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Ultimate Computer Desk - 2 Integrated Computers

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ultimatedesk, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. theJesus

    theJesus

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    This is really coming along great. And I'm sorry for my inability to resist making sexual innuendos about your expertise with clamps and hard wood lol

    Seriously, though, this is awesome; my brain is just always in the gutter.
     
  2. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Staining the Cabinets

    lol thanks again theJesus, glad you're enjoying the ride ;)

    Well, got some time to start the staining of the cabinets this weekend, and overall, everything went pretty well. Started off with a bit of detailed sanding by hand, and then a good dusting with a tack cloth / cloth with paint thinner.

    [​IMG]

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    And then went to work applying the stain with a clean cotton rag

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They both turned out pretty well - these pictures were taken after only the first coat (A second one will go on). I find that this stain really shines once a coat of poly is put over it.

    Let me tell you - getting the inside of the cabinets was quite time consuming and I really did a number on staining my arms...

    [​IMG]

    Eww! It looks like a heart! ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. techtard

    techtard

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    Looking good. I had the idea to build a custom desk with watercooling built in, but am not handy with woodwork.
    But this build log has me thinking about trying anyway!
     
  4. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    See, I often start at the last post. So I scrolled up to see that. :eek:

    "Did I click on the Butcher Shop thread?" I asked myself. :wtf:

    Glad to see the stain work is continuing. :cool: :laugh:
     
  5. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Rubbing out the Desk Surface

    You know, some patience will go a long way with woodworking - I honestly haven't done too many projects before this, and this is certainly my first "furniture grade" project.

    Hehe, I didn't tell you what else go on down in the "woodshop" ? ;)

    I kind of forgot to take some pictures of the cabinets after I applied a pair of coats of polyurethane, but here's the status of the project so far

    [​IMG]

    Both cabinets have been poly'd, and there are only 3 more pieces to stain + poly (The two caps for the end spaces on the top shelf, and the door for the right-hand cabinet). Otherwise, I am pretty much ready to assemble.

    Before assembly, however, I wanted to try a technique I had been reading about - rubbing out a finish.

    You start with some baby oil and a product called rottenstone (It's a very finely ground stone)

    [​IMG]

    Apply some baby oil liberally (This slows down the cutting process. If you use water, it will speed up the cutting process)

    [​IMG]

    Sprinkle on your rottenstone (Once again, fairly liberally. I didn't find the cutting action very aggressive at all, especially with all the baby oil)

    [​IMG]

    Take a block of wood with a soft material wrapped around it, in this case, I used a piece of cut up fleece from an old blanket, but I think a felt block is the most recommended for this.

    [​IMG]

    Go with the grain in long strokes, and rub the slurry into the wood. Its very fine cutting action should almost eliminate all dust marks, brush marks, and any small scratches.

    This took quite a long time, and it was very, very messy. Baby oil rottenstone slurry everywhere. I then went through a ton of rags soaked in paint thinner cleaning it all off the desk surface in preparation for some good 'ol waxing.

    [​IMG]

    Applied with a lint free rag, I swirled it onto the table a little bit too liberally

    [​IMG]

    I then let it dry for a few moments and "attempted" to buff it all off by hand with a clean rag. Much to my dismay, after spending 10 minutes trying to buff only but a small corner, I realized that I would never get the shine I was looking for...

    [​IMG]

    So I made a trip to my storage unit (My mom's garage) where I remembered I had an old electric car buffer in a bin...

    [​IMG]

    Booya. It was late when I got back home, so I left it and went to sleep. Have a good weekend everyone - Canada Day tomorrow here in Canada, so I'm going to enjoy the long weekend. I'm moving this weekend too, so hopefully the desk survives the trip!!
     
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  6. ultimatedesk New Member

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    So, I finally moved this weekend, and I'm glad to say everything went pretty well. A few small parts of the desk got scuffed up, but nothing major. Here are some shots from just before being transported.

    The car buffer partially worked. I ended up actually taking some more paint thinner and totally removing the wax. For some reason it didn't stick well - I think it's because I didn't remove the baby oil enough before adding the wax. Either way, it's shiny as glass and looks great.

    [​IMG]

    Then I took some 3/4" weather stripping and put it on both cabinets to prevent the desk surface from slipping and sliding:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And, here's a sneak peak. Right before the move was pretty much the moment of triumph - assembling the 4 stained and poly'd pieces, and actually sitting at it. The monitors come in at perfect eye height, and the desk height is perfect as well, providing lots of forearm and elbow support.

    Ahhhhhhhhh.... 8 months.

    Now for the details ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Captain.Abrecan

    Captain.Abrecan New Member

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    That looks glorious.
     
  8. theJesus

    theJesus

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    Absolutely beautiful! Now you just need to shove a computer in it :D

    edit: I forgot, make that two computers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  9. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks Captain.Abrecan

    Thanks theJesus, I'm just getting all my stuff organized at the new place. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend to do some work on it!

    As for the computers... we'll have to see what the budget agrees to as well!
     
  10. arnoo1

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    damn nice desk, can't wait to see whole picture and build
     
  11. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Did you polish (sand) between poly applications? If not then the grit between layers will reduce shine. Been there done that lol

    Also DO NOT use a buffer like that. Ruins the finish. Do it by hand. Buffer is good for commercial work. Not something custom like this. You used to much thats why it was hard to buff.


    Heres a good break down....

    http://benchmark.20m.com/articles/Finishing/woodfinishing.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  12. twicksisted

    twicksisted

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    looks pretty shiny to me :)
     
  13. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Almost Setup

    Thanks arnoo1!

    Thanks TheMailMan78, yes, I did sand between coats, with progressively finer grits. Before the final coat of polyurethane I believe I did a quick sanding with 400 grit.

    I managed to remove the wax with some paint thinner and a lot of elbow grease. The next time I used much less wax and you're right, it was a lot easier and there was no need for the buffer!

    I remember reading that article many times - have it bookmarked, in fact! Thanks for the reminder though, that website is an excellent resource!

    Hehe, got it all fixed up ;)

    So - I finally had some time this weekend to do a bit of work on The Ultimate Computer Desk.

    Here's a little shot of the desk as it sits now. Note that the drawers aren't installed, there's clutter everywhere, the two cabinets are not lined up in any particular fashion, and of course, no hardware has yet been installed.

    [​IMG]

    If you didn't notice, I finally said to myself "Ok Mr. You've been working on this desk for 8 months - time for a present". I ~finally~ ditched my old CRT monitor (Which was nice, at 1600x1200 resolution) and purchased myself a brand new 27" Asus. Sweet!

    [​IMG]

    That was my first new computer component in ages!


    I moved on to the next part of the project, which was installing the drawers, so I got to work. Sorry about the pictures, I think I accidentally turned the auto focus off!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Imagine my surprise when I went to go and slide the drawer in. The drawer was too wide! I accomodated for 0.25" on each side of the drawer, for the width of the drawer slides. Unfortunately, these particular drawer slides were 3/16's of an inch wider than I accounted for... Here's a wonderfully in focus shot:

    [​IMG]

    So my options were:
    1. Redo the drawers completely, making them a total of 6/16's (3/8's) skinnier, or
    2. Shave off 3/16's" from each side, about 1.5" tall, along the length of both sides, of each of the drawers.

    What a bummer! I thought oh well, it'll actually look pretty tidy with the sides shaved anyways, and also give additional support, so here goes!

    Time to tape up my poor drawers. They're about to get scratched up pretty bad!

    [​IMG]

    Setting up the tablesaw for some "guidelines" - 3/16's of an inch deep, set the fence at 2" and then 3.5" if I remember correctly.

    [​IMG]

    And there you go, some proper guidelines for the material that will need to be removed.

    [​IMG]

    This was a pretty big surprise, but not too major, and nothing that cannot be done well.
     
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  14. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Congrats. Looks nice. :D

    It's always something! :mad:
     
  15. Riotpump

    Riotpump New Member

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    Very nice monitor. I've followed this thread for a while now. Great to see you are almost at the finish line with the actual desk itself. A few roadblocks here and there:banghead:. Nothing that a little elbow grease and machinery can't fix. This build is unbelievable:eek:, appreciate all the all work you are putting into it. Officially an subscriber, looking forward to the finished product.
     
  16. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    No problem man! I'm glad you took it as advice and not ridicule. My grandfather was a cabinet builder for 60 years. You tend to pick up a few things when hanging out with a guy like that in his shop. I've refinished more then a few pieces in my time too. FYI you did a damn fine job!
     
  17. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Fixing the Drawers

    Thanks PopcornMachine - yes - it is ALWAYS something eh!

    Thanks Riotpump! The next portion of the project should be really interesting with the cable management, air setup, and electronics stuff. I expect I'll be buying a lot of spare parts lol!

    Wow, that's pretty awesome! I know so few people these days that are interested in the trades. Must have been neat going to his shop when you were younger!

    So, after I used the table saw to make my reference cuts, I grabbed the router with a 1/2" flush cut bit, set it at the appropriate depth and went to town. Making the reference cuts made the rest of this usually tedious job easy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I went to do the reference cuts on the shorter drawers, I realized... there were a bunch of screws in the way. Ooops! Good thing I noticed so quickly!

    [​IMG]

    I had to go and remove all woodfiller and the screws that were in the way of the 3/16's inch material removal. This meant all the screws along the bottom, and 1 or 2 at the front and back of the drawer. What a pain!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After getting all of the extra material removed, I drilled some new counter-sink holes (Since the old ones were taken off with the router), re-inserted the screws, and gave all the dressers a light sanding, since I would have to redo the polyurethane coat anyways (They got pretty scratched up). In this pic, I had already re-stained the portion where I removed the extra material.

    [​IMG]

    So. Next - polyurethaning the drawers... AGAIN!
     
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  18. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Question. Why did you finish it before you fit it?
     
  19. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Installing the Drawers

    Hey TheMailMan - I was reading the specs from a catalog which said that the drawer slides were 0.25" wide - which is what I built the drawers to. After I picked up the drawer slides and installed them, that's what I noticed that they were actually slightly wider than the specification from the catalog, so either I purchased a different part, or the part was out of spec.


    While getting ready to re-polyurethane the drawers, I also took the time to stain and poly the right-hand cabinet door, as well as the two pieces that will be above each of the cubby holes on the top of the desk

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Re-polyurethaning the drawers went really well - they look fantastic

    [​IMG]

    Things have been pretty busy in the shop - have been re-glassing a war-horse of a canoe at the same time!

    [​IMG]

    Here are the first couple drawers installed. They fit perfectly - the slides fit right into the grooves that I cut out. This photo turned out a little redder than reality

    [​IMG]

    Getting the actual slides lined up and screwed in straight took a bit of patience, but well worth the effort

    [​IMG]

    Ahh, nice and messy, but finally got the drawers in.

    [​IMG]

    Some of the things I'll need to be working on shortly:

    - Front Panel (Fan controls, LED's, Power/Reset switches, USB, Audio Jacks)
    - Fan Installation (Foam surrounds, filter fitting)
    - Hardware selection

    After the hardware is selected and installed, I will be able to focus on cable routing and placement of the drives.
     
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  20. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Sweet man! I didn't know this was a kit. I thought you were cutting these pieces yourself. My mistake! Explains why you didn't dry fit it for sure. By the way she looks nice put together.

    Where did you get the kit from? Links?

    Edit: Also wanted to show you something for future reference....

    http://www.woodshopdemos.com/sstat-21.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  21. GSG-9

    GSG-9

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    Looks good sir. :)

    Can't wait to see it with all the hardware in your rig picked out!
     
  22. ultimatedesk New Member

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    Up and Coming Preview

    Hey MailMan, it's not a kit - it's just that I was basing my measurements for the drawers off of some drawer slides I was going to get from the Home Depot, and I got the specs online. I actually ended up purchasing the drawer slides from Lee Valley Tools and they were a slightly different size. Thanks for the link, some good tips in there I'll have to keep in mind for next time!

    Thanks! This is when it gets real exciting as you'll see in my sneak peak below ;)

    Sorry for the delay in updates everyone - I've been enjoying the beautiful summer weather we've been getting lately and haven't been putting a tremendous effort into getting the desk finished.

    Surprise though - I did manage to get quite a bit done, and I've had some good fortune lately as well. I expect to post several updates this week, so just to get you back into the spirit of things, here's this weeks preview!

    4x Scythe Ultra Kaze 120mm x 38mm 3000RPM
    4x Scythe Slipstream 120mm x 25mm 1900RPM
    [​IMG]

    Lots of foam cutting and trimming, and a sweet, sweet ruler from the Moddders Inc Featured Rig of the Month Contest(Thanks! I'm honored!)
    [​IMG]

    Hmm, what's this?
    [​IMG]

    Holy moly cool prize pack Modders Inc! I still can't believe I won this - perfect stuff for The Ultimate Computer Desk!
    [​IMG]

    Finally removed the protective cover from these babies - they look soo nice!
    [​IMG]

    Hmm? Another surprise?...
    [​IMG]

    Oh good lord! What kind of super monster is that!!?
    [​IMG]

    Bwahahaha
    [​IMG]

    Ok, so maybe a lot's happened in the past couple weeks. I haven't been posting any updates because I've been tinkering around with hardware AND enjoying some good outdoor times. I'm thinking that the next round of updates in the following month or so will be ultra exciting - things are starting to wrap up!

    Seeya soon!
     
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  23. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    As always man....nice job. I cant wait to see this thing 100% done.
     
  24. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    So you have Gigabyte and server motherboards. Cool. Is that dual socket a Tyan, or something like that?

    Need more specs on the hardware...eventually. :D
     
  25. AhokZYashA

    AhokZYashA

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    Cool desk, love the shiny finish,
    Can't wait until its finished:D
     

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