Today it finally came time to start condensing rooms. As some may know (cause it’s all I ever talk about these days) we’re getting ready to undo our home. If all goes well, we’ll have a more functional bathroom, more appropriate laundry area (rather than laundry/indoor shed) and a-whole-nother bedroom!! This all comes with a cost, though, and what applies today is the living space we’ll lose. Right now we have a rather large room that serves as a family room. This is the space that will hopefully house the bathroom and laundry. The computer right now (literally as I type) is part of an all inclusive entertainment hot spot in said room. We didn’t really have a computer area. We just kinda ran the keyboard and mouse on a TV tray (I just used my lap). We’ve only had the internet for a minute so it’s a pretty new dilema. Well, as you can probably imagine with the extra typing I’ve been doing I’m in the mood for a more substantial option. So I built something!! Of course first I had to clean out the cabinet in the living room to fit whatever was in the cabinet (a bunch of Wii remotes and VHS tapes that really should’ve found the trach can) in the side room. That took most of the morning, so I was a bit crunched for time and maybe would’ve done a few things different (my husband has a valid argument that I maybe don’t think things through all the time…I’m a doer…lucky for me he’s a thinker. It works.) So anyway…I had a panel of sorts that’s been floating around my house. I’ve used it for a computer desk twice before (Once in this very same room, once in my kids room) but just hung it with shelf brackets. Today I couldn’t remember what come of it, then I finally found it dutifully making a flat surface on top of some plastic three drawer organizers in my kids’ closet (Yes, one closet, three kids. We could really use another bedroom!) I could’ve just hung it back on the shelf brackets but I’m sort of partial to it at this point and thought it deserved to be a whole piece of furniture. So…now it is. I did attempt to think ahead of where it might live in the future. Right now it doesn’t matter how long it is, but when this room no longer exists it will have to go in the living room. The best option in there is between a corner and window which is a four foot space. When we do the remodel there will be a space used in the winter to stow some firewood, but in the summer we could put the computer in there and that will be a 4 ft. space.
Wouldn’t you know it was about 5 inches too long. So I took the supporting end pieces off and only used the three tongue and groove pieces. If you want to make your own you may not be so lucky to have something lying around…but make it!! Tongue and groove would be great, but you could use something solid or even put just boards together. I used my Craig jig for this, but if you want to do it you CAN figure it out! If you want some ideas or help just let me know!
So, after I decided my length I had to round up some other supplies. For me
that means walking around with my hands in my pockets for awhile until I finally just start grabbing whatever and throwing it in a pile. When it looks like a sufficient amount of junk I come up with a real plan. I ended up with my tongue and groove panel for a top, two 2 x 3s (weird dimension but they come in handy a lot and they’re cheap), a few pieces of sturdy thin wood panels that my mom passed down years ago to maybe make some shelves, and a long 1″x2″ strip that use to hold the soffit on my house. I had to pull nails on that but I’m glad I talked my husband out of burning it. Plan A included some shelves, but I sort of want this to be versatile so I didn’t want it to just be a computer desk. The shelving material was keeping my kids busy so I just opted out. Then I decided on my height. I wanted it to be tall enough to accommodate my favorite old metal shelf thing
so that put bottom of my top being 28 inches from the ground. I went ahead and cut all
four legs. I like to measure (if I measure anything) the very first piece then use that for a template. If you mess up the first at least they’ll all be the same! Because my husband loves me he bought me a compound miter saw (pair that with my Kraig jig jr. and now I’m unstoppable!) which made all the cutting super simple. I don’t know if you can tell in the pics but my back deck converts to a giant worktable. Just make sure that you always lock your saw back down so little hands don’t get chopped off. I’m in the habit of constantly unplugging mine, and it’s a big deal when I’m making a cut (they all run and hide behind something like I’m letting a tiger loose). Safety glasses. Use your clamps…Read your instructions I’m sure there’s more I’m not thinking of. So, then I
figured that I wanted my top to extend an inch all the way around the base and I wrote all those measurements down. My worksheet looked a lot like a piece of cardboard with scribbles, but for your sake here it all is. You’ll have to make adjustments according to what you scrounge up:
My top: 14 3/8″ by 48″
My legs: (actual measurements not purchase):
- 4 pieces 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ cut to 28″ lengths
Skirt and supports (the top pieces that run between the legs and the pieces hallway up) I used the thin strip off my house:
- 4 cut at 9 3/8″ long (depth of top – overhang x2 (to account for each end) -width of leg x2 )
- 3 cut at 41″ long (length of top – overhang x2 – depth of leg x2 )
So all your cutting is done. Now you have to connect it all together. Once
again…love my Kraig jig jr.( no, I’m not a spokesman). I put a pocket hole in both ends of each supporting piece and top skirt, and also to connect the skirt into the top. I assembled the two short sides together first. I put the hole side down in the supports so that I didn’t need to fill the holes at all. The worst thing about the jig is that the bit is 40 miles long. It was really tight, but I got it. Would you believe that I put all four of the skirt pieces on upside down? Distracted driving, I guess (Get it…cause I was driving screws…never mind). I was painting the assembled
base before I ever figured it out, so I just let it go, and after the second coat of paint dried (well, I get a bit impatient) I threw a few more into the long pieces headed in the right direction.
I just flipped the painted base over onto the top and attached the top with the pocket holes I drilled. I planned for a 1″ overhang all the way around, so that’s how I placed it. Measuring that inch placement also helped to square it a little. It would have been just a little wonky if I’d eyeballed it. But remember, some of my wood was bowed and imperfect. I used the best parts of it that I could, but I am so happy with the results-flaws and all!
So, there you have it!! I didn’t mention that all the while I was fishing kittens out of trashcans, fishing kids off of everything, cooking lunch then dinner, and witnessing a rooster hunt (then memorial service). So, all in all a pretty productive day. I have one cabinets worth of stuff gone, and this will be easy to move when it comes time here soon! Hope this inspires you!!!