Custom desk/workbench


I needed a desk that would also act as an electronics workstation. I wanted significant amout of desktop space to work on audio equipment, space for lab equipment like a benchtop power supply, oscilliscope, and soldering iron, as well as easy access to frequently used hand tools.

I decided to go with a modular solution based on 80/20 extruded aluminium. This would allow me to design a desk that could be easily adjusted, modified, and expanded over time. It also allows for extremely rigid and robust construction. I modeled the unit in Fusion 360 using that program's ability to pull in models of all the 80/20 parts (so I didn't have to actually model anything). I knew I wanted to mount pegboard on one side of the unit to hold tools and I wanted some shelves to hold my monitors (speakers). I also knew I wanted to hand my monitor using a vesa mount in order to have more desk space available. To that end I also used a keyboard and mouse tray mounted under the work surface so they could be tucked out of the way. The 80/20 frame made mounting the tray - and other things such as power strips - very clean and easy.

My takeaway after designing and building this: it's a great desk! Very functional and sturdy. Expaning it, attaching stuff, cable management, etc is all really easy. It was fun to design and not too hard to put together by myself. It's also quite expensive. If you're on a budget, or don't want to spend a lot of money on a desk, this probably isn't the project for you. All in this beast probably cost me $4,000.00 CAD - OUCH! That said, this is the last desk I'll ever need and I can adjust it to suit changing needs over time.

CAUTION: in my experience the cut ends of the 80/20 extrusions can be extremely sharp and you will cut yourself on them if you're not careful. I took a file to all the cut ends after learning that lesson the hard way.


3D rendering of the desk, front view. 3D rendering of the desk, rear view. 3D rendering of the desk, exploded view. Photo of completed desk. Photo of completed desk.


The parts list above is exported from the Fusion 360 project. Below are links to the actual parts based on the names in the parts list file. Not included in parts list:


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