The Desk Job

6

Mastering

Every once in awhile I get an idea in my head that I later come to regret, even if just a little bit.  Last year I bought a really nice desk for the studio, one that had the ability to be used sitting or standing as I wanted.  At the time, I was a little concerned that it might be a bit too big, but since it was by far the sturdiest height-adjustable table I could find, I wanted to at least try it.

For the most part it was a great purchase, helped my back, worked as advertised, and I liked the way it looked.  There was just one problem, it WAS too big, and I knew it was impacting what I was hearing to some extent. It also had a wrap around front edge made that playing the guitar in front of the laptop or iPad difficult at best.  I didn’t know I was going to get so into the guitar again when I bought the desk, these things happen I guess 🙂

Anyway, it took me awhile to get the time and motivation to tackle a project as complex as cutting down my main studio desk, but I finally had the time this past week.  The original plan was just to cut down the top that came with it to the right size, since it appeared to be solid oak.  A quick email to the store I bought it from confirmed it was solid and not a veneer, easy enough.

I also needed to shorten a bunch  of the metal supports that attach the top, since I wanted to bring the legs closer together as well.   Going into the project it was the metal cutting that worried me the most, though luckily that actually went easier than I was expecting.  A bit scary considering how much I paid for the desk (Hallie thinks I’m nuts), but not too hard once I got into it.

IMG_1169(My temporary desk while working on the new one)

The real fun came when it was time to cut down the table top, and I discovered that it was just an oak veneer after all and not solid oak.  Fuck.  The veneer started to peel almost instantly when I cut it, which meant I had just ruined the top and needed to come up with an alternate plan.

After a couple days trying various woodworking shops and re-use building materials stores with no luck, I finally caved and bought a solid wood desk top from Ikea that I could cut down.  I won’t go into the fiasco the trip to Ikea was (aren’t they always), but at least I had what I needed and was back on track.

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With the new top cut down to the right size, the last step was to build another rack and shelf to mount underneath it for my external HD’s and the power supplies for all my gear.  I had done this with the desk just after I got it, so I mainly just redid what I had created then.  Worked great, looked fine, no need to alter the plan.  🙂

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Paint, clear-coat, a bunch of screws and power tools, and before you know it everything was back together in the studio.  Finally, the temp desk I was using was just not the same!

It ended up being more work than I was planning on thanks to the top being laminate, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  Makes the studio feel a bit more open and brighter with the new light wood top.  Sounds better in here too, without all those unneeded reflective surfaces getting in the way.  I guess my only regret is not doing this right when I bought the desk!

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Next step, wood floors!  Sigh, it never ends….

🙂

Coming soon on the blog, I’ll review the new Maschine Studio I just got.  Stay tuned!

  1. Sky Doherty05-24-2014

    I hope you painted/sealed the cut metal! Where I am, bare metal won’t last long. 🙂

  2. Sky Doherty05-24-2014

    Of course, it’s also a bummer you destroyed the table top. It could have been kept or resold to someone building their own custom desk. 🙂

    • Tarekith05-24-2014

      Well, if I would have known it was laminate, I definitely wouldnt have tried cutting it! 🙂

  3. Sky Doherty05-24-2014

    I’m most curious about your ‘under desk rack’, and the concept behind it being able to house external disks, etc. Having this very ‘clean’ arrangement makes almost anything else you do with your desk/studio functional and professional.
    I’m sure it’s obvious to you, but your ‘boxes’ for your power, peripherals, etc., are what peaks my interest. 🙂

  4. Tarekith05-24-2014

    I’ve tried so many things over the years to hide cables and manage the inevitable clutter that happens in the studio. Eventually I learned that the closer I can keep everything to the computer the better, so there’s literally just a 4 space rack with an empty shelf around it under the desk.

    Monster 2500 and 3500 power supplies in the rack, a Plugable USB3 hub and 2 USB3 HD’s on the shelf behind/under the desk.

  5. Sky Doherty05-24-2014

    Wow. That’s SO cool! Maybe you could feature some photos, diagrams of all that?
    I know it may seem… hmmm, what’s the word? “Boring.”
    But, your experience may make waves you never thought could be made! 😀

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