How to Build a Computer Desk That Hides the Computer


A desk that hides your computer offers a number of advantages. Most notably, it gives you substantially more workspace when you don’t need your computer. It also provides an aesthetically appealing alternative to the usual cramped desktop cluttered with a monitor and keyboard. Building this type of desk begins with choosing and detailing a design and concludes with desk construction and computer installation. Check your local library for building books to get ideas and assistance.

Choose a Design

  • Choosing your design constitutes the first step in building a desk with a hidden computer. Some desks with hidden computers keep the monitor recessed at an angle beneath the surface of the desk, with a glass pane in the desktop so you can see the monitor. Other desks contain elements that rise or flip from the surface of the desk to reveal a hidden monitor. Flat monitors are generally easier to hide than boxy ones, because they can slip vertically into the surface of your desk. Nearly all of these desks contain sliding trays on which you place the keyboard.

Stationary Hidden Computer

  • Building a desk with a stationary hidden computer basically constitutes mounting the computer somewhere below the desk. The easiest way to do this consists of building a sort of metal basket, consisting of metal brackets for arms and a single, crooked piece of metal to hold the computer monitor. Affix the brackets to the underside of your desk with strong bolts rated to hold weight comparable to that of your computer monitor. To see the monitor, you need to cut a hole in the top of your desk and install a glass panel in this hole. When cutting your hole, leave a rim on the underside for the glass to sit on. Using a scratch-resistant plastic can help you avoid the worry of broken glass in your office.

Mobile Hidden Computers

  • With a flat screen monitor you can build a desk with a mobile hiding device that conceals your computer vertically or horizontally. Horizontal units flip to reveal the computer. To build such a unit, cut a piece of wood slightly larger than your computer screen from your desktop. Install a screen-mounting device on the underside of this piece of wood and reaffix it to your desktop with swiveling hinges. Set your computer screen in this unit, so that when you flip the panel up, it reveals your computer screen. You can also design a unit that moves out of the desk in a vertical way, using an engine or hand operate crank. These devices require you to build track within the desk -- you need good deal of mechanical skill to complete such a job.

Hiding the Computer Tower

  • Building a hidden area for your computer tower constitutes the easiest part of making this kind of desk. Use the left or right leg of your desk as one wall of this compartment and the back of the desk as the second wall. Build a third wall parallel to the leg of the desk and install a single shelf between the bottom of this third wall element and the leg of the desk. Such a compartment conceals your computer tower to everyone in front of or beside your desk. You need to design a relatively wide desk to fit a recessed monitor and hidden computer tower in separate compartments – make sure you account for this in your initial design.

Install the Computer

  • Once you finish your desk, install the hidden computer elements. Always test these elements before installing your computer to avoid breaking your desk or your computer. Find something of equal weight to your computer and place it in the area in your desk reserved for the computer. If this area supports this weight, remove the object and install your computer monitor and tower. If not, figure out why it can’t support this weight – weak materials or bad fasteners are possible reasons – and fix this problem.

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