Desk Organization System (DiY)

IMG_20160810_131249_686I wound up putting a lot of projects on hold over the last couple weeks so I could do this. I’ve put together a new top shelf for my desk to expand my storage space, and I’m also working on a paint rack to free up one of my toolboxes for all of my new gear. I’ve been talking shit about fixing the desk for over two years, and the overwhelming clutter has been holding me back from doing a lot of other stuff. It feels damned good to have this done.
Below the fold, I talk about the tools and equipment I used to make the shelf, but all told this cost me almost nothing and presents a substantial improvement over the absolute wreck I had before.

Okay, so. This was largely triggered when one of my bookcases fell apart and I decided to scav the melamine from it to fix other furniture rather than  just throw it out. I also used the “wood” to add shelves to some of my other bookcases, and I’m drawing out templates to use the last of it with a salvaged chunk of molding to make the paint case.

Equipment:
Electric drill (bought from Goodwill): $8
Sandpaper (1 sheet each of 110 and 240-grit): $1
Wood screws (box of 50): $2
Stack of cheapie magnets: Free
Mini ziplocks (from Daiso): $1.50
3 stackable organizers (on clearance at Target): $4.50
0.25″ dowel: $0.25
0.25″ drill bit: $1.15
Folding hand-saw and miter saw: Both cost about $15, but I managed to finance them as part of a prop-making deal for someone else.
Carpentry square, steel ruler: $1 at a local swap meet.
Vapor mask: $30, swiped from my resin casting safety equipment.

Materials:
Scavenged lumber, paint from my minis projects, Mod-podge left over from the table runners we used for our wedding.

IMG_20160624_150643_202

Laying out the shelves. I measured the depth of the top shelf on my desk, then subtracted an inch to add track lighting later. I used C-clamps to hold the measuring tape square and started each cut with the more accurate miter saw

First cut finished. It's a little uneven (surprise surprise).

First cut finished. It’s a little uneven (surprise surprise).

Wellp, time to grab the rasp on my wood chisel and then Dremel a bitch down. Always keep that wood dust outa your lungs, kids.

Wellp, time to grab the rasp on my wood chisel and then Dremel a bitch down. Always keep that wood dust outa your lungs, kids.

Sanded and rounded at the front edge, ready for basecoating.

Sanded and rounded at the front edge, ready for basecoating.

Paint applied, placed in the window for ventilation. Yes, I'm still wearing my mask for this.

Paint applied, placed in the window for ventilation. Yes, I’m still wearing my mask for this.

Vacuum cleaners: One of the most important tools for marital harmony a hobbyist will ever use. Also, organizing my tools for the next pass before I head off to make lunch. All that ADD therapy bears fruit!

Vacuum cleaners: One of the most important tools for marital harmony a hobbyist will ever use. Also, organizing my tools for the next pass before I head off to make lunch.
All that ADD therapy bears fruit!

Laying on the mod-podge. I used a foam brush and lightly diluted it for the first coat, making sure to hit and seal the end grain especially carefully.

Laying on the mod-podge. I used a foam brush and lightly diluted it for the first coat, making sure to hit and seal the end grain especially carefully.

Sealed, dried, and sanded first coat, ready for second coat.

Sealed, dried, and sanded first coat, ready for second coat.

Sawing the risers. I painted the underside of the shelf and both risers white to increase reflection and brighten up the desk once it's in place.

Sawing the risers. I painted the underside of the shelf and both risers white to increase reflection and brighten up the desk once it’s in place.

Test-fitting before drilling and gluing. I wound up drilling peg-holes in the desk rather than screwing it down, so I could remove or expand the shelves later as needed. No glue on the pegging itself, so it'll be easy to expand without risiking damaging the shelf.

Test-fitting before drilling and gluing. I wound up drilling peg-holes in the desk rather than screwing it down, so I could remove or expand the shelves later as needed. No glue on the pegging itself, so it’ll be easy to expand without risking damaging the shelf.

As you can see, I’ve done a good bit of cleaning and re-organizing since, as well as finishing the paint job.

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