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  1. #1
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    Metal Angle Support

    I've removed my old under-layout desk, and will be replacing it with a new one. The desk is inside a closet and spans the 5' closet door opening. The problem with the old desk is that it drooped in the center, because teh 3/4" plywood I used to span the 5' opening wasn't strong enough to support the weight of my desktop computer without drooping.



    I'll be building a new desk that can take the weight. My plan is to use steel or aluminum angle to support the entire length of the front and back of the desktop. This angle will be bolted to the studs. The new desktop will be 3/4" melamine. A keyboard tray will be bolted to the underside of the desktop. The layout will be above the layout. I need to keep the overall desk profile thickness to a minimum so I can fit my file cabinets below the desk and my computer monitor atop the desk.

    I have very little experience working with metal. I know aluminum is softer and I'm asuming easier to cut and drill than steel. I've found two options at Home Depot I'm considering.

    1. 1 1/2" Slotted Stell Angle.
      I'm positive this will be more than strong enough. It also will not need to be cut or drilled (good) but it has a larger profile.
    2. 3/4" Aluminum angle.
      The advantage to this is that it has a shorter profile, it will also look nicer. But will it be strong enough? Also, will I have trouble cutting it?


    I guess my main questions are will a 3/4" aluminum angle support maybe 100 pounds across a 5' span. If not, how big of an angle will I need to use?
    Greg Amer
    Locomotive Engineer (EN05 564) - Stacy Yard

    THE INDUSTRIAL LEAD
    facebook.com/TheIndustrialLead


  2. #2
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    Greg, consider a corner brace similar to this one at Home Depot. I've used them many times with good success.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

    First locate a stud near the center of the desk board. Push the brace up under the desk board and against the wall centered on the stud, then mark the three screw holes on the wall. I used 1-5/8" sheetrock screws to attach to the stud through the sheetrock. No need to screw into the desk board because the brace is supporting only a downward force from the monitor and computer. Also, being 5" long, it will provide plenty of support for the center of the board.

    BTW, the brace doesn't need to be exactly at the center of the desk board. Anywhere within 8", assuming your studs are 16" on center, will be fine for the amount of weight you're dealing with. On the other hand, I wouldn't try sitting or dancing on the desk, your arthritis might like that....:tb-ooh:
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!


  3. #3
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    Thanks Hytec,

    I actually had those across three studs along the back of the old desk. Problem is the desk is 24" deep and the front drooped. That's why I'm thinking to support across the large unsupported front portion.

    Thanks, Greg
    Greg Amer
    Locomotive Engineer (EN05 564) - Stacy Yard

    THE INDUSTRIAL LEAD
    facebook.com/TheIndustrialLead


  4. #4
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    Try some larger shelfing brackets attached to the studs and attach the desk top to it as well.
    Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
    Proud Viet Nam Veteran.

  5. #5
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    Greg, this is what I use to support my layout. This particular one is 20" long on top, so one, or max two, should work for your situation.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

    Of course, you'll have to mind your knees, but that shouldn't be a problem after the second or third time you bang one....:tb-ooh:
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortround View Post
    Try some larger shelfing brackets attached to the studs and attach the desk top to it as well.
    I agree. Get solid ones that mount directly to the studs. These are what you want, and you don't have to deal with fabricating metal parts, which most of us don't have either the experience or the tools to do right. Make sure about the studs. Using wall anchors will not do the job with the weight you plan to put on them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpa View Post
    Thanks Hytec,

    I actually had those across three studs along the back of the old desk. Problem is the desk is 24" deep and the front drooped. That's why I'm thinking to support across the large unsupported front portion.

    Thanks, Greg
    Greg, I would go with the steel. Aluminum angle does have more flex. The slotted steel from HD or Lowe's isn't that hard to drill if you need to add a hole somewhere other than the slots. I've worked with it on other projects.

    George V.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hytec View Post
    Greg, this is what I use to support my layout. This particular one is 20" long on top, so one, or max two, should work for your situation.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

    Of course, you'll have to mind your knees, but that shouldn't be a problem after the second or third time you bang one....:tb-ooh:

    I have three of those holding up a 24" wide hallow core door that I got for $1 and Menards bargain bin. It's out in the garage and hold a lot of weight.
    Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
    Proud Viet Nam Veteran.

  9. #9
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    Thanks George,

    I went to Home Depot and experimented with the aluminum angles and you're right they do have some flex. So I bought a pair of 1 1/2" slotted steel angles. I mounted the rear one and will mount the front one after I squeeze the desktop into the closet.



    I couldn't use shelf brackets here because I need my file cabinets to roll beneath the desk and the shelf brackets would block that. I am going to give up my under desk slide keyboard tray. I'll just keep the keyboard and mouse on top of the desk. The one thing I'll miss about that is it is a convenient place to temporarily store mail and documents.

    Thanks Everyone. Greg
    Greg Amer
    Locomotive Engineer (EN05 564) - Stacy Yard

    THE INDUSTRIAL LEAD
    facebook.com/TheIndustrialLead


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpa View Post
    Thanks George,

    I couldn't use shelf brackets here because I need my file cabinets to roll beneath the desk and the shelf brackets would block that. I am going to give up my under desk slide keyboard tray. I'll just keep the keyboard and mouse on top of the desk.
    Greg, shame on you, you added more "stuff" to your specs after you published the original RFP, tsk, tsk.:tb-tongue:
    I've seen after-market keyboard slide-outs, can't remember where, but I'd guess Office Depot or Office Max for starters. Also flip-out mouse pads that clamp on and rotate out from under the desk.
    Hank....I may have to Grow Old, but I Never have to Grow UP!!!


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