Somehow I had missed this! I had never looked at my workdesk. I worked on this tiny table for years struggling through various issues. I had bought this many years ago when I had very little to spare for a table. This table found its way through multiple relocations. I was spending at least 12 hours a day on this table, yet I had forgotten to invest in it! I had replaced my chair because it fucked my lower back badly.
I like working on large monitors. I work on multiple applications simultaneously and switching between these lowers my productivity. Laptop screens are small, and they can't fit everything into their screens properly. A good table that can accommodate 2 monitors with a laptop costs upwards of 12k and it may not exactly suit your requirements. Why not design one myself?My design goals were simple:
- The table has to be large enough to fit 2 32in monitors, a laptop, an external keyboard, and a few books.
- I should be able to eat my dinner without moving anything.
- It should be cheap.
I considered making a 100% wooden table, but the cost was too much. So I decided to go for a steel frame with a wooden top. Dimensions: horizontal width: 5 ft, depth: 2.5 ft, height: 2.5ft. Here is the design for it.
With these I got a local fabricator to design the steel frame for me. I also told him it should be easily transferrable. It meant he can't weld everything together like below, but put bolts and nuts.
If you go and talk to any of these fabricators—there are plenty in every street—you will realize its pretty cheap to make these. It costs Rs 2,500 to 3,000. I asked my fabricator to use 2in frames; otherwise they might use something lower. I got the steel frame powder coated with white. Powder coating is similar to metallic paint.
The next job is to get a table top. I had 2 reasonable options: A solid wood table top, or a plywood sheet/compressed wood with lamination.
Solid wood feels pretty good, but the cheapest was about Rs 4,500 and a good one was about 8,000. I decided to go with a ply instead. The ply is laminated and feels alright. Cost: 1.5k.
The steel frame comes with 2 supporting rods at the bottom. They serve another purpose: I can keep my legs on them. I purposefully didn't add drawers to the table. I like moving from one end to another end of the table freely when I want to take a closer look at another monitor. Drawers obstruct this movement.
Just one more thing left: add plastic bushes to table legs to avoid corrosion.
So there it is, my self designed ikea-like work desk at 1/3 of the cost. Plus the joy of doing it yourself!