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"Sound Construction" studio desk clone build
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Aaroneous
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3rd December 2008
Old 3rd December 2008
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"Sound Construction" studio desk clone build

************
Sketchup Files!!!

File 1
File 2
************


So the $5000 price tag for the style of desk that I wanted was a little absurd, so I figured I'd design and build my own. I wasn't planning to document this when I started, so I only have pics of the current progress - I'll try to take more while I'm building the other side. I noticed someone else posted pics of a home made desk and I figured this might be helpful to people planning their own.

Here is the desk I am planning to emulate:
Sound Construction D-Command 24 Wing Desk | Sweetwater.com

Since I don't have an outboard mixer or controller, my desk will be built with a flat desktop.

Essentially, the whole desk is being constructed with 3/4" hardwood ply, 2x4s, 1x3 and 1x6 pine, and some black laminate sheeting for the table top. All in all, I spent about $250 on materials including the rack rails (2 4 space and 2 12 space). Granted, I'm not DONE with the desk yet, but I don't foresee needing a significant amount more material.






Tools I've used:
- Table saw
- Drill press (not necessary, helpful though)
- Cordless drill
- Router (will be needed for laminate edge cleanup)

The hardest part was cutting the angles on the table saw without a jig or a special sharp angle guide. What I ended up doing was screwing a piece of scrap wood with a straight edge to the unused part of the wood and setting the angle that way. Worked like a charm.

General dimensions are:

19" wide inside rack, 22" deep, 30" tall, 11" wide shelf extension
Shelf is 38" tall from the floor. If people are interested, I will take pictures of how I determined the angles.

Cheers!

- Aaron
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4th December 2008
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wow

thats fantastic, keep us posted!

i to found the price of these desks way to much for me and just built my own also. much simpler than yours but for about the same cost i got one hell of a solid desk that suits me fine

my link to it is in this forum somewhere

good stuff
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4th December 2008
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More pictures! In the process of cutting out and stripping a pine tree from my yard for the arm rests in the front of the desk. Everything else is essentially done except for the capping on the plywood which will wait until after the logs are fitted. Time to go see if it fits in the control room.




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5th December 2008
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wow, just wow!

you are really good at this! now i feel like i need to re do mine

i was worried about the 3/4 birch plywood i used being strong enough to hold my gear so i literally built frames out of 2x4's for the whole thing, which made my desk really heavy and actually to big

do you find your plywood and the 1x's you used strong enough? if so that will be what i do next

what did you use for the table tops? even though i painted mine i think i need toput some sort of laminate or something down so everything isn't resting on the paint

GOOD JOB!
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5th December 2008
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i was wondering how you attached the angled back to the cabinets? the part that looks like the upper shelves?
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5th December 2008
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Man, that wrist rest is going to be sexy as all heck. Well done friend.
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Aaroneous
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5th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
i was worried about the 3/4 birch plywood i used being strong enough to hold my gear so i literally built frames out of 2x4's for the whole thing, which made my desk really heavy and actually to big
The reason I chose to do it the way I did was to prevent precisely what you just mentioned. My control room is only 10' wide, so I had to be mindful of overall width so I could still get behind it to wire everything up. I initially wanted to mount the rails to 2x4s, but it would have made everything too wide. The ending width of the desk including shelf overhang is 6' 8". Perfect! The ply has been ok - I put enough screws into it that I think it will hold up fine. We'll see when I have more gear in the lower racks. When you have monitors and rack gear in the upper sections and nothing in the lower, it is definitely rear heavy. Something I'd consider if I built another one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
what did you use for the table tops? even though i painted mine i think i need toput some sort of laminate or something down so everything isn't resting on the paint
Home Depot or Lowes will have 2'x4' sheets of black laminate. I used spray adhesive to attach it to the ply for the table tops and voila! I ended up cutting everything flush with the table saw rather than a router and it cuts just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
i was wondering how you attached the angled back to the cabinets? the part that looks like the upper shelves?
There are 3 screws on each side that hold it on. Instead of a 1x3 on the top back edge of the racks, I put a 2x4 that hung off about an inch behind the rack - screwed the shelf plywood into that. I also put a screw through the bottom of the shelf ply directly into the main rack plywood. If you look up to the original post, the top down shot without the shelf on shows the 2x4 that connects the 2 pieces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dykstraster@gmai View Post
Man, that wrist rest is going to be sexy as all heck. Well done friend.
Thanks! It's going to be quite a project, I think I'm going to enjoy the desk for a while before I get that one completed... I have to take all the pieces from 1 tree so the diameters align at the joints. What a pain in the a$$.

Thanks for the input, guys! Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Anyone want me to build them one?
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5th December 2008
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thanks for the answer!

my room is also 10 feet wide and i ended up keeping the desk 8 feet wide for less cuts etc, which is kind of dumb but it still fits in there ok

yeah i forgot measurements like the armrest i made out of a 2x4, foam and pleather wap which added to the 2x4 frame made my desk to high really

by the way this is my desk

i will check out the laminate you mention, i think i need to put some down

it was a good learning experience for me to say the least and for 300 bucks alot less than the desk i wanted that was a good 3K
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5th December 2008
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5th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
i will check out the laminate you mention, i think i need to put some down
I think it will make a big difference - your desk looks awesome by the way. I think with the weight of your monitors the square racks work better than my angled ones would. More support in the back.

That laminate is like $11 a sheet. Definitely worth it... you can also get a monster sheet of it (4'x8' I think) for $40 or so.

Good luck!
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8th December 2008
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Looks good! Keep the construction pics coming!

How about adding some real upclose pics as well...
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8th December 2008
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looks pretty sweet ur good. do u have a controller ur gonna build in to the desk like the desk u wanted cant wait for the finish.
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9th December 2008
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Sorry about the delay in responding - I've had projects upon projects lately (a very good thing, but exhausting!!).

Here's the best I can do for current state. My control room is a loft in my studio and it's not deep enough for me to get a "full frontal" shot, so diagonal is all I can do for now. Next project is extending the floor of the loft across the space so I can fit a listening couch up there and have some space for dirty Colorado mountain hippie musicians to sit that's more than 6" away from my nose.

No progress yet on the arm wrests, I might have to live with it like this for a little while as everything in my yard is now under 2 feet of snow and will likely remain that way till June!

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9th December 2008
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i think its looks great! looks like you bought it, great job.

i actually told my wife about your desk and said "maybe i need to do another one"!

which means i have to keep mine just as it is!

someday though
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9th December 2008
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5000 dollars for a studio furniture is insane.. so I think !
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11th December 2008
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wow it really looks great. I wish I had the time for all the diy ideas I get from GS. is there any need for concern about reflections off the laminate surface?
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11th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
i think its looks great! looks like you bought it, great job.

i actually told my wife about your desk and said "maybe i need to do another one"!

which means i have to keep mine just as it is!

someday though

Id take that as a great excuse to start dusting off the power tools
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11th December 2008
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mmmmmmmm power tools!!
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11th December 2008
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AWESOME project!!!! i know you said you spend $250 in materials originally, but about how much did it cost you all said and done? i'm really needing a desk and i've got more carpentry skills than dollars.
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12th December 2008
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Very nice! I'm gonna be building myself a desk too once my studio is all finished being constructed! Hope it turns out as good as that!
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12th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory View Post
is there any need for concern about reflections off the laminate surface?
I am not going to worry about it... all the desks you can buy from anywhere else have the same surface. I could be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appleburger View Post
i know you said you spend $250 in materials originally, but about how much did it cost you all said and done? i'm really needing a desk and i've got more carpentry skills than dollars.
$250. I had a little bit of spare wood so when I screwed up on one of the sheets of ply I had a spare, but you can definitely do the same desk for under $300 (barring catastrophic mistakes).
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12th December 2008
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I vote this one of the nicest home built desks ever done!

it is amazing what you can do and how much you can save with just a little bit of effort

think of it this way to, the birch plywood i used is really nice, i needed 3 sheets, so about 150 bucks for that from lowes, then the 2x4's, wheels, and the rack rails

all in i was at 325 or so. i had an omnirax desk that was very nice but at 1600 bucks or so????

anyway, i am NOT a skilled carpenter at all, i do know how to measure and cut though and i think if you spend a little time and map out what you need you can build any furniture you need for a fraction of the price WITH better components
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12th December 2008
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Hi,

Due to the way it's built, with the two modules assembled by a simple wood frame, is this desk solid in case of moving ??
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12th December 2008
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Quote:
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I vote this one of the nicest home built desks ever done!

it is amazing what you can do and how much you can save with just a little bit of effort
Very generous of you - I think you hit the nail on the head with the 2nd part. I spent 3-4 hours on sketchup before I hit the lumber yard and by the time I had to start cutting it was as if I had directions. Plan ahead and make sure you have the right tools (table saw, cordless drill, accurate measuring tools) and anyone can do something like this.

Quote:
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Hi,

Due to the way it's built, with the two modules assembled by a simple wood frame, is this desk solid in case of moving ??
Absolutely. The center pieces are removable by screws in metal brackets. If you wanted to take it apart to move it all you'd do is remove the center sections and you'd have 2 self-contained units to move around. I moved it into the studio and set it up without any help. Every piece that was screwed together was also slathered in wood glue. I don't think you could take this thing apart if you wanted to.
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12th December 2008
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Yes I realized by myself that my question was quite stupid ^^
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12th December 2008
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It is a beautiful desk. Thank you for sharing the build with us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaroneous View Post
Very generous of you - I think you hit the nail on the head with the 2nd part. I spent 3-4 hours on sketchup before I hit the lumber yard and by the time I had to start cutting it was as if I had directions. Plan ahead and make sure you have the right tools (table saw, cordless drill, accurate measuring tools) and anyone can do something like this.
It sounds like studio building. The better you plan, the better you build!

Andre
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22nd December 2008
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I actually just joined Gearslutz when I found this thread...I was Googling around looking for good deals on studio desks and stumbled in here...

I live in an apartment in Sacramento, CA, and thus have no garage space to make any DIY desk.

Aaroneus, would you actually want to make some money and make another of those gorgeous desks? I love that model.

(I know shipping would pry be pretty rough...)
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22nd December 2008
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Wow. I'm shocked at the number of PMs I've gotten from people who wanted one of these built and shipped! Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone.

As you might imagine, the time it takes to build and perfect one of these desks is significant, but if there are enough people that want in on a "group buy" of sorts, I'd entertain pumping out a few more of these units for my fellow slutz.

I've also had a few requests for detailed plans. I'm happy to go through and put together a detailed, bound, and illustrated instruction manual for those who are interested.

Unfortunately, since my time right now is very valuable, I can't offer all of this stuff for free/cheap (as much as I'd like to be able to). I'd be working late nights to help everyone out, so I have to charge for what my time is worth... not necessarily what the piece is worth.

Shoot me a PM and I'd be happy to chat!

- Aaron
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23rd December 2008
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you go aaron!!
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2nd June 2009
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Did you make any plans or drawings for this build that you might wanna share? Im looking to build a clone of that desk myself and any hints, tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!
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