Need help for desk build
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deskbuilder17
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Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Mon Jul 03, 2023 10:05 pm

Hi All

Totally new to DIY, I'm trying to build a desk with keyboard slide out. I bought 19mm thickness MDF (90cm W x 85cm D) (velvet ultra matt black if it matters) for the desk top, and the same thickness for the slide out part (70cm W and 50cm D) and bought the following legs for it:

https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/pro ... ack-668033

mainly because of the height as I'd like it to be 80cm high.

For the keyboard slider thing I used the following:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emuca-bearing- ... 239&sr=8-7

With the help of a friend with a drill to drill initial (pilot?) holes we screwed the legs in (using these screws https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/pro ... 200-644904) and added the slider however on completion the table is very wobbly, and with some lateral movement the screws become loose... not good!

Looking at it with my unsophisticated eyes it looks like the legs are too weak / thin / long for the desk top which is heavy, which I think is contributing to the wobble. Also I'm not 100% sure if I am using the right screws (was recommended from the iron store above). Thirdly I'm not sure my friend drilled the correct sized pilot holes for some of the screws (if you're reading this sorry Matthew) as some are a little loose / easy to fall in and don't really screw.

Firstly could someone recommend a set of legs that would support this desktop, as I feel like the legs I'm currently using are the problem, and also what screws would be needed for the job (and perhaps an explanation of how to drill correctly sized pilot holes to allow the screws to screw in to the MDF).

Where things get tricky is the keyboard slide out mechanism, you can see from the picture and the width of the keyboard slide out there is minimal space currently to accomodate a much larger 'top bit' for the table... I need the keyboard slideout to be 70cm width as I want to fit a MIDI keyboard that is 69.4cm width on the slide out... have thought about getting a less wide keyboard MDF piece and letting the keyboard hang over the edges, however as you can see from the pictures the Emuca runner / slider causes a ridge on both edges so the keyboard wouldn't fit on comfortably.

If anyone could assist this newcomer I would be greatly appreciated. As it stands I'm tearing out what's left of my hair with this and slightly regretting not buying a pre made desk.

Thanks
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stoneyboy
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Tue Jul 04, 2023 9:11 pm

Hi deskbuilder17,
The legs you have used are not really suitable for a freestanding desk, you can either screw the desk to the wall or replace them with something like this:
https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/pro ... gK53vD_BwE
Even if you do this your top is not wide enough for the keyboard slide out runners you really need a 1200 top.
The screws selected are ok just don’t drill pilot holes.
Regards S

deskbuilder17
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Wed Jul 05, 2023 5:36 pm

Hi Stoneyboy,

Thanks for the response - I have bought these so will give them a go and will cross the keyboard slider bridge when we get to it

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MYEUSEC? ... yp_imgToDp

How would I screw in without pilot holes? I tried using a hand screwdriver on the MDF but it wouldn't screw in at all.

Thanks

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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Wed Jul 05, 2023 9:53 pm

Hi deskbuilder17,
Yes those legs will be much better.
Use a pointed bradawl to give the screws a start or use an electric driver but make sure you have the right screwdriver head - it’s probably going to be posi2
Regards S

deskbuilder17
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Tue Jul 11, 2023 6:15 am

stoneyboy wrote:Hi deskbuilder17,
Yes those legs will be much better.
Use a pointed bradawl to give the screws a start or use an electric driver but make sure you have the right screwdriver head - it’s probably going to be posi2
Regards S


Hi,

I've attached the worktop surface legs and it has improved the stability, however a new problem is the keyboard slide out part - the bracket attaching the slide out to the underside of the desktop isn't deep enough so I tried to make it deeper by screwing on 2 plywood strips of 10mm thickness each (this makes enough space for the keyboard I want to use).

As the photos show I turned the desk upside down and screwed in 8 screws with a hand screwdriver affixing the bracket, the plywood and the mdf desktop. However, as you can see there is a space in between the desktop and the plywood which makes me feel nervous about the stability / strength of the fitting. It seems sturdy and I have applied some pressure to the keyboard pullout section to see if it would withstand weight and it seems ok but it just doesn't look right that it is hanging away from the desk.

I used 3.5 x 25mm screws and used a hand screwdriver as tightly as possible, and the screws just won't turn any further (they look a bit like the big screw in the photo, the one in the photo is 4 x 30mm though - the little silver screw is the one the bracket came with).

Do you think this will hold up or is it just a case of time before the keyboard slide out will fall off? How can I resolve this, part of me thought I should have screwed multiple screws along the length of the plywood strips before affixing the screws to the bracket and the MDF, to ensure it was tight to the table top. Another part of me thought that maybe the fact I am using 2 long strips could be the issue - if I used 4 seperate smaller wooden blocks that might help? But either way as you can see in the photo, it doesn't screw any further.

Logically the bracket thickness is probably c.1mm, the plywood is 10mm thickness, there is 2-3mm of a gap so there is about 10mm of the screw into the desktop, is that enough? Just not sure if I'm worried about nothing here or whether this needs to be resolved.

Thanks for your help
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stoneyboy
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Tue Jul 11, 2023 10:18 pm

Hi deskbuilder17.
You must remove the screws and drill a clearance hole through the plywood, when you refit the screws they will then be able to pull the plywood tight to the underside of your desk.
Regards S

deskbuilder17
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Fri Jul 14, 2023 11:36 am

Given the screws are 3.5mm x 25mm what size drill bit should be used?

Thanks

stoneyboy
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Fri Jul 14, 2023 8:57 pm

Hi deskbuilder17,
A 4mm drill would be ideal.
Regards S

deskbuilder17
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Mon Jul 17, 2023 7:33 am

Hi

Thanks for this - drilling into the wood strips solved the problem, and they are now flush with the desktop. Another issue that has appeared is that there is a bit of side to side and front to back table wobble.

If you see the photos the only thing I can think of is that the worktop leg iron bit that touches the desktop is not fully flush/there is a gap similar as there was with the plywood and the desktop. I thought that maybe one way of resolving the gap would be to get a perpendicular ratchet screwdriver to apply more force to the screws as I've turned them as as much as possible with a hand screwdriver. I'm not actually sure if this would solve the wobble though as the legs seem pretty sturdy as they are.

The back left leg is a little shorter than the others, the foot of the leg is extendable so I raised it shortly to compensate - is it just a case of finding by trial and error the right height so there isn't any wobble or is there another solution ? I have pushed up the front left leg so it is touching the sofa for support but not sure if that is helping the situation or not. I noticed one time I accidentally placed the back left leg on a cable and it seemed more sturdy...

I have a video showing the wobble (not as bad as with the thin legs in my original post) but not sure how I can post it?

Any thoughts on this?

Thank you.
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stoneyboy
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Mon Jul 17, 2023 8:54 pm

Hi deskbuilder17,
You definitely need to tightened the screws through the triangular plates at the top of the legs. If you can find a friend with an impact driver this would be the best way of doing this.
You could use a spirit level to make sure the desk is level in all directions, failing this a saucer with water in it would suffice.
Regards S

deskbuilder17
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by deskbuilder17 » Tue Jul 18, 2023 7:37 am

In the absence of an impact driver, would a drill with a screwdriver head put into it do the job like in the photo?

What's the difference between an impact driver and the above?

Thanks
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stoneyboy
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Re: Need help for desk build

Post by stoneyboy » Tue Jul 18, 2023 8:46 pm

Hi deskbuilder17,
I don’t think the drill will do the business.
Do you have a screwdriver where you could add an adjustable spanner to give you more leverage or do you have some mole grips you could use to clamp on a round shaft screwdriver?
Regards S

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