[CQ-Contest] Desk design

Rick Tavan tavan at tibco.com
Fri Aug 20 23:57:20 EDT 2004

I'm not much of a carpenter so I've always been partial to flush doors. 
You beg, borrow or buy two 2-drawer file cabinets and put the door on 
top. You make a lower shelf out of 1x12" shelving material sitting on a 
few 2x4's on edge. (1x14 or 1x16 would be better but is harder to find.) 
Screw them together if you like and countersink any screws. This gives 
you room for paddles, keyers, SO2R switch boxes and the like under the 
rigs. You can make extension wings on the sides so that outer rigs or 
amps can angle in toward the op. You can bracket them to the main shelf 
if rig weight isn't sufficient to hold it all together. Then you make an 
upper shelf out of the same material (1x12 should be plenty wide enough 
here) but tall enough to fit over the rigs and leave some ventilation 
clearance. The vertical supports can be the same shelving material and 
screws are necessary. That shelf doesn't turn out very robust unless you 
run an awkward brace across the back of the vertical supports, but it's 
fine for ATUs, antenna switch boxes, rotors, wattmeters, etc. It's 
really easy to throw this stuff together. The only hard part is making 
the vertical supports for the upper shelf - they want nice, square ends 
and exactly matching heights. A table saw is handy for this but it's 
only a few cuts so you can take the material to a friend's house if, 
like me, you don't have one. The one I used wasn't set up quite square 
so I had to do some rework anyway.

Someone remarked that elevated tuning knobs are an elbow buster. Not for 
me. I keep the rigs close enough that my elbows are on chair arms. At 
another station, I used a folded diaper as an elbow pad. I was younger 
then. My elbows are sturdier than my wrists which take a beating when 
the rig is on the desktop.

If you can keep the whole shebang a few feet out from the wall so you 
can get behind it, wiring is a breeze. So far I've never had room to do 
that, though. ;-)

I solve the monitor problem by using an IBM laptop. It has a very 
bright, sharp display and a good keyboard. I look DOWN at the screen, 
the ergonomically correct solution...says this one guy.

GL & 73,

/Rick N6XI

Tom Horton wrote:

>But I am in a quandry over how to build the desk. I can't use my old station desk, so will have to build something. 

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