Modular Desk System Manchester CT
West Hartford, CT
Modular Desk System
Modular Desk System
Mix-and-match components make a desk that fits your needs.
by Bruce Kieffer
This computer-desk system has more going for it than great looks. The system is based on modular components that can be assembled in a variety of ways to make the “perfect” desk, whether small, giant-size, or somewhere in between. Making the components is as easy as it gets—no complex joinery, just screws and biscuits.
I designed two different drawer configurations. The two-drawer unit has one drawer sized to accept hanging files and the other sized for CDs (see drawer photo, below). The four-drawer unit features two pencil drawers, a letter drawer and a CD drawer. The drawers are built around a European undermount slide system that greatly simplifies drawer construction.
An easy-access wire track neatly takes care of wire management. The channel also supports the top and provides an attachment point for the modesty panels.
You'll Love These Drawers
The slides have 1-in. overtravel, meaning they pull out all the way—and then an inch more. Add plastic drawer accessories to hold CDs and to make a hanging-file drawer.
Simple Modular Construction
Mix-and-match components create a desk that fills your needs and fits your space. This giant corner desk uses every component except a door unit.
Basic Components Make a Module
End panels are the main components of the desk system. They’re built so a lip is created all around the veneered end panel. This lip is where the drawer/door unit and modesty panel rest. Trim is added to the outside end panels to give them a finished look
Custom Lacewood Panels
I used lacewood-veneer panels trimmed with mahogany and dark laminate accents to build the components. If you’re wondering how I made the lacewood panels, well, I didn’t! I ordered them custom-made (see Sources, below). Buying custom panels is expensive, but much simpler than veneering your own. To order custom panels, list the panel sizes you need and whether they are one-sided or two-sided; then call for a quote, including shipping costs. For desks that get placed against walls, there’s no need to use expensive veneer on the back of the drawer/door units and modesty panels, unless you think that someday the desk may be placed in the middle of a room.
Undermount drawer slides make drawer construction a cakewalk, because they wrap around the bottom edge of the drawer box. This allows you to apply the drawer bottom rather than build it into grooves in the drawer parts. The drawer slides cover the 1/2-in. plywood edge for a good-looking drawer that’s as strong as it is easy to build.
Plan Your Desk
Decide which configuration you want to build.