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Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Great Desk Swap

This whole blog post is going to sound like one big shill, but considering I only have 20-40 readers, it is certainly not! Like Alton Brown, I only "advertise" what I personally use and find really amazing!

Now, first I have to mention that without my new Chevy Sonic Hatchback, none of this would have been possible [alone]. Not only was I able to drive to Ikea and fit two drawer unit boxes plus a 59x29 piece of table top, but I was also able to throw broken desk pieces in there to toss into the dumpster! (more on this in a minute!)

This was my old set up. The things that are inherently wrong with these kinds of desks are: 1. The one shitty "leg" on one side holding everything up. After several moves, it was close to collapsing 2. The backing board, making it nigh impossible to get anything plugged in back there 3. The whole top piece, making desk space very limited. After buying my new computer case (A Carbide 500R, btw - so freaking awesome! A++ 5 star), I could no longer fit it up top and had to put it at my feet, which created its own set of issues) and 4. See that printer waaaay up there? Yeah, if I wanted to do anything with it, I had to grab a chair.

So all of those things, plus the fact that it just looked like shit (don't ever leave duct tape on furniture like that for more than a few hours or you'll regret it) have made me want to replace this desk for a long time. But, with what?

Lifehacker to the rescue. (I told you this post would be shill-y). That link (and pic below) is my inspiration. 

The part that got me was the fact that it was built from Ikea parts, so anyone could do it. Now his is a bit different - for one, he used the white cabinets. But he also used a different top... a kitchen counter made from 100% beech wood, but is also 74" long (and $119). I definitely didn't have 74" to spare. My original plan was to go to Ikea on Saturday, pick up the cabinets, and then go with my dad on Sunday to pick up the counter top and have it cut down to 58".
But, while I was at Ikea on Saturday, I found this: Linnmon Table Top. It was almost the perfect size; 59x29 which was do-able (a bit wide, but not crazy) and only $30!! What a steal! Now, it's not 100% wood, but because I wouldn't have to cut it down, that didn't really matter.

But, before I could even build this thing, I had to put the drawer units together and tear down the old desk. And I do mean tear down literally - it was a floor model so it was glued together. I had to figure out how to rip it apart because I couldn't just take it apart, and be able to throw it all into the dumpster. 



This was by far the hardest part of the whole project. I had to pull out my reciprocating saw (something that I had just bought on a whim at a friend's garage sale not knowing if I would ever need it for anything). Again, this project would not have been possible without it! I literally had to saw through the desk to take it out in pieces!!! Look at what it did to my poor saw!

That's seriously bent, in case you can't tell

But once the old desk was out of the way (Thank you Chevy Sonic for allowing me to pile the pieces in the back and take it to the dumpster! [Which was also very difficult as the dumpster is 4' tall and you can't hold the lid open to throw anything away. Nothing can ever be easy!]) I could now put together the new one. Like my inspiration desk, I bought a cable management piece to hide all my cords and installed that. I screwed the risers into the cabinets (I bought 2" ones instead of 4" ones because I'm short), and just placed the top onto the risers. Badda-bing, badda-bang, all done. 



The table top isn't even attached to the risers... it doesn't need to be. It won't move unless you move it (I know, I couldn't believe it at first either). This is also a blessing, because now if I need to plug in something that has a brick, I can slide the table forward, drop it back there and slide it back. GENIUS. Now, I have my computer case off the floor (no more worrying about static electricity shorting out my PC on the carpet) with easy access to install hardware or plug things in. And also, my printer is accessible! 

Another thing to note besides the fact that I just about doubled my storage space and now have a blank canvas behind me for some awesome art, is the height of the desk. I spent a pretty penny on a DXRacer chair not long ago (I really wanted something that I would never have to replace. Don't judge me) but never found is as comfortable as it claimed. I still sat forward in my chair and didn't feel as though it was giving me any support. Now I know why - my desk was too low and my chair was too high. Now my keyboard is a bit high; it's something I'll have to get used to, but my monitor is the perfect height. It's actually eye level to me, and the natural way to sit in my chair now is to lean back in it, making it a ton more comfortable.

I also have to mention that despite Ikea's reputation for horrible installation directions and confusing pieces of furniture, those two drawer units were some of the easiest things I've ever put together and was easily do-able with one person. They are also very nice cabinets and well worth the cost, I think.

Total cost: $219 not including tax. Well worth it in my humble opinion! 


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