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  1. #1
    now that my garage is starting to be workable i've decided to start clearing out stuff i've been storing for ages.

    one thing was a full 8x4 sheet of 25mm mdf i ordered way back in the summer with my OSB for the cladding.. with the intention of creating a nice computer desk for my computer room.

    since joining this site i feel the need to plan everything out in google sketchup so i started out with this

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    i'd had that curved shape in my head for ages and i'll be honest without sketchup i'd have likely done it free hand with a jigsaw. but through figuring out how to acctually draw the desk with the rounded shape i realised that it's basicly 2 circles of the same radius side by side.

    so with all measurements in hand i got out to the garage and proceed to cut the desk using my really shoddy circle jig

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    yes thats a piece of mdf with a router stuck to the top of it, rotating around a 3mm drill bit

    second circle to cut is only acctually a quarter of the circle and i get left with this
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    next i stick a straight edge under the desk connecting the circle to where the edge of the desk finnishes and run my router with a trim bearing bit all the way along and end up with this

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    and on the edge of the desk to get a nice smooth finish all i have used is an 18mm round over on the top of the desk and a small 6mm i think round over on the bottom of the desk, the result is something i'm very proud of as i've never achieved something like this before

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    test fit the desk on top of the previous desk before i attempt to paint it.. lucky i did as the wall was out and the desk didnt fit, back outside, trim an edge down and bam fitted.. one very happy wilfy. so wanting to always better myself i've decided that i want some kind of cool lighting for this room. i've always been a fan of RGB LEDS and the effects you can achieve. so robbed a friends run of LED's to see how bright they are and more than anything to see if they will provide enough light for me to see the keyboard and other things if i need to.

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    on the left is an arduino we have used to rig up the rgb controls as a temp thing untill i can order my lights. my plan is to run a 45 degree router bit with bearing on it all the way round the back of the desk, this should hide the LED's from view and have no glare and we have already tested the angle and i'm happy with the amount of light produced, infact i have the lights on now whilst i'm typing this and i'm more than happy with them.

    i'm going to finish the desk in black spray paint and lacquer it so i can cut and polish it back flat so i get a nice glass smooth finish.

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  3. #2
    Looks good so far Wilfy, just remember that you will lose a bit of light when you paint it as black so if it is only just giving you the amount of light you would like now you might have to up the leds a bit.
    Just something worth thinking about.

  4. #3
    Nice job mate, dont forget to seal the MDF before paint and a light sand in between coats. Its mad how all this cnc stuff starts to make you think and look at job's isnt it.


  5. #4
    oh i know all the downfalls of not sealing mdf, i'm using filler primer to start with get it nice and smooth before i even touch it with black.

    as for the desk being black and absorbing light i fully understand that, but i am angling the lights towards the wall and basicly using the wall to reflect the light back in to the room. i cant really go any better than what i have as i'm using the 300leds which are basicly 3rgb leds per 5 cm as far as i'm aware unless using more expensive stuff this is the best you can get for smaller spacing. i suppose i'll have to see how it comes out..at the moment there is more than enough light

  6. #5
    Awesome stuff Wilfy,

    Similar to what I am going to do in the new office/studio (workshop is now in another space) - see my Build Log for a pic from Sketchup.

    One I thing I did with mine was to make the desk pretty shallow to the wall where the LED/LCD monitors are going, as I very rarely use paper these days and have one of the side areas of the desk for that kind of thing.

    The other thing I've been trying to find is the same textured plastic sheeting used to make one of my Razer Sphex mouse mats, which sticks onto a surface and has a kind of metallic grey/graphite texture to it which helps laser/optical mice precision. The idea is to source some of this and then cover the entire desk surface in it, as a. its really easy to clean and b. means I can use a mouse wherever I need it (handy tip is also to use car detailing spray to clean mouse mats as it leaves a very fine layer of synthetic wax, which also assists in precision and lessens fouling).



  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by wilfy View Post
    oh i know all the downfalls of not sealing mdf, i'm using filler primer to start with get it nice and smooth before i even touch it with black.
    Nice job with the desk especially liking the circle jig. I'm currently building a car shaped bed for my son and made a similar jig for the wheels and rims. Wish I had my cnc router built already.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask which filler primer you are using to seal the edges of the mdf. Its a big search topic and so many different opinions. Some recommend pva glue, some wall filler, shellac, zinsser bin primer, oil based primer. Confusing or what. I've decided to go with a quick drying water based primer from toolstation made by Flag. It is suitable for spirit based paints as I want to paint with gloss for its strength.

    My procedure is to paint primer, sand with 120, primer again, then sand with 240, paint gloss, sand with 320 then final coat of gloss.

    Thanks Adil

  8. #7
    i'm just going to treat it like a car panel and i'm using car spray paint from halfords, i'd have really liked to go all out and get proper paint for my spray gun but i can't justify the extra cost of a big tub of lacquer, primer and thinners when i have no plans to spray anything in the near future.

    any kind of primer/filler primer/hi-build primer will easily seal mdf and i've been taught to use that stuff and seen it work many times. infact the white you see on the desk at the moment is just white waterbased undercoat from bnq and the only reason i used that is it's all i had and i wanted to smooth of this edge as i plan to use the desk for a bit before i paint it and last time i did this i got a rash on my arms from the bare mdf.

    with regards the mouse mat, what i plan to do some time in the future when i get my cnc running is make a template the same outer shape as my mouse mat (steel series frosted glass gaming surface) that i can use one of these bits with Toolstation > Power Tool Accessories > Router Bits > Router Bit Template Cutter and i'd use the template to help me recess a place in the desk for my mouse mat but at the moment i havnt got the time or patience to do that by hand as i know it's a pain in the ass

  9. #8
    Have you not got an auto paint supplier near you Wilfy?? Far cheaper than Halfords generally. Lighting just wanted to point out that you will lose some even though they are pointing the other way but if you can afford a small reduction then it should be OK, LED's & systems are a whole topic in themselves lol.

    Other thing is to make sure you have enough bracing underneath, MDF warps very easily, I had a couple of 19mm mdf tops that started to bow in a few days under their own weight & were only spaning an 800mm unit. Mind you that was up at the unit where there is not any sort of heating & humidity levels are probably quite high, in a house then it might not be anywhere near as bad.

    1want1, I would go a bit finer than 320 for a final rub down, 320 will remove far to much of the paint you have put on. 600 would be the minimum I would go but probably 800 or 1000 as your not really looking to remove very much at all, Should just be a quick rub over to aid keying if you have taken your time & primed it properly.

  10. #9
    Nice desk Willfy, like the led colours (confirms the under 30,s). As boring old f*%t (69) I need the brightest whitest I can get!!!

    Merry xmas, G.

  11. #10
    Thanks Martin,

    didn't realise sanding inbetween paints was for keying, I thought it was to get a smoother finished top coat. Luckily I got some 600 and 1000 from wet sanding a previous mdf project which I sprayed with 2K auto paints. I plan on rolling gloss this time with these quality rollers I found in a local decor shop.

    Cheers Adil
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