement like steel L-brackets methinks....possibly 45* bracing with dimensional lumber, if the most load will be away from the wall.
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysage View Post
I would use L brackets and screw them into the studs below the desk. If you wanted to be ghetto you could 45 off some 1X4's and screw them in for support.
The reason I'm going with the 2x4 ledge instead of L-brackets is that with the 2x4's the weight is spread evenly over the entire length of the board. Whereas with the L-brackets, all the weight is on a few single points. Plus with L-brackets big enough for the job, I thin the bottom part would be visible from underneath the desk. And I don't think I'm gonna use 45* supports either. I'm gonna make this as nice and clean as possible. I appreciate the input though, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
What all are you putting on the desk? I.e. how much load?

If you're loading it up with an ATX full tower 40lb case, 3x15lb monitors with peripherals and clutter in drawers you're going to need reinforcement like steel L-brackets methinks....possibly 45* bracing with dimensional lumber, if the most load will be away from the wall.
Gonna have 5 monitors and 5 speakers, but all wall-mounted. A printer on the far left and my CM Storm Scout on the far right against the wall, so I'm not too worried about the weight of them. In the middle, only a keyboard and mouse, and however much it weighs when I lean forward on my elbows.


post #5 of 22
Well in that case, some decent L brackets, but I personally attached some 2x2 timber batten into the concrete wall, then drove some self tapping wood screws into the underside of the rear of the desktop, to reduce the force of weight 'tipping' the desk away from the wall

I have my huge Lian Li, my elbow weight, a screen, a home theatre receiver, and some other stuff, but this thing is SOLID

I will post pictures of this later if I can

Edit: Not sure if you are open to this, but what about support legs? Even at either end close the the wall, having that support at the furthest edge from the wall will provide enough support for you and your lady friend to 'sit on it' too

I know you were going for a clean look, but you could even use some low profile legs Or acrylic? Ooo mod an acrylic tube to become UV reactive and put a UV light underside your desk where you can't see that either

Giving myself ideas now...
Edited by SgtMunky - 6/8/11 at 1:41am
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
yeah, I'd really like to avoid legs if at all possible. as for the UV lighting thing, kinda goes against the whole classy oak thing I'm going for lol. plus I really don't think the wife would dig it. Thanks for the input, and I'd love to see pics of how you did yours
post #7 of 22
How deep is this going to be? I just think the leverage off the wall is going to be too great without some sort of support brackets. Maybe a piece of steel pipe running under the front of the desk, and put it into two 2x4 legs that sit up against the wall at each side. This way the majority of the forward weight gets taken by the pipe and distributed to the floor.
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysage View Post
How deep is this going to be? I just think the leverage off the wall is going to be too great without some sort of support brackets. Maybe a piece of steel pipe running under the front of the desk, and put it into two 2x4 legs that sit up against the wall at each side. This way the majority of the forward weight gets taken by the pipe and distributed to the floor.
I'm looking at at least 30" deep. I saw the house yesterday one last time before closing at the end of this week, and measured everything again, and it looks like it's gonna be 11'4" x 30"

Not sure what you mean by "leverage", though. Just to be clear, the back and both sides are going to against a wall, being supported by the 2x4 ledges. the only side without direct wall support will be the front edge. Looking at the second picture in my first post, from underneath, the 2 light brown pieces on the sides are the 2x4's bolted to the wall. The desktop will rest on these boards along with the 2x4 running against the back wall. I like the metal piping idea, though. If it turns out I need metal, and I cant find any good actual beams, that should work well. Thanks

Just thought of something else. The top is going to be 3/4" oak plywood. Standard sheets of plywood come in 8'x4', which means I'm going to have to join 2 sheets (width of desk is 11'4"), which means an ugly seam. I think marine plywood sheets come in 12'x4', but I've never looked for it before. Anyone have any experience with marine plywood/know where to get some/know how much it usually goes for?

btw, rep all around for the suggestions, thanks guys
post #9 of 22
Pipe aside. What I would recommend doing is to take two legs and put them flush to both side of the wall. It doesn't ruin the legless look, but it does take an awful amount of the weight off the wall itself. Unless you are throwing giant bolts completely through the studs I would be really afraid of hanging a few hundred pounds almost 3 feet off the wall.
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysage View Post
Pipe aside. What I would recommend doing is to take two legs and put them flush to both side of the wall. It doesn't ruin the legless look, but it does take an awful amount of the weight off the wall itself. Unless you are throwing giant bolts completely through the studs I would be really afraid of hanging a few hundred pounds almost 3 feet off the wall.
if the desk was only connected to the wall at the back, I can see your point. but what you're saying about the legs supporting the weight "3 feet off the wall" is already being accomplished by the side supports. in fact, the side supports I think would do a better job, because the weight of the entire side is being continuously supported by the shelf created by the 2x4. whereas the leg would only support the weight at a single point, being the very front. does that make sense? correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you think the desk is only connected to the wall at the back.
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