Desk With Built-in Computer and Laptop Height Stand (step by step)

For the computer itself, I own a desktop computer composed of :

  • a motherboard (atx format)
  • a CPU
  • some RAM
  • a (way to massive) ventirad
  • GTX 970 graphic card
  • an SSD
  • 3 HDD
  • some fans
  • a power supply unit

Finally, the pc parts I bought was :

a new cooling system (NZXT Kraken x62)
a PCIe riser to maneuver my graphic card away
fresh 80mm fans (BeQuiet 2 Pure wings 2)
a rheobus to regulate all of these fans (NZXT Grid+ V3)
and last but not least, I had to go away my power turn on the first case so I bought an impact panel
For the desk, I had nothing so I bought every parts :

2 pieces of beech kitchen worktop (2500mm long, 650mm wide, 26mm depth)
9 table feet from IKEA (they are often adjusted from 600mm to 900mm)
a kitchen drawer without face
those special hinges for the spare the glass
The glass itself
those special hinges for the laptop support
To fix the pc parts to the desk, I used L shaped, aluminium parts (20x20x2) and pop rivets
This mesh for rock bottom of the desk
This mesh to line within the front of the fans

Step 1: Building the Frame

  • Two large pieces (~1250mm x 650mm) one for the table, the other one for the main part of the desk.
  • A smaller piece (~550mm x 650mm) for the other part of the desk
  • 6 long planks (100mm x ~1250mm)
  • 4 short planks (100mm x 650mm)

I had to adjust the length of the planks to fit with the exact dimensions of top pieces. Planks are glued and screwed between them. The desk top will be fixed with angle brackets.

For the desk part I used 4 long planks and 2 short ones (one of the long will be cut in half).

For the table part I used 1 long plank and 2 short ones. The remaining long plank will be used for the drawer face.

Step 2: Cutting the Hood

I brought a very special attention thereto part for 2 reasons. I wanted to order the glass only after the cut is finished to make certain it’ll fit perfectly. The cut should are clean enough to permit me to stay the surplus part and reuse it because the height represent the laptop.

Unfortunately, during this step, my jigsaw broked down and damaged the piece of wood. the sole solution from here was to create a wooden frame to host the glass. I cut 4 pieces of wood to create it and that i adjusted them to suit perfectly with the desk frame.

I used a router to dig the glass shape. 8mm thorough and 10mm round the initial shape. My idea was to repair the glass with transparent silicone so I dived to 2mm more at sides center. Like this, my 8mm thick glass fit and lies on corners and between corners there’s 2mm of transparent silicone to attach it.

Step 3: Buidling the Computer


The first step was to completely disassemble my original computer. Then I used 4 L shaped aluminium bar and rivets to make a frame. On this frame, from back to front, I created 3 rack/row :

The first one to carry the HDDs and therefore the PSU
The middle one for the watercooling radiator and therefore the tiny rheobus
The last one to carry the motherboard and therefore the graphic card.
Fans are going to be included within the thickness of the side wooden parts.

Rear row :
I set the PSU at the rear left corner. it’ll supply every other components from here. to carry it, I just attached two small L shaped aluminium bar to the most frame to stop the PSU from sliding to the proper or the left. Just next to the PSU, I wanted to mount my HDDs. I wanted the 4 of them to be easily reachable. So, I build a rack-like support to permit me to store two rows of two HDDs. I cut two pieces of L-shaped aluminium bar, then I cut two 90° angle on one side so as to bend them during a shape of a ‘U’. I drilled holes to repair 3.5″ drives and a couple of .5″ also (in case of an evolution of my configuration). I added 4 feet to put those U shaped rack one on top of the opposite and to repair is on the most frame.

Middle row :
In front of my PSU, I put the watercooling system radiator and fans. so as to try to to some further cable management, I raised the radiator by few centimeters. With this configuration, power cables are going to be under the radiator and can not be visible anymore. On this middle row, I also added two small L shaped aluminium bar to carry alittle piece of steel. It allowed me to repair rheobus on its magnetic feet .

Front row :
To raise the motherboard of two cm, I cut 5 pieces of aluminium pipes to make spacers. With those spacers, I/O ports all round the motherboard are reachable. Next to the motherboard, I built alittle support to repair the PCIe raiser with 3 parts of L shaped aluminium. Once done, I added another part at the front to repair the graphic card using the quality hole and a small other one at the rear to stop the cardboard weight’s to wreck itself.

Then I added a mesh sheet for rock bottom of my frame. This piece is fixed with screws. I can remove them easily to try to to some maintenance.

Step 4: Cooling System and IO Installation

I was sure that the aluminium frame and therefore the refore the components will slot in the 100mm thickness of the desk but I also had to chop out some shapes to handle the facility switch and the fans within the wooden frame, under the worktop.
The power switch positioning was quit easy : I cut the form (using a fresh jigsaw) and glued it with dedicated screws. Then I plugged it on the motherboard to regulate switch on/reset, and to be ready to use the front USB ports.
About the air-cooling : every people I’ve met during this project warned me about the warmth . Finding the simplest thanks to set my fan was a true pain. I changed the configuration, like 10 times and i am still unsure about the ultimate one.
I began to put two 80mm fans slightly below the graphic card. Like this, it’ll never miss cool air. Watercooling fans blow air from the highest , through the radiator and therefore the mesh, to rock bottom .
For the 4 remaining fans, after weeks of reflexion, i made a decision to place 2 80mm fans for the air intake on the left, under the desk, just next to the motherboard. the two other for air extraction, ahead of the desk, near the opposite end of the motherboard and therefore the graphic card. Those two are visible and hot air is blew on the person ahead of the desk but i’s the simplest (I think) for components.
I managed to chop a good shape near the PSU to let the warmth leaving the desk this manner . this is often an equivalent hole i exploit to let some cables in (screen, mouse, keyboard, speakers,…)
The liability of this layout is that the proximity between the PSU and therefore the radiator of the watercooling radiator but I didn’t find a far better pattern regarding my components size.
I added mesh to guard fan from the surface and a dust filter on the intake fans to stop my setup to be dusty too quickly. so as to form the mesh “disapear”, I added 3 small pieces of wood near fans. I screwed the mesh on those pieces so as to stay them “inside” the 100mm thickness.
I used a Dremel to chop some curves into the aluminium frame order to let the widest possible area for the air flow.

Step 5: Laptop Height Stand

Directly on the worktop, I cut with a jigsaw a shape about 50cm wide and 50cm long.
I was really careful during this move preserve a maximum of the wood. I’ve made a “patch” to revive the sole corner that was damaged by the opening drilled to let the jigsaw blade undergo .
Then I added the coffee-table hinges. a bit like that, the stand couldn’t close perfectly. the rear of the stand was touching the worktable top. I had to chop the rear at 45° to permit the part to maneuver . Even with this cut, the opening/closing was rough. I gently sanded the a part of the worktop where the stand touched it and voilà ! As smooth as possible !
I used a router to chop an equivalent quite handle I’ve made on the pc hood.
I also added two tiny pieces of L-shaped aluminium bar to stop the rear of the stand from falling inside the case.
To add a “bottom” to the present case, I cut 4 more pieces of aluminium bar and that i attached them with screws. rock bottom may be a medium board of 5mm thick.

Step 6: Happy Feet

At this point of my project, the desk was heavy
Initially I didn’t wanted to add feet between the desk part and the table part. Or just one at the rear of the desk and fixed it with large screws and nuts. But it appears that the weight of my construction will rip off these kind of assembly.
So I added more feet to be sure everything will stay up even with my stuff on my desk.
For the two feet under the computer, I cut two triangles in a 3mm thick aluminium sheet in order to support the feet’s fixation system. But doing that, I had to cut the mesh to be able to remove it, even when everything will be in place. The fact that this mesh should be removable is mandatory to set up all my components on the aluminium frame.

Step 7: Table With Drawer

For this part, I used my last wide piece of worktop. I used angle brackets to fix the left, right and bottom sides. \
I assembled the drawer (the most easy part of the desk) and I used two more pieces of wood to attached the drawer’s slides under the table. The drawer face is made of the exact same worktop as the rest of the desktop.

Step 8: Computer Setup

After few layers of paint, I brought the whole thing into my room. Time was finally come to re assemble my computer.
I first started by set the fans and the power switch into the wooden frame. Then I set the PSU to dispatch power cables. HDDs, motherboard and graphic card came in place with no problem. Then I just dropped the water cooling system over everything ! Cable management was a small issue but everything fit right in place.

SOURCE ———————

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