“UBER Computer Desk… Revised” or “Backed Into a Corner”

Corner Shelf - 2The computer is built into a purpose-built compartment above the monitors on a slide-out tray using 22″ full-extension drawer slides… a 40″ 4K monitor flanked by a pair of 22″ 1080p monitors… and a modest video card to power all three. The 5 orange boxes are the 5.1 surround-sound speakers. There are dedicated air-flow conduits cooling the main computer, and the two upper cabinets are devoted to USB peripherals (like a multi-talented card reader) and the bank of up to 7 SATA3 HDD’s, each at 4TB (That’s 35 TB of HDD space), and the 128gb SATA3 SSD devoted to the system drive.

Corner Shelf - 3Fitting inside a 5′ by 5′ corner section of wall, this 6′ tall desk unit assembly is fashioned out of 1/2″ select plywood, in 4′ by 8′ sheets… 7 are required for the desk with very, very little wastage. I’m guessing under 10%. The monitors are hung on french cleats for easy removal, the keyboard tray is also on full-extension drawer slides, and the desktop as well as the upper shelf top/bottom are each fashioned out of a single sheet of 1/2″ ply, without visible seams. This desk can be assembled with an outlay of approximately $300.00 for the wood, though the SWEET computer Corner Shelf - 5to go inside should be no less than 10x that number to really squeeze the awesome out of the cooling system. The holes cut are 120mm for the 5db fans, and the whole motherboard/PSU platform slides out on rollers to drop at a 90″ angle for maintenance.

Corner Shelf - 1The cubbies to the left and right of our laid-back mannequin’s knees are undecided territory. Since this may-well become my work desk (YIPPEE!!), I might have to built-in a filing cabinet at the base of either drawer tower, and install some “miscellaneous papers drawers”, and maybe one to hide a bottle of good scotch in… when I can afford good scotch. The towers are 28″ tall on the inside, a full 2′ wide and 18″ deep which would allow me to store legal-sized (14″ long) file folders with ease, maybe even ledger (17″ wide) format folders for some papers, in a vertical filing drawer, with the documents stored length-wise… so left-to-right as you face the open drawer. Even at 17″ by 11″ pages (a really convenient paper-size for vast spreadsheets or engineering drawings… both of which I can foresee being responsible for in my new post), I could mount three other drawers about 5-6″ deep above the massive filing cabinet drawer on either side. Corner Shelf - 4Among the goodie-bag of computer components, I found a wireless MFC on Newegg, my new favorite place to gadget-shop. It’ll print wide-format, colour and duplex with ease. Ought to make my life very, very much easier. I might need a secondary laser printer to handle faxes and bulk document printing in black and white, which is probably the priority over the wide-format and greater cost-per-page for the ink… but there’s lots of time for those decisions. The top-level of the desk is meant for printer and similar gadget storage.

This desk, like most of my furniture, will include built-in UPS systems, and custom-wired electrical reciprocals for me to plug a double-male cord into the power outlet and connect to “THE DESK”. It will send energy to the 8-Port UPS which is built into the contours of the corner shape. The UPS will filter and clean the power of all spikes much better than a surge protector. All the devices in the desk will feed off the UPS in order to keep them safe. I went with a Mechanical Keyboard, trackball, a REALLY SWEET CPU / Motherboard set, and two packs of this lovely ram. I’ve thrown a few other things in there to make working from home a little easier, like a really nice webcam, able to live-feed 720p at 60fps. All-told, I’m looking at a SOLID $3,000 – $4,000 for this computer system with all the fixin’s…

IMG_1554I’m eager to get going with the job, but now that I have my drive belt replaced on my mitre saw and the ARDUINO UNO circuit board replaced and re-calibrated… I’ve got so many project ideas that I don’t know where to start. I might finish-up a picture frame that I’ve been delaying… get that order complete and off my plate… but when we had the winter wood stacked in the garage (but was moved into the house basement storage), some of the floorboards cracked from the heavy point-sourced loads. I’d LIKE to order 20 sheets of 1/2 D-Grade and a couple-kilos of 2″ woodscrews to set them down anIMG_1521d draw all the old floorboards tight… give me a stable (reasonably air-tight) floor upon which to work. I can whack the paint that I FOUND in the furnace room to it… kinda slop it all together in a 200L tote pan and spread it out with a roller. Do enough coats until I use it all up. That oughta help keep the dust down, as well. Then, when I get around to it, put up a nice solid roof of 7/16″ OSB sheeting, and the same for all the walls, sheeting-over the windows and installing those new lights I was given. For all that, I’ll need my ladder and my scaffold. Lots of projects, and lots more fodder for articles.

I haven’t yet written in detail about my new toys, but that’ll come. This past (Canadian) Thanksgiving my father gave me a 12.5″ by 6″ thickness planer, a 10″ table (bench/contractors) saw, a benchtop drill press, a cordless 18V drill, a reciprocating saw, LOTS of odds-and-ends like bits, blades, 8 or 10 kilo (20-25lbs) of nuts, bolts, washers, lugs, screws and more! Lots of nitty-picky things that I’d hate to have to buy a box of 40 of just to put one pin an a board. He also gave me an electric pin-nailer, some brackets he had welded up to hook my ladder up and over the trusses for my work… It was quite the booty! It was all I could do to get the Equinox (Picture not exact vehicle, but same make/model) that we got the day before our wedding (what a mutual gift!).

Then again, like everything it could all crumble like a house of cards. The planning, though, usually sound. It’s my dismally poor luck that normally stands in the way, though it seems to have been changing in the past few months. It’s all starting to change. With this new position I’ve secured, Operations Manager of the Newfoundland and Labrador Developers Cooperative, I will have less time but more money for toys. What time I DO have off, perhaps on the weekends since much of my work will be involved with municipalities… will be when I have a wad of cash to devote to something on the shop. I’d love to have a “playtime budget” of (entirely arbitrary amount) $100.00 per weekend to play. For three weekends of “play money” I could build this desk. 6 weeks for for 20 sheets of 1/2″ D-grade for the flooring, 8 weeks to sheet-in three walls and my ceiling. 6 weeks for a new 9′ by 7′ insulated and automatic garage door… and that isn’t even including my hobby projects in which I won’t make an artisan’s wage, but it could buy me some sheet-goods here and there, maybe a new toy.

As my father says, in his ever-patient retired preacher’s voice, “It all takes time.” and “It’s all jobs, just do one at a time.” I think that’s good advise, and all the plans in the world couldn’t move me along without the resources to enact them… but now I have both. It’s a boom time, we’re in the Klondike now, and let the good times roll.


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