Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Chair and Computer Desk

We qualify as spoiled Americans, having two computers up and running in the same room so we don’t have to share. I recently bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my laptop and liked it so much it was a shame to have to sit at the dining room table; my back prefers slouching rather than good posture.

I looked around to duplicate the good recliner we already have; but those kinds of office chairs started out expensive and worked toward outrageous so I went to IKEA and got an inexpensive substitute with foot stool at on tenth the cost. I also found a well made inexpensive stand at Staples, similar to the kind you see in hospitals when they serve a meal to somebody in bed.
Both items had to be assembled; but they’d been engineered so well as to make the process almost enjoyable, each piece fitting exactly as it was intended. One issue with the tray table, the surface for the mouse was too high and not adjustable independently from the surface of the laptop.

It took a bit of doing and a trip to Home Depot; but I assembled a stable secondary platform, one which would allow for my hand to rest at a comfortable level and be attached to the original stand. I should extend my thanks to the fellow at Home Depot, the one I bugged until he took me to each item needed all across the store, not sure until I put my hands on each item that they would work in unison. I literally assembled this in my head as I went along collecting pieces.
I used a pre-finished 12 inch corner shelf board intended as a brick-a-brack in a kitchen setting because it closely matched the finish of the computer’s stand shelf. I had to cut away a corner so the shelf would match to the upright rectangular support. The shelf is attached with half inch tubular conduit, the same as used by electricians, pre bent to 90 degree angles, held to the board with “U” brackets with rounded stainless steel screws. The whole thing is mounted to the upright tube of the stand with large automotive adjustable hose clamps, bracketed along side the tubular conduit with pieces of wood intended to act as trim for the original corner shelf board. I wrapped the exposed ugly hardware with black electrician’s tape.
It would have been nice for the original product to have included such a secondary platform, one which was adjustable or even removable; but this spoiled American was able to make do with a limited amount of effort and very little expense. It works the way I’d intended so I’m calling this a success. For the record, this is not a paid advertisement for Home Depot, Staples or IKEA; they just happen to have what I was looking for.

9 comments:

MK said...

Oh mate, that chair looks really nice, with the leather and all that, very inviting. I'm definitely putting Ikea on my list of place for furniture. Nice job with getting it all together like that.

T. F. Stern said...

MK, It's not leather, a very soft cotton with about 25% polyester so it's machine washable if it gets dirty. It's also fairly cheap to replace the cushions (about $30) if it gets damaged.

My other chair is black leather on ebony wood, very nice and very expensive. We've had it at least 10 years or more. (A replacement for it is about $1200) so we were happy to find a reasonably priced substitute.

David said...

Great job of "shade tree engineering" on the addition. The finished product looks like a winner!

smacklin said...

Nice work. Looks like a great place to sit and write.

My instinct would have been to attach a mouse platform to the chair arm with some straight brackets screwed in from underneath. Then it could be a handy drink and snack tray when not mousing around!

Starsplash said...

Yeeah for good ol fashinioned amereng, that's american engeenering,. You should submit the middle pic to http://thereifixedit.com/, of course only do that if you don't mind some joking around about what you made.

T. F. Stern said...

Ron, I still laugh at the "red neck" submissions on Neil Boortz page. I think I'll limit my exposure to the few folks who come by and already know how bent I am. lol

T. F. Stern said...

Smacklin, The idea you proposed entered my mind for a while as well. I avoided that thinking the chair should remain true to its original design, somewhat afraid that any pressure or ding made to the support frame might lead to its failure.

T. F. Stern said...

David, It really is a winner, my arm and hand remain relaxed while working. If I had to do over and wasn't so intent on instant gratification; I'd have designed it to be removable as well as having the ability to swivel; but I'll bet someone already has something like that for sale at Office Depot or Office Max, Staples...

Lance Vartanian said...

I would like to commend you for successfully finding an alternative chair and for assembling your desktop. These two furniture pieces can allow you to work comfortably with your computer. Are you still using these today?

Lance Vartanian