How to Make a Melamine Desk
Desks often look impersonal, but the best desks are very personal and take the user's body plan into consideration. This can be crucial to an enjoyable work or computer play experience, especially if you're taller or shorter than average. One way to ensure you get the desk best suited for your height is to build one yourself. A melamine work surface provides an inexpensive way to create a desk that's just right for you and melamine boards come in a variety of colors in addition to the traditional white, black and brown found at most hardware stores.
Sit in the office chair with your arms at your side, bent 90 degrees at the elbows, and have an assistant measure the height to the bottom of your hands. Subtract 1 inch from the measurement to determine the leg length of your desk.
Measure and cut all four of the 4-by-4-inch posts to your determined height. Sand the edges of the cut ends of your post to eliminate splinters.
Spread the blanket out on the floor and place the melamine board on the blanket so that the working surface is facing downward.
Measure 4 inches in from each side at each corner and make a mark. This will define an L that you will use to position the legs of the desk.
Position a leg so that it fits against the L mark and line up 4 L-brackets, one against each side of the leg. Insert two 1-inch wood screws through each L-bracket into the leg ensuring that the other arm of the L-bracket is flat against the bottom of the melamine board.
Check that the leg is still snugged against the lines you drew on the back of the melamine sheet. Secure the L-bracket to the bottom of the melamine sheet with 3/4-inch particle board screws. Turn your desk upright and position where desired.
Things You Will Need
- Office chair
- Measuring tape
- 4 4-by-4-inch posts
- 120-grit Sandpaper
- 3/4-inch melamine sheet, 2-by-5-foot
- 16 medium L-brackets
- 32 wood screws, 1-inch
- 32 particle board screws, 3/4-inch
- Drill with Phillip's head bit
- Instead of using 4-by-4-inch posts, use table legs for your desk. These can be scavenged from old tables or bought new, but may require special leg hardware to attach to the desk.
- Build a 2-foot-wide stand for your monitor from 1-by-6-inch boards to elevate it to the proper viewing level. This will also create a cubby where you can store your keyboard when not in use.
- If you need to cut the melamine board and make a smaller desk, do not paint the raw edges as you may make the melamine-coated particle board swell. Instead, use half-round trim around the cut area or place that side against a wall.
- Tie back loose clothing and hair before operating power equipment.
- Wear safety goggles when using power equipment.