The Quest for a Desk

About two years ago, my uncle called me up, offering to give me his old computer desk. It was a 1990 Steelcase — a monster of a desk. It had a filing cabinet on the right side, and was made of steel. It weighed a ton, it was huge and I loved it. It even had AT&T inventory tags on the underside of the work surface. Whoops.

Notice that’s all in past tense. Because this morning, my desk died.

The cabinet drawers became locked a few days ago. I have a key to the desk, but after trying to unlock them, it became clear that the lock wasn’t actually attached to anything. I decided to try a trick I found online of taking the back panel off, then tipping the desk back, which would allow the rod to dis-engage.

Sadly, when I took the rear panel off, the desk went wobbly real quick. It ended up breaking off a bolt on the right side, and bending the right leg panel and brackets so bad I couldn’t get it on straight again. The sheer weight of the desk was its demise. Thankfully, I had removed my 24-inch iMac, Harman Kardon SoundSticks, Apple Extended II keyboard and Guardian Maximus FireWire RAID before I began.

So now, I am on a quest to build[1. By “build,” I mean hand my dad tools. He’s been building houses for three decades.] an awesome, yet minimal desk.

I have some requirements. I want to have built-in cable management[2. I love the idea of using a rain gutter to keep cables off the ground.] to keep my gear out of my two-year old’s “temptation zone.” I also want to be able to hid my APC Batter Backup and maybe even the RAID — the latter of which needs some airflow to keep cool. I also know I want solid sides, not 4 individual legs, and maybe a bookcase built into one of them. My wife and I going to purchase a separate filing cabinet, which should make this build a bit easier.

For the time being, I’ve swiped a very tiny desk we had in our bedroom for the iMac. I have the Apple chiclet keyboard hooked up, since there’s not room on the desk for the Extended II.[3. And wow, it is hard to adjust to this thing… I keep getting lost on the keyboard.] The speakers are boxed up as well for now. The one upside is that I moved the RAID to an open space underneath the drawers in the desk, so the setup is a little quieter now, but definitely more cramped.

Obviously, I’m not very far into this project, but I promise to keep you updated. Every nerd needs a good man cave, or at the very least, a killer desk.