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Computer desk edging?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by electronicsuk, 1 Nov 2010.

  1. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    I'm in the process of making the spare room into a study, and to make the best use of the available space, have cut myself a custom-shaped desk from 25mm MDF that spans the width of the room across one wall.

    I plan to face this with either a melamine or real-wood veneer in Wenge, or another similar dark finish. The edge of the desk needs to be hardwearing and stand up to the odd small knock from the arms on the computer chair, along with general wear from arms/wrists resting on the surface.

    As wood-effect edgebanding does not seem to be available in a suitable thickness, what I'd really like to find is a source of rubber edging, as seems to be quite common on office desks. I used to have the same thing on a desk I bought from MFI, and it saved it from damage many a time. Does anyone know where I might be able to find such a thing?

    Failing that, does anyone have a source for Wenge edgebanding in 30mm width and with a thickness of at least 1mm, preferably 2mm?
     
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  3. Deluks

    Deluks

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  4. big-all

    big-all

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    what's the maximum unsupported span in case you need a supporting timber edge
     
  5. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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  6. Richard C

    Richard C

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    I built my own full width desk in my study using wood block effect 40mm bull nose radius kitchen worktop. It spans 2m unsupported at the front with a single central pillar support at the back. I made a separate 1m wide retractable keyboard shelf & set the whole lot off the back wall 100m for cables. A 15mm x 150mm panel stiffens it all up across the back, set 50/50 each side of the w/top to give a 55mm up stand along the back; the short edges of the w/top are supported on wall battens. Very strong, has printers, fax & all sorts on it & still perfect 5 years with later no sign of warping.

    Just a thought ;)
     
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  7. Deluks

    Deluks

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    Mdf can bow even under it's own weight so you may end up needing that leg.

    I've used the ash veneer at that thickness on a computer desk without any probs, once the backing glue has cooled down it's tougher than you'd think.
    As long as the mdf behind is cut dead flush (no hollows) you should be fine using it.
     
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  8. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    In that case I might just give it a shot. It's 25mm MDF, so pretty sturdy stuff - I can stand on it in the centre without any noticeable deflection and with only the support at the rear and sides.

    Richard, I had considered worktop, but as there are a number of curves in the shape, I would still have the same problem with edging that I have now. Not only that, one section is 950mm deep, which I believe is significantly deeper than standard worktop. It could get expensive rather quickly.

    Would you recommend any specific preparation of the MDF edge beyond sanding before trying to apply the edge banding? I haven't used iron-on veneers before, and I don't know how well they will adhere to a porous surface.
     
  9. big-all

    big-all

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    the trouble with mdf is it sags over time and you cant just prop up the centre and its fixed it takes time to relax again

    you will need a central support regardless off how thick the mdf is also because your going back 900mm i would recommend 2 supports at the front
    you may get away with a single support if you rebate 12x12mm out the back off 2x1" par[22x44mm] and fix it with deep edge showing [44mm]
    my suggestion is use a bedside cabinet small drawer unit or book case adapted to fit to store bits and bobs in and support the front edge
     
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  11. Deluks

    Deluks

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    works well, tips here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVUM12gjPFI

    another way to trim is to hold a stanley or razor blade flush with the table top, and use a 'sawing' motion with your fingers, takes ages but gives the best finish.

    Only trouble you might have is if you have a tight internal curve that the iron can't get into.
     
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  12. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    Well following all your helpful advice, I think it's only fair that I post a couple of pictures of the finished article:



    It was actually finished well before Christmas, but I'd completely forgotten about this topic. Opted for a real Walnut veneer with matching edgebanding, attached using heat activated adhesive sheets and then finished in three coats of clear satin varnish.

    Although not visible in the picture (OK - I hadn't actually quite finished them at the point the pictures were taken :p), I also applied matching veneer and finishing coat to three lengths of timber which were then attached to the wall to support the desk at its rear and edges, and secured to the work surface using small angle brackets.
     
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  13. big-all

    big-all

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    thanks for showing us the finished results :LOL: :LOL:

    bet your proud as punch at such a nice job well done :D
     
  14. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Would recommend you use a chair without arms as they tend to damage the edges of desks, used to spend hours repairing desk edges damage by pulling chairs out from under them.
     
  15. electronicsuk

    electronicsuk

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    I think surprised may be a better word! When it comes to woodwork, I usually end up kicking in whatever I build and asking someone with more competence in this field to do the job :LOL:

    You're right, although I just couldn't find a chair without arms that I liked. In the end I went for a reproduction Eames style office chair, as it looked nice, is pretty comfy, and has well rounded edges on the armrests. It's always set at minimum height, so hopefully the edges of the desk will survive a few years yet.
     
  16. paulrobertson

    paulrobertson

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    Electronicsuk, nice worktop.
    You say you applied three coats of satin varnish. What was the exact process. Did you seal the veneer first, or just brush the varnish on and thats it.
     
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