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Thread: I don't know what I'm doing - portable desk

  1. #1
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    I don't know what I'm doing - portable desk

    I need to build a desk for our video station in the AV booth at church. Normally this would not be a big thing, but this one needs to pe portable as we will roll it out of the booth and into another section of the building once a month or so to do recordings of training videos, interviews, etc. It needs to be sturdy, resist racking, and be easy to move for two people.

    This is my plan, so far. Probably over engineered (as usual) but I really don't want it to loosen up, rack, get creaky over years of use and moving around. Lots of bracing. Not even sure what wood I'm going to use yet. Just thought I'd throw this out and see what comes back.

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    The lower shelf only needs to hold a Mac Mini and video capture box. The desk holds a video mixer, keyboard, mouse, and joystick control for the 3 cameras. The upper shelf holds 2 flat screen monitors.
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 05-15-2012 at 08:27 PM.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
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  2. #2
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    I think you'll be alright with the bracing but you might want to extend the base farther back a bit to provide some additional tip prevention. most of the weight will be over the rear casters making it easy to tip the thing over. I would consider some sort of mounting rail for the monitors. Remove them from their factory supplied bases and mount them onto the stand. There're standard sized mounting plates (I can get you a couple if you need them) for this and you can build the assembly for supporting the monitors easily enough. How about some fold up wings on the sides to provide additional space if needed for things like a script or misc. stuff?
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  3. #3
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    Wow Dave - good suggestions. The monitors might not have the mounting studs as one is about 7 years old and the other is actually a small TV. I'll check. If they do I will incorporate your mounting idea as it will make moving the thing a lot safer!

    Like this? (did not extend base yet.)

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    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 05-15-2012 at 08:57 PM.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    Soon to have a web presence! www.reynoldswoodcraft.com (under construction - a long way from done)

  4. #4
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    It they're flat screens they should have them although for small monitors the spacing changed from 75mm to 100mm at one point.

    Yes, maybe something like that. You might plan ahead for a couple of larger monitors and make arrangements for the monitors to pivot in near the center so they don't can swing outward in use and fold together for storage.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 05-15-2012 at 11:16 PM.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  5. #5
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    another thought rennie is to use solid ply panels for your support wings and they can be hinged or pinned together.. like they do for the sewing cabinets pull pins and your knocked down
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  6. #6
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    I was wondering why you chose a structure rather than solid panels. Agree with Dave on the base rear extension.

    But definitely if you thinking in terms of this being used for years give serious thought to screens. So much is changing in the multimedia scene that if you make this unit too dedicated to the kit that exists right now it may well be an obsolete unit way before its time.



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    another thought rennie is to use solid ply panels for your support wings and they can be hinged or pinned together.. like they do for the sewing cabinets pull pins and your knocked down
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I was wondering why you chose a structure rather than solid panels. Agree with Dave on the base rear extension.

    But definitely if you thinking in terms of this being used for years give serious thought to screens. So much is changing in the multimedia scene that if you make this unit too dedicated to the kit that exists right now it may well be an obsolete unit way before its time.
    Thanks gents. I wanted to go with structure rather than solid panels for the weight advantage. Moving this will require it being lifted down (or up) two steps through a doorway. The open nature of the design also allows for easy handholds.

    Knock down was not considered as an option since all of the equipment will stay on the desk as it is moved. The way I've set things up I need only disconnect 6 wires to remove it from the sound booth, and connect 6 wires when it is rolled out into the hall to be up and running again.

    I like Dave's idea of mounting the monitors as this facilitates the moving - not having to worry about fastening the bases to the shelf in some way. Yes Rob, technology is moving fast, but I think the monitors will be with us long enough to justify building a support for them. After all, the new Mac computer we just purchased is planned to last us a long time so the monitor we use with it is not likely to change. Now, that being said, some geek will probably come up with an idea that renders flat screens to the junk pile of history in about 8 months.

    Thanks for the input! Some things I had not considered coming to the forefront and I will incorporate them!
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 05-16-2012 at 02:37 PM.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    Soon to have a web presence! www.reynoldswoodcraft.com (under construction - a long way from done)

  8. #8
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    I like the flat mount idea. I just ordered another vesa mount for my new photo booth from adorama ($15 total, shipping may vary for you). It's a stationary mount, one part slides on the other and a screw secures them together.

    http://www.adorama.com/PEEPF630.html...point0Product1


    For the articulating mounts, you may check ebay. I found some pretty good deals there with free shipping. This is the one I picked up for a monitor in the shop, had free shipping:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...E:L:OC:US:1123
    Darren

    “A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.” Robert Hughes (1938-2012), Australian art critic

  9. #9
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    Another thought, I know you said this was for video equipment, but you may consider an add-on pull-out keyboard/mouse tray under the main table top. Would leave the top free for the mixing board if you had to add a computer to the cart for processing.
    Darren

    “A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.” Robert Hughes (1938-2012), Australian art critic

  10. #10
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    Rennie, you might also have a look at a mount such as this one from Ergotron. Not much money really and the engineering work is all done. I have their LX arm for my Cintiq and I really like it. I have it clamped to the end of my desk and can put the Cintiq in my lap when I need it or use it as a second monitor. You probably don't need that capability, though.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

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