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Monday, June 15, 2009

Multi-tasking Computer desk Tutorial

As you all know, I love using Michael's hutches. Having heard several rumors that they're being discontinued, I've guaranteed my supply. At last count, I now own 14.
And I'm sure you also know that the easiest way to take them apart, is to warm the glue in the microwave. But I'll bet you didn't know the length of time between when the glue becomes pliable & the wood singes: it is the moment before you return to the kitchen!

Having taken my burnt Michael's hutch bottom apart, I decided that it wouldn't suit what I wanted afterall.

So taking the CPU, I drew a box on paper to fit around it. Then I measured my own chair & added 2 dollhouse inches to my box. Add the thickness of 2 pieces of wood & the width of the Michael's door to the other end. This makes my desk 3-7/8 inches in length. On the left side the depth is 1-3/8", allowing the CPU to just peek out. On the right, the desk depth is 1-1/4".
The Michael's hutch feet were a nice shape. I could have used them directly but decided against it as my kitchen still had that lingering eau de cologne odor of charred wood....I reproduced them from a craft stick: they are 1" x 7/8".
I exacto knifed the feet, used wood glue and attached them to the bottom of my desk, leaving them to cure long enough to feed Luna & Kitty. Luna gets a home cooked meal each evening!
The height of my own worktable is 27-1/2"; Kens desk is 25 tall. This means the computer desk height should be at least 2" in height. Deduct 2x the thickness of your wood (either desk side) from the length; deduct the height of the feet & desk bottom from the height. This made the back of my desk 1-1/2" x 3-5/8". Make sure that your cut piece is square. Again sand all cut edges.
Now cut the 2 sides: on the left, your side should measure: 1-12" x 1-3/8"; the right side should be 1-1/2" x 1-1/4". Cut another piece 1-1/2" x 1-1/8". This will be used to complete the cabinet. Again sand. Remove your T-square from your keyboard before your half-finished tutorial erases....and glue the 3 sides & the back to your desk bottom.
Ensure that your door will fit. If you want to show the door in an open position, add a my desk will sit in a sealed roombox, I've no need for it. Allow glue to dry while you hang out a load of laundry.
Cut a top (1-3/8" x 3-7/8") and glue on. As it's 9pm & I've run out of household tasks to do...or care to do this late, use rubber bands while the glue dries. For your sliding keyboard tray, calculate where the keyboard should sit; allow enough room for the mouse unless you will be using a laptop. Measure the depth of your keyboard, in my case 7/8" & cut a notch on either end. Now find something slightly taller than the thickness of the wood that you're using for the tray plus the height of the keyboard; attach to all 4 corners of your desk. While you're waiting for the glue to dry, explain to your dog why the cat is allowed on your lap while at the same time typing with one hand & attempting to restrain the cat from walking all over the keyboard with the other.You are now ready for the final top. Contend with both animals who have left in a huff. Cut your top slightly larger on both sides & the front so it can overhang by 1/16 all the way around except for the back. Your desk is now ready to paint or stain:


  1. Awesome computer desk! Bashing these is on my to-do list. I was not aware of the microwave melt (whoops burn) glue trick.

  2. Pretty cool stuff, I saw this site with some useful info on Computer Desks . Hope it helps.

  3. I liked it!! too bad we don't have Michael's hereby (closer is about 10.000 km away!!!)
    Can I make one for myself???


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