[LOG] DIY butcherblock motorized computer desk build

Skripka

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May 18, 2020
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New Year, and I need a new desk. So, seeing a bunch of projects and a few tech-tuber versions of it; this sill be my own spin on the butcherblock computer desk. Not seeing any threads doing this sort of thing on SFFNet, so figured I'd log it all.

My 10+ old cheapo chipboard and veneer desk is sagging, and ghetto, and could stand to be taller without needing wood blocks underneath it to adjust it. So a steel frame full supporting the table, and motored legs...and butcherblock.

Parts collection:


Reusing my monitor arm, and SFFPC in my sigrig. Probably will through bolt it as it is now, rather than clamping to the table

Questions up in the air:

A) Keyboard tray...my present keyboard arm uses too long a travel rail for any motorized leg system. Sad because it is a great piece of 10+ year old kit. Thinking maybe this and maybe redesigning the bracket to bolt on instead of clamp.

B) What to do about my speakers.....might end up wall mounting them, rather than leaving them on my desk on wedges

C) Under desk cable management to make it slick....may need a cable tray....

D) Block comes with squared off edges...will probably radius the edges of the block for easier use.


Between some woodworking....and stain/varnish dry and offgas time to be safe for kitties in the house....this will probably take a month or two. LOL.
 
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Skripka

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Materials coming in.



And the star attraction came safe and sound...actually the carton was labeled 'fragile' and whatever made a hole or two in it in shipping lost the argument with the block. Less blonde colored and more rose than I was thinking, and also more grain is apparent....nice advertising photos Home Depot

 
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Skripka

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And...Stain time!!!

Before:




And After only 1 coat:





 
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Skripka

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Project update for those doing this.....This butcherblock sheet weighs in at approx 72lbs. Which, the leg system I ordered has a live load rating of 175lbs; and a static load rating of 225lbs. CHECK these before doing this. There are single motor leg systems that WILL NOT be powerful enough to raise/lower a butcherblock table with a computer and monitor on it.
 
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Skripka

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Stain is dry. Time to seal it. Using a Minwax oil poly in gloss. Had to move operations to my shed, Winter is Coming (back).





Probably will have to wait a full day for this fast drying poly to dry with temps dropping and not even topping 50, but the woods needs sealed from atmosphere moisture in fairly short order. At least got 5 out of 6 sides done including the end-grain, which is the big deal.
 
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Skripka

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Proper blizzard came. Proper blizzard went, snow melted...it was sunny and 40s....and now it is snowing again.

Meanwhile. A/B sides now both have their second coat of varnish on, the edge grains all have 4 coats and need some sanding for dribbles; and more swag came in the mail. Photoshop alert, Colors of the wood were tweaked a bit to look more like real life at the expense of everything in the background; the problems of working in the Proverbial Dimly Lit Quonset Hut.





MEANWHILE. Swag. Ze leg system:



Keyboard tray, settled on an edge mount as the least bad option:



Speaker stands:



And an under desk hanging mount to attach my UPS...I think I still have enough excess live load capacity to do this. Famous words.

 
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Skripka

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Update, leg system built and tested. Very easy to put together. Rides on linear motors, and is very quiet whether loaded or unloaded. Will probably get to stripping out my old setup and building this for realsies next week.

The one thing I'm not a fan of with Topsky's implementation....they put BOTH linear motor power feeds on the same side of the power distro, with power-in and motor control on the other....so no matter what, on side of the desk needs a longer cable than the other to reach.

PS...looks like my image hosting ius busted...hang on, will switch to imgur I guess....











 
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Skripka

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May 18, 2020
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Wood update, butcherblock has been moved inside to finish its curing faster.....which is it well on the way there, this is the B side, A is protected more until assembly. Depending on the lighting and viewer angle, the wood really pops.



 
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BaK

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What a piece of wwod, good job on it! :thumb:

Will that motor let you switch between a sitting and a standing work position?
I heard switching position helps in keeping an healthy back.
 

Skripka

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What a piece of wwod, good job on it! :thumb:

Will that motor let you switch between a sitting and a standing work position?
I heard switching position helps in keeping an healthy back.

Danke! Ended up doing a total of 5 voats of poly on top and edges, and 3 on the bottom. It is proper encase in plastic now.

Yes it will. I'm trying to pull a career change...COVID has eviscerated my old industry, so trying to switch to work from home, now. And with long hours at a screen; sit-stand and anything in between is/was looking great. As with all things ergonomic, you can have awful posture even with good equipment--so onus is on the user to have good posture regardless.
 
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Skripka

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Test fit assembly time. Involves pre-drilling all the holes so that when the desk swap happens, least amount of mess and fuss. With my specific leg system, as it is a continuous rather that discrete width....I had to measure out that the legs were square to themselves to get them everything symmetrical:



Then pre-drill the frame hole in the top and motor-PDU, also, while it was easy to measure and do firm-installed the cable management trays on the back underside. Now....the fastener pitches are something I never heard of nor could find a reference for a body size:
  • ST3.8x16
  • ST4.8x16
So I ended up eyeballing it. Fortunately, Hevea butcherblock might be very resilient against impact and knives, less so for drill bits.



That masking tape is a reference point to eyeball Left/Right center when putting the top on. The Front/Rear center, I'm using the motor-PDU between the frame rails to get me darn close....Funny thing. I made an egregious if understandable mistake here. Remember how I mentioned earlier that one of the motors needed an extension cable, because it wasn't long enough? Note how I neatly split center with the PDU and how neither leg-tail is remotely close to the PDU? Yea. Not one of my better moments. I only spotted that screw up when I went to test the thing. Derp.

Also, pre-drill the control box for the motors. This won't get attached until the desk is in place, I've seen too many boxes like this get busted because people forget they're dangling off the edge:

 

Skripka

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Whew. Complete. That was work, need a beer.



Cat nap inspection: PASS!



And, Fully kitted out for a proper cat-dog nap with a proper cat bed. The one controller attached to the left-hand keyboard mount is for a torche floor lamp in the room. My UPS is still on the floor, didn't want to screw with needing even more cables due to where devices are located and balancing weight loading.



Hand applied gloss counts are never glass-perfect, still darn close...Mr. Desk control box lurking at the edge



Cable Management! Yes, I used to be a theater electrician. And, yes, unsightly cables in view does drive me nuts. Kept my bias lighting on the backside of my monitor, although with the new gloss finish tabletop, I don't need it as much as the table helps light the room.



And, the underbelly that makes the top so clean. Look at all those cables...knew I'd want cable trays down there....Need a longercable sleeve here, but it does the job.



In addition to the trays...this was helped by the table leg system coming with cable straps with 3M adhesive
 
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Skripka

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And here is standing mode, as viewed from a chair. Console has memory presets, so a press of a button and it remembers 3 presets and moves to them, can also set travel limits.

This came out as a winner in my book. Ended up needing a longer DisplayPort cable than I had, and not using a few bits and pieces due to happenstance.

 

BaK

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Fantastic, well deserved beer! :thumb:

Would like to see the cats faces if you change for another desk preset while they are napping! :)
 
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