Help With Wall-Mounted Desk - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-25-2010, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Help With Wall-Mounted Desk

Hey everybody. First of all, let me just say that I feel somewhat out of place here having never built anything before, but I have some questions that you can hopefully help me with. I'm looking to build a floating wall-mounted desk like the ones seen here and here, but I have no idea how I should go about attaching it to the wall. Both the tutorials say to use L-brackets screwed into studs but don't offer much more detail than that, and I'd like to know exactly how much weight this desk is going to support. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-josh
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 11:54 AM
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Hello, i'm fairly new too but I think there are quite a few variables to consider. How big is your desk going to be and how many studs will you have available to attach it? What kind of material are you planning to use?

I think the L brackets in that ehow article are more for a shelf-style floating desk (no cubby storage). I've found that ehow articles are not very strong resources and leave out many specific details. Hopefully someone here has experience with something similar.

With the box it might be easier to simply use a thick back panel and screw that panel into the studs first. Then make the other 4 sides and mount that to the wall support.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi bofa, thanks for the reply. To give some more details, I'm planning on making the desk 16" deep and wide enough to attach to three studs, so approximately 48". Hadn't decided on a material yet, that was actually going to be my next question . I'd like a birch finish, but I'm not sure if I should go with solid wood or something more light-weight, like MDF with a veneer finish. I'd definitely like the "box" design and if I can get away without using a back panel, that'd be my first choice. Hope that helps.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 03:36 PM
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If you want light weight DO NOT use MDF. It is heavier than most woods.

I like the idea of the solid back panel. You can then use solid wood as your supports for both the top shelf and the bottom. I would use at lease one support in the middle.

George
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 07:16 PM
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Not sure why you want to avoid the back panel since you won't be able to see it and could use less expensive material for that... even a couple of 2x4s really. Is there something specific you had planned?

I guess depending on the height of the box you might find some L brackets that will work, but if you go too small you might have stability issues.

Also, what are you planning on putting on and in the desk? If near an outlet you might consider running another outlet that could be hidden in the back of the cubby area.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I apologize, I misunderstood what you meant about the back panel. Attaching a couple 2x4s to the wall instead of L-brackets sounds perfect, although again, I'd like a good idea of how much weight that would support. I'm planning on putting my laptop and record player on the desk, about 12 lbs total (though obviously I'd like it to not fall off the wall if I put more weight on it than that). And thank you for the tip about MDF, I'm guessing that solid birch boards would then be my best option for building material.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 12:31 PM
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Jaydot,
This sounds like a PERFECT application for a torsion box.
Google it and I'm sure you will agree.
Here is one http://thewoodwhisperer.com/episode-...e-torsion-box/
This is a table but, for shelf, you'd just add a 2 X ? across the studs and attach the top and bottom skins to the edges of the 2 X ?. Make the 16" edges long enough to cover the ends of the wall mounted 2 X ?.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 12:46 PM
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I believe I would use a french cleat made from a 2x4 then run 3" screws thru the top.

RLH
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 12:49 PM
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I'm not sure how to calculate the exact weight limit, but if you secure two 2x4s to 3 beams and then mount a box (I would use cabinet screws), it should be more than enough to hold your equipment and then some. This is essentially the same concept that I've seen in how a lot of cabinets are installed. Heavier wood might offset this some, so maybe someone that has built one of these can confirm.

Here's a quick drawing too.

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 12:58 PM
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Yeah, a french cleat would work and probably make it easier to mount.

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post #11 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all the help, everybody. For now I'm going to use a simple design like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa View Post
Either with a French cleat (will that support more weight, or is it just for ease of installation?) or just a couple a 2x4s screwed into the wall.

I just have a couple last questions, if you'd be so kind;

1. Is there an (easy) way to build the "box" without having any screw heads showing, at least on the top?

2. Any suggestions for materials? Possibly a stupid question, but could I just walk into Home Depot and pick up some solid birch boards?
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 08:50 PM
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Using a french cleat requires enough room on the back of the cabinet below the cabinet member, to clear the wall mount member.

For a box that shallow, a " plywood back fully glued and fastened to the box gets screwed to studs in the wall. Depending on the length of the desk it should catch at least two studs.

I would use ⅝" minimum or " plywood.






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post #13 of 13 Old 08-06-2010, 11:18 PM
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^ Lots of good info as always.

I think the plywood back vs the 2x4 back will come down to what your budget is. Plywood is probably the more professional way.

For the box material, you could also consider something like 1" whitewood really. It's fairly cheap and available at the usual hardware stores. Unfortunately their selection and quality of ply is hit or miss. Are you planning on painting or staining the wood?

If you don't want screws visible on the top, you could probably attach that panel using a small brad nailer and glue if tools are limited. There are many ways to do it, just depends on what you can get your hands on.
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