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Scarpink 28th November 2017 08:51 PM

Created my own studio desk
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Hello everybody, howdy

It is my first post here and I want to share the proces of my studiodesk construction with you.
I found it very helpful to look at other peoples creation-diaries so therefore I figured why not share my own. I have to admit I'm also quite proud of it cooge.
Before diving in to the construction details first a little bit about how the project came to life.

My previous desk was an Ikea table which was always full of gear and the ever growing stack of 19 inch gear was always far away and out of reach in a seperate rack.
Besides a very unergonomical setup, the cluttered desk was always a pain when working at home or studying which also had to be done in the "studio" due to limited space.

So I was in need of a desk that could house my 19 inch gear.
I started a search to see what was available and out of all the desks the Unterlass duodesk really looked amazing and practical.
But the price was too high for me and I didn’t want to settle for anything else/less.
I have to admit that now, knowing how much work it is to build a desk yourself, the price is more than worth it.
But determined to save money in order to invest it in probably a new synth I decided to build my own Unterlass inspired desk.
It was also a challenge for me because at the time I had no more DIY skills than putting together an Ikea product.
I also saw an opportunity to invest in power tools which was a good bet because they now have proven useful in a recent kitchen remodeling.
So if you want to save money, want to build a desk exactly as you want it, invest in power tools, acquire DIY skills, have patience, time, space then I encourage you to go for it!
Otherwise buy an Unterlass desk cause they are awesome (a little free marketing here as a thank you for the inspiration!)



P.S. placed a photo of the endresult below with all the equipment installed in the desk for the first time.

Scarpink 28th November 2017 10:41 PM

The Design
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So the first thing I did was to design it. I used SketchUp to basicly model the Unterlass desk with only pictures of it as a reference. Here are the results.
Originally I wanted a keyboard drawer but three months into the project it became a nice to have instead of a must. grrr
Maybe I'll work that out next summer diddlydoo

Scarpink 28th November 2017 11:47 PM

I want to play a game
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With the design ready it was time to start creating the side panels.
I used 18mm MDF which had been pre-cut at the hardwarestore to 1x1 meter square boards.

The goal was to create 4 pairs of exactly the same shapes.
Each pair will later on be glued together resulting in a fat 36mm side panel.
I made a change to the design keeping the back straight instead of sloped so that a topboard can be applied for the monitors.

I used a plunge cut saw with a guiding rail for a precise cut. Because of the circular shape of the saw the inner corners can't be cut out completely using the plunge cut. So for that last bit I used a jigsaw. Here are some pictures of the first sawing exercises hopefully making it al clear:

Scarpink 28th November 2017 11:51 PM

Return to Sander
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So after cutting everything I used a sander to grind it al to perfection making every slab exactly alike. I bought 19 inch profiles and blind panels to connect the panels together and by this point I already made a test to see how one tower is going to look.

Scarpink 28th November 2017 11:53 PM

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So for the tabletop and the monitor top I used 28mm beechwood which I bought at the local hardware store.
For both towers I decided to make an inlay cut in the inner side panel slabs and use a mitre cut (diagonal) on the beechwood to make it fit.
The pictures say it all.

Scarpink 28th November 2017 11:56 PM

Sticky Iron
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With the side panel slabs in their final shape I used construction glue to create a 36mm side panel.
After drying I used a sander to sand of the excess glue. After that all the iron stuff was assembled to the slabs again.
I used insert nuts on the bottom so that I can screw in the paws and be able to make a few leveling adjustments if necessary in the end.
The paws are unused Besta paws from Ikea which where left over. kfhkh

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:00 AM

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With now two towers completed an army of Sauron…. Oh wait different story…
In order to make the center tabletop I had to connect two slabs of beechwood. For this I used a dowel construction.
I drilled holes in both slabs at exactly the same height and position using a nifty dowel tool.
In order to make the join I again used construction glue and self-created clamps because I only had 15cm clamps and 120+ cm where way too expensive.
I used the plunge cut saw with guiderail again to make a trapezoid shape.
This causes the towers to tilt, pointing the 19 inch racks towards the user.

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:03 AM

All the wood cut in to pieces, this is my last bucket full of sawdust…
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Starting to look like something :cowbell:

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:12 AM

Beam me up Scotty
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In order to make the center tabletop float on its own instead of constantly using the Force to keep it there I used left over MDF to create support beams.
This may not be the best choice of material but it turned out to be more than sturdy enough and it saved me another trip to the hardware store.
I used a mitre cut to match the beams with the trapezoid tabletop and connected the beams by screwing them on to the tabletop using iron angle sections.

The beams where then connected to the towers using really long screws and voila the table top can float on its own.

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:18 AM

Connecting the dots... ehm tabletop pieces
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So as you saw in the previous post the tabletop floated but not that perfect.
In order to make the entire tabletop whole and sturdy I used a router to make sleeves in which iron beams could fit.
These where used together with a dowel construction to connect the beechwood pieces together.

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:25 AM

Paint it black... nope I went for white
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With all constuction done it was now time to paint the MDF parts. Useful thing about being a keyboard player is that you have stands and lots of them :synth:.
This was a real pain(t)job because I did it thorough with 3 layers of primer and two layers of finish.
I went with an Acrylic paint cause it has better resistance to sunlight.

Scarpink 29th November 2017 12:36 AM

End result
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So after final assembly here is the end result.

It took me about four months but I could only work some evenings and an occasional weekend day due to work and study.
I believe it ads up to between 100 maybe 150 hours.

As I mentioned in the intro go for it if you want. I did not have a lot of skills and learned a lot just by doing it.
It is hard work and yeah you will swear a couple of times. But the result is more than worth it.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions.

Good to be part of the gearslutz community



Owen L T 2nd December 2017 02:46 PM

A stunning job; well done - you must be thrilled with it!

Wiggy Neve Slut 7th December 2017 08:26 AM

Strong effort!

Nicely done and you must be proud of the time and effort that went into it and most importantly the end product!

spacyman 7th December 2017 08:41 AM

Nice work, the desk looks awesome rockout

Scarpink 9th December 2017 02:37 PM

Tnx guys! :heh:

bfrancemusic 15th December 2017 05:40 PM

That looks great man! kfhkh

Do you have the overall dimensions, as far as depth, width, and height? I'd love to make something similar, but I really want my newly-acquired 88 key controller in front of me, so I'm not sure I'll have enough space in my room for a similar design.

Also, where did you source your profiles and blind panels from?

Trebor75 21st January 2018 10:33 AM

Great work there. You must be proud!

VenVile 21st March 2018 10:26 PM

This looks really professional, and absolutely gorgeous!

camiel 22nd March 2018 04:06 PM

impressive, job well done kfhkh

flinte 8th January 2019 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by Scarpink (Post 12986582)
So the first thing I did was to design it. I used SketchUp to basicly model the Unterlass desk with only pictures of it as a reference. Here are the results.
Originally I wanted a keyboard drawer but three months into the project it became a nice to have instead of a must. grrr
Maybe I'll work that out next summer diddlydoo

uff.. proper !! are you willing to share youre measurements?
all the best!

pipelineaudio 8th January 2019 07:54 PM

Unreal! Want to come hang out in Hawaii for a few days? I have some tools

Scarpink 28th June 2019 02:54 PM

Hello hello,
About the measurements...

My sketchup file was not to scale so I don't have the exact measurements from that.
I kind of improvised the eventual shape on a 1 x 1 meter slab of mdf.
I used the 19inch rack profiles to guide the shape as they need to be attached to it.
I kept a 2mm space between the edge and the profiles so that when gear goes in, the rack ears align nicely with the MDF edges.
The desktop sits at 76 cm in height. The overall heigth is 1 meter (derived form the 1 x 1 meter slab ofcourse).

The 19"rack panels give the exact spacing which I used to create the monitor platforms and left and right desktop pieces.
The desktop centerpiece is a trapezoid which at the long end is 140cm long if I recall correctly.
(As it had to fit two 27"" screens I already planned and have now added)
The front side of the trapezoid is around 90isch cm but you can vary with this to create the angle that fits for you.
I just tilted the two towers sitting in a chair faking I was messing with gear to get an idea of the right angle.
And that is all I can give you I think. ;)



pencilextremist 28th June 2019 05:39 PM

that's a nice desk by the way, and I say that as an experienced cabinet maker, I'd like to make something similar for my studio.

nwmusicman 12th September 2019 01:48 AM


Originally Posted by Scarpink (Post 12986772)
So after final...



Man, that’s REALLY nice. Awesome!!!