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Modding Project Rocking Desk - UPDATE 26th Feb - Fun with Routers :)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by The_Crapman, 23 Feb 2012.

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How to Orientate the Middle Blue Panel?

Poll closed 2 Mar 2012.
  1. 1) Curved edge facing inwards

    0 vote(s)
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  2. 2) Curved edge facing outwards with the lower edge of the curve flush to the side panel

    0 vote(s)
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  3. 3) Curved edge facing outwards with the upper edge of the curve flush to the side panel

    0 vote(s)
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  4. 4)Curved edge facing outwards, upper edge of curve flush to side panel, lower edge blended

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun. Lover of bit-tech

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    I've just moved into my mums due to loosing my job and in my room was a rocking chair, perfect for relaxing in front of my infotainment system :thumb:
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    Sitting in the rocking chair in front of my tv, i wished i had something to rest my mouse and keyboard on for 42" of bf3. Then i spied a decidedly dodgy shelf which my little brother attempted to make with bookends nailed on. I turned it upside down over the arm rests and bingo! Rocking desk!
    [​IMG]
    BUT, it wasn't stable, it wasn't really wide or deep enough and the dips further down the arms of the chair made it uncomfortable, so i set about designing a desk top specifically for the purpose.

    This thread is a sort of 'practice run' for a PC build i'll be starting in the near future. I'd not only appreciate feedback and comments on the work I'm doing, but on the thread itself; If you think i need to include more or less pictures, more or less detail in the explanation and description (i do tend to go on a bit...) etc. I hope you enjoy it!


    The best laid plans....
    I started by taking all the measurements from the chair i'd need, using the temporary desk to work out how big the new one would be and where it would need to be fitted to the rocking chair for perfect positioning of my mouse and keyboard.
    [​IMG]

    With these measurements i drew a scaled diagram on the graph paper of the desk, so i could work out where i'd need to put in support brackets to fix it to the chair. It had to be removable and not be screwed or glued to the chair itself, as it was my stepdad's nan's rocking chair and has a big sentimentle value to him. And i'd have to get in and out of the chair somehow!
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    Originally i was going to havethe side arm rest run only slightly over the edge of the original arms, but in testing i found my elbows wanted to sit right on the edge which would be very uncomfortable. Moving them inwards by 50mm made it much more comfortable, hence the revised measurements at the bottom of the page. I also toyed with the idea of the meddle sectiontapering in to compensate, but then I had a better idea. But more on that later...:naughty:

    Here's a finalised design including the support peices and brackets (not to scale) which will hold it in place.
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    Once it'd settled on a design, i got the bits i needed from Homebase where my mum works (discount:D), which included 8x 50mm corner brace and 4x 63mm corner brace to attach the desk top to the support structure.
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    As for the wood, that's not cost me a penny! Both my mum and stepdad are horders and had a plethora of wood sheets to choose from. I picked out 2 laminated chipbord shelving pieces for the side panels that would run down the arms. I even found a pull-out keyboard tray from an old desk for the middle section:D
    [​IMG]
    I'm not sure exactly how i'm going to finish them. I want to put some foam down the arms and cover it with cloth, but that middle section is VERY slippy and caused no end of problems while measuring it for cutting.

    As for the suport structure, i have no idea what i'm going to make that from:confused:.....

    [​IMG]
    ...cause i'm spoilt for choice! Those 2 wheelie bins are FULL:eeek: of wood they collect for their fire pit.

    There are also 2 essential items you need for project work:
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    A hot beverage of your choice (I go for coffee during, tea after or while on *** break)
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    And something to keep your energy up.:)


    Getting down to business
    I wanted to keep the curved edge of the keyboard tray, so i drew a line from one 'corner' where the curve started to the other and measured the 300mm depth i needed from there. To keep the curve symmetrical, I found the centre of the board and measured 235mm either side of the centre line to give me the 470mm width i needed.
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    I shaded in the sections which would be cut out to make it easier for you all to see, but then, hold on... why is tha.... :confused::confused::confused:
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    When measuring the 300m depth, I hadn't taken into account that i'd be chopping some off either side and it would have been too long.:duh: Not a major problem by any stretch, but considering i would be chiseling into it and the side panels for various bits to sit flush, it could have been had i not noticed.:worried:

    So another line drawn across the curve from the line where the side will end, another 300m measured and all is well again.
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    As the lines were drawn from taking measurement either side, I'd always check the distance across the line once drawn, just to make sure it wasn't skewiff.
    [​IMG]

    Now i had the lines drawn, double checked and pondered to make sure i hadn't forgotten about anything else, i got down to the destructive bit.:dremel::rock:
    I attached the peice to my workmate with a g clamp (with an old peice of flooring inbetween to prevent any damage) and 4 grip clamps.
    [​IMG]

    My dad always taught me that you should NEVER cut directly on the line. Leave yourself a couple of mm for sanding and finishing.
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    A bit of fist pumping (easy now!) and off it came. Fairly easy since it was MDF. Not to be confused with MDK of course.
    [​IMG]
    A couple of tips for sawing with hand tools:
    1)dont concentrate too much on the line. a careful start to make sure you're cutting where you should be, then when you increase speed, concentrate on the saw itself and your arm movement to keep it as straight as possible.
    2)when working with wood where you get lots of sawdust which covers the line, stop every now and then to blow it off and make sure you haven't strayed too close. if you're moving away from the line that's perfectly fine because you can always sand it a bit more. you can't stick it back on!:nono:

    With all 3 sides done I took a pic of the finished article, just as i was called in for pancakes:D
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately on my way back to the shed afterwards in the dark, i forgot about a platic chest on the path and ran straight into it, completely destorying the bloody thing and giving my knee a rather nice Frank LeBouf style lump.:duh:

    So tools have not been picked up since, but i'll be back down their after tea today. I think i'll walk down.....

    I'm still not sure whether the cureved edge will be on the inside or outside edge? Your thoughts on this would be appriciated:)
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2012
  2. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun. Lover of bit-tech

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    Fun with Routers (of the powertool variety)

    So after a days rest my knee was feeling ok and the extra knee cap had subsided, it was time to get back to work and finish cutting out the pieces for the desk top.

    I marked out the dimensions i needed and shaded in the bits to be discarded, secured them firmly to the workmate and went to work with the saw.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's a quick shot of all the bits mocked up how they'll be when it's finished.
    [​IMG]


    A 'Guide' to Routers
    Now i said that you shouldn't cut on the line but leave a slight gap for sanding and finishing, but i took it a little bit too far in some places.:duh:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My brother had run off with the electric sander and taking that much off sanding by hand would be a right pain. Fortunately my step dad is a dab hand at such things and he suggested i use the router to go in closer. How could i refuse the oppertunity to play with a powertool?:dremel::rock:

    I set up a scrap bit of wood for practice and to help me not take too much off i put a couple of bits of parcel tape on the faceplate to show the outer edge of the blades cut.
    [​IMG]

    However there was far too much dust being thrown out by the router to see what i was doing properly. Fortunately this one came with an attachment for it to be hooked up to a vacuum and in the shedwas little George for just such the occasion.
    [​IMG]
    With the vac on the go there was hardly any dust being thrown out. That little George sure can suck!

    I'd got to the point where i was getting nice and close to the line. However when it came to do it for real, it didn't work out quite so well in a few places.:sigh:
    [​IMG]

    Just as i'm contemplating trying to use the saw to shave off a couple of mm, my step dad pops his head in to check on me and sees the cowboy job i've done. "why didn't you use the guide attachment?" he says........:wallbash:

    So with the guide attachment fitted and a piece suitable to act as a guide sourced, I have another go practicing before unleashing 1100W of fury on the last part of the desktop.
    [​IMG]



    Before anyone says anything, i was wearing the shades as i couldn't find the safety specs, not because i thought it'd make me look super cool
    [​IMG]

    This gave a really nice straight edge, just what i'd been looking for. :D
    [​IMG]

    After a few more goes I measured the distance between the guide and the cut at 7mm, so drew another marker on the real piece 7mm behind the cut line and went for it.
    [​IMG]

    It still turned out a little rough due to the guide material flexing a little, but was much better than before. Although it did decide to throw up a bit of the laminate at one point, which wizzed right past my ear.:worried:
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If i were to do it again, i would have been more careful and gone closer with my initial cut, or gone with the router from the start and found a more suitable guide material.

    Wish it was a sandybridge
    With the desktop parts now refined (for refined see: nearly ruined) it was down to the superfuntastic bit!:clap: Sanding!!!:rolleyes: Although to be fair it wasn't too bad at all. The sun came out, i got a steady stream of coffe brought out and my little brother would occasionally come out to provide comedy entertainment.

    Out in the daylight they didn't seem too bad either. After a little arranging and re-arranging, i managed to get it so that there weren't any bits that were missing huge chunks where the side panels would join to the blue centre piece. Fortunately there weren't any huge chunks missing from the joining sides on this part either, save the odd small divot, and being MDF it was a doddle to sand down.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I was almost down to the line i checked to makes sure the edge was level.
    [​IMG]

    With a little more work i'd got it to the line with a satisfactory finish and checked to make sure all the edges were still square.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I used 100 grit paper for the blue MDF board and 60 for the chipboard, both wrapped round a small block of the cut off to try and give a level edge, then gave it a quick wipe using 150 grit to ensure a nice finish. It was only some cheap stuff from wilkos but it was really hard wearing:thumb:

    So after some trial and error (probably more error than trial) we have the finished desk top
    [​IMG]

    I'm still not too sure how to orientate the blue keyboard tray section:confused::
    1) Curved edge facing inwards
    [​IMG]

    2) Curved edge facing outwards with the lower edge of the curve flush to the side panel
    [​IMG]

    3) Curved edge facing outwards with the upper edge of the curve flush to the side panel
    [​IMG]

    4)Curved edge facing outwards with the upper edge of the curve flush to the side panel, then blend the lower edge to sit flush as well.

    Personally I'm inclined to go with option 4. but would like your thoughts too. VOTE NOW!
     
    Device Unknown likes this.
  3. Device Unknown

    Device Unknown What's a Dremel?

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    I love this man, everything about it. Great presentation. I like the idea. I'm disabled and have to spend most of my time in a recliner and something like that would be great.
    Nothing pleases me more than to see innovative ideas and a young man working hard. I'm very sorry to hear you lost your job but at least you have a great family to go home to. Just like our children if they ever needed to.
    You keep up the great work. On a side note, you may want to round off the external corners. Nothing worse than walking through your room and catching your thigh on the corner of that thing.
     
  4. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun. Lover of bit-tech

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    Thanks very much :D

    I was going to round off all the edges with the router, but I hadn't though about the corners. And I'm such a putz!:duh: I almost always had a bruise on one tight or another from the very pointy desks. Lol you've just saved me many a dead leg :thumb:

    I hope this had inspired you to do your own wrap-around desk. I could even make you one and flat pack it over to you.

    As for the job, they were a bunch of ~»>=±}f>d\±“} so no great loss. and I start a QA job with codemasters tomorrow. Happy days!
     
  5. Asouter

    Asouter --------

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    I'd wondered where you've been hiding, great project man.
    I agree option 4 looks best and the old engineering term of "if it looks right, it is right" springs to mind.
    Ohh and your house is tiny, a lil over 2 inches :eek:)
     
  6. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun. Lover of bit-tech

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    Thanks man.need something t keep my hands busy while I'm designing my pc build and getting the parts together :)
     
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