Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Project Monolith: Desktop and Slide-Out done!

Still making progress with Project Monolith, this time on the desktop and slide out work surface. Let's jump right in.

In the photo above you can see the rabbit-cut 2x4's, and the large plywood slide out surface, in the process of staining and sealing. I found myself a nice Red Oak stain that matches the armoire. I picked up some heavy duty drawer sliders, rated for 100 lb. load. I wanted beefy slides, so I wouldn't have to worry about leaning an elbow on the desk, or pressing too hard when cutting some plastic card.

Once 3 coats of clear urethane dried, it was time to assemble. Everything went together nicely!

 1/2" mdf was used as a brace in the back. This served as a stop for the slide out, as well as additional support for the upper desktop surface.

The whole assembly was mounted inside the cabinet, and I moved onto the desk top surface. In order to keep the "soul" of the project, I made the desk top out of, well, a desk top. My old hobby desk served proudly for many years, as the nexus of all things plastic, glue, and paint. As this project was replacing my old, reliable desk, I felt it only fitting to retain some piece of it.

I scrapped the desk but kept the top, complete with knicks, scratches, paint overspray, and coaster-free drink stains. I masked out the necessary dimensions, cut out the "new" desktop, and sanded off the veneer, leaving the particleboard underneath for all to see.
I left the veneer on the very lip, just to retain that little bit of "soul" from the old desk. The desktop saw stain and clear urethane similar to the slide out. When all was dry, it was mounted in the armoire!

There you have it! Now the desktop can hold tools, works in progress, etc., and the bottom can slide in and out to provide a work surface without disturbing anything.

As I move on to the interior walls and shelving, I'm left with many decisions to make. Progress will more than likely slow down, as I've got to decide which direction to take this in. I know I want some pegboard for modular storage capability, but I don't want to lose too much of the beautiful wood interior. Possibly a pegboard wall along the back, with wooden shelving built into the sides? I'm also planning to mount a handful of lights inside, like an OTTlite for painting, and several led spots for model photography. The trick will be making a central switch panel.

Also, at this point I've decided the spray booth will have to be a separate unit, not hard mounted inside the armoire. As trick as it would have been, it would require the entire piece be pulled further out from the wall to allow for ductwork. Likewise the fan would have to be mounted on the top, which would be far too heinous for my liking.

See what I mean? Lots of decisions to be made. Feel free to offer any suggestions you might have, I'm always open to input!


  1. Fabulous progress Sir! I'm impressed at your DIY skills, I just know that if I started something like this it would have a disastrous end!

  2. Love it! Good call using heavy duty slides and mounting. Is there anything to keep the slide-out locked out? I can see myself resting my elbows on the front edge and pushing it in by accident all the time.

  3. Thanks guys! I'm quite pleased with how the desk setup turned out.

    @40k Giveaway- That's a good point, that I've completely missed. I've since been drawing up different solutions, possibly just a sprung latch to hold the desk out until released, so I can rest my arms on the edge when painting.

    I've also moved on to paint rack mk.III, unfortunately. Necessity (and failure) being the mother of invention, and all that. Also, I'm sketching up random solutions for side and back shelving, pegboard, possibly a mirror and LED lighting for giggles. More to come, eventually!

  4. Sorry to hear about the paint rack, have you ever checked out Table Top Gaming Bunker's products? Paint Racks

    Kind of pricey, especially since you have an investment in something else already, but they might provide some ideas at least.