Finding free plans for computer desks online can be easy and interesting. From desks you stand up to use to desks made of pressed and glued cardboard, you can't say that there isn't enough variety to suit everyone's taste and skill level.
Understanding Your Needs
Woodworking and crafting projects that involve building something can range from the very simple to the lovingly intricate. When you have a project in mind, like building a computer desk, your first task, before you pick up a single tool, is to have a clear idea of what you want. If you have a specific enough picture of the piece you have in mind, you may not even need a formal plan to complete it.
The Ergonomic Shelf
Computer desks have a unique quality that conventional desks lack, a lower portion designed to accommodate the keyboard. Most people are more comfortable keying at a lower height than a standard desktop. Although some computer-specific desks contain cubbies, elevated shelves for books and DVDs, an opening for the monitor and cut-outs to accommodate all of the electrical paraphernalia, the one element that makes a computer desk ergonomically correct is that shelf.
If you have a piece of furniture that would work well as a computer workstation, like a basic table, you can retrofit just the shelf portion to transform it into a computer appropriate piece of furniture. This is a great cheat, but there can be problems. The lower front portion of tables and desks will often have a decorative piece or drawer blocking the spot where you'd mount the shelf. Older computer furniture designs that were more concerned with concealing computer components than displaying them used drop fronts that would fold down on hinges to allow access to the keyboard shelf. In some cases, as with a drawer, you might be able to modify an existing desk to accommodate a lower shelf without too much work. If not, or if you're eager to build a desk from scratch, there are lots of free plans for computer desks to choose from.
Ergonomic Computer Desk Dimensions
The following computer desk dimensions will help you customize desk plans to meet your specific needs. Although standardized measurements are great as far as they go, people aren't always one-size-fits-all, and being able to make a few modifications to your project is one of the advantages of do-it-yourself woodworking:
- Desktop height - 30 inches
- Desktop depth - 30 to 36 inches
- Keyboard shelf height - 26.5 inches (or at about elbow height)
- Desk width - 48 inches (This is also dependent on personal preference and available space.)
- Chair height -24 to 27 inches
- Chair depth - 24 to 27 inches
Make an inventory of the items you plan on keeping on your desktop. Desktop area is precious real estate, and you'll probably need at least 18 inches of open workspace when all is said and done.
Links to Free Plans for Computer Desks
The following list of sites that offer free computer desk plans will give you an idea of the wealth of material out there. You'll find corner desks, huge desks, petite desks for the spatially-challenged, and simple down-and-dirty weekend desk projects. In the spirit of complete disclosure, you will also find a couple of standard desk designs that can be modified without too much trouble.