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Building a woody thing

DrezDrez Registered User regular
So I’m looking for advice on how to go about planning a tiny little construction project for myself.

My skill and knowhow here is flat zero. What I’m trying to do is to secure a flush piece of wood to the top of my existing mouse pad area of a laptop “cart” to expand the mouse area. I’m not actually looking for solutions (though I won’t frown on suggestions) but more I’m looking for advice on how I should map this out. It seems like a silly little project but I want to do this right.

Some context:

- Due to the fact that I use my 4KTV as my main monitor, I use a mobile laptop desk for my keyboard and mouse. The keyboard just barely fits and I don’t use a mousepad but the mouse works fine on the small bit of wood attached to the main piece of wood. It’s small though.

- I recently bought the Logitech Wireless G502 and the accompanying PowrrPlay wireless inductive charging mouse pad which is gigantic and way too large for my laptop mouse area as-is.

- I am not handy.

My father advised I just put another piece of wood on top of the existing piece of wood, large enough to secure the mouse pad. I think that’s a good, jury-rigged solution. I have the tools I would need except maybe a saw. Just trying to figure out the best way to plan this out.

I may want to do similar other mini-projects in the future too.

Posts

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 31
    Can you take some pictures? Do you have any tools whatsoever (Like, a drill?) and are you just trying to do this cheap and optimally, or trying to make it look nice?

    Are you near an ikea?

    Iruka on
    XaquinElvenshaeDoodmannzepherin
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    It’s more about optimally functional and cheap rather than a focus on aesthetic. I have a drill. I think I just need the wood plus some screws, maybe a hinge. I’m on a bus to upstate NY for a wedding right now so no pics but I can post some tomorrow.

    I’m in Jersey City/NYC. I think there’s an IKEA around somewhere.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited August 31
    just fixing a new, larger piece of wood to the top would be easiest; affixing another piece of wood adjacent and at level is a lot more work.

    first, measure the existing space and decide how much larger a platform you want, and how you want to orient it. If you don't already have the wood you can go to lowe's/home depot/whatever and have them cut a piece to spec (common pine is cheap/light and probably fine for what you want)

    attaching it probably just means four wood screws (assuming the existing platform is substantial enough to screw into), a bit of wood putty to cover the tops, and some sort of finish coat. The finish isn't strictly necessary but it'll look a bit nicer and helps prevent catching slivers if you rub your arm across it

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    BurtletoytynicElvenshaechrishallett83
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    As long as the screws are the right length, you could run the screws up from the bottom of the existing bit of wood and into the new one (but not so far that they stick out the top), that way you wouldn't have to worry about filling holes in the top surface.

    BurtletoyDrezElvenshaechrishallett83
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Yea i second the one bigger piece on top that adds whatever you want. You could probably get away with a thick piece of Masonite/thicker lucite and just glue it to the top.

    If wood definitely come up through bottom with proper sized screws.

    The closest ikea in nj is Paramus or Newark, though FYI Paramus ikea is closed on Sundays for blue laws.

    Any chance you have a pic of desk. I'm picturing one of those cushion ones but probably not what you have

    camo_sig.png
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited August 31
    Also, if you are going to be sawing by hand, you might consider a miter box and some clamps to keep your cuts straight

    Burtletoy on
    Elvenshae
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Ikeas desks are all completely modular, so you can grab a finished top of some sort, if they have a size that's right for you. Might be a little thick for what you are doing l, but if you wanted to just get a new top it might work.

    Ikea "hacking" is generally how I get around some of my lack of power tools and apartment living, so I just thought I'd throw it out there.

    chrishallett83
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited September 1
    Every university and hospital system has a surplus store. You can find desks and things for as little as 10$. You will usually have to provide your own van or something to transport the items. Many have an inventory you can browse online. There might be something there that is already laminated you could just take the legs off of, or flat out use as an upgrade.

    dispatch.o on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Thanks for the ideas. I’m almost back from the wedding. Then I sleep. I’ll post a pic of the desk in about 6-7 hours.

    Thanks!

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    OK I'm here.

    So this is the exact item:

    0ekibtuyt7jv.png

    My original idea was to screw in another piece of wood on top of the, er, "mouse annex" that will provide enough stability and surface area to support my new, giant mouse pad, and it seems like a lot of people agree this is a good idea.

    I have a new drill, haven't used it yet.

    I think it's probably simplest and quickest to go to Home Depot for the wood and screws. Will Home Depot cut me a custom block of wood? I don't need too much. Dimensions of the mat, according to Amazon: 12.6" x 0.4" x 10.8".

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Yea I would double down on the Masonite suggestion. You can't put too much weight on that arm and wood gets heavy

    camo_sig.png
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    So it turns out that the mousepad is actually stable enough without anything expanding the wood at all.

    I still want a permanent solution, though.

    I'll look into the masonite. Thanks!

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    The arm should have no trouble supporting the wood; it’s not like you’ll be using oak or something.) Just be sure it’s situated in such a way that it doesn’t tip the thing over (easy to test before screws go in.)

    Home Depot should be able to cut a piece for you, though you may have to pay for a larger board (still not expensive.)

    You could also probably just remove the current platform and screw straight into the arm; likely more stable that way

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    chrishallett83
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited September 1
    Custom cut plywood would be lighter than a laminated solution.

    Odd idea -

    Buy a cafeteria tray and use some glue.

    They're light, durable, water safe and lightly textured so the pad wont slide around. If you look around you can probably find one that fits the dimensions.

    dispatch.o on
    Elvenshae
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Oh, I misunderstood the desk completely.

    Whatever solution you go with, consider the edges. Especially since it's the mouse area, a nasty ragged edge, or even just a moderatly sharp corner will be annoying.

    dispatch.oElvenshaedjmitchellachrishallett83SimpsoniaBouwsT
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Not the advice you're looking for, but, your time, effort and materials are going to exceed replacing with a cheap desk.

    And the cheapest of desks is going to be better than whatever you come up with, given your self-proclaimed lack of skill.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited September 2
    Ah I didn’t really talk about that. I literally cannot find what I need on that front. I need a lightweight, easily-movable surface that can support a keyboard and mouse for a desktop PC and nothing else. It needs to take up as little space as possible while supporting those two objects. If you have any ideas on that front, please let me know, as I’ve been searching for 5+ years now.

    The bottom line is, the laptop thing I have is pretty much perfect except being slightly too small.

    edit: I do photography and my bedroom, which is also my computer room, also doubles (triples?) as my photo studio. I need to be able to quickly move all of my equipment out of the way or even out into the other room to maximize open space.

    Drez on
  • RadiationRadiation Registered User regular
    edited September 2
    @minor incident might be able to help out? Not sure what part of that area he's in but maybe you guys could work together to come up with a design? I know he does wood worky type stuff and has built 2(?) desks now?

    Radiation on
    PSN: jfrofl
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    A big old book for a mouse pad is cheap

    camo_sig.png
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    Dimensions:
    Drez wrote: »
    Dimensions of the mat, according to Amazon: 12.6" x 0.4" x 10.8".

    I’ll check that link out as well as everyone else’s advice tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone!

    edit: Hmm I think the board in that link may be perfect. 0.6 of an inch short isn’t going to matter, I don’t think. It’s pretty stable right now. I may go for that. Thanks!

    I would glue it then? What kind of glue?

    Drez on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    Burtletoy wrote: »

    an alternative would be a big ass cutting board. They can be pretty cheap, but that is a decent price.
    Drez wrote: »
    Dimensions:
    Drez wrote: »
    Dimensions of the mat, according to Amazon: 12.6" x 0.4" x 10.8".

    I’ll check that link out as well as everyone else’s advice tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone!

    edit: Hmm I think the board in that link may be perfect. 0.6 of an inch short isn’t going to matter, I don’t think. It’s pretty stable right now. I may go for that. Thanks!

    I would glue it then? What kind of glue?

    an epoxy or something could work. I would sand the desk top to rough it up and pick up a couple of clamps or something to really squeeze it down

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
    Burtletoy
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    What type of mousepad is this? Maybe the solution is to just go with a new mousepad? Maybe just get one of those big aluminum ones with the rubber backer. Should be plenty stable and rigid on the surface with the weight of your hand when in use, able to take off if not. And if it's not stable enough, just glue that sucker down. I picked up a 12x8 aluminum one as swag at a trade show years back and it's definitely rigid enough for these purposes. Maybe something like this? https://www.amazon.com/Blade-Hawks-Double-Sided-Aluminum-Non-Slip/dp/B075ZN8H26/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Aluminum+mouse+pad&qid=1567519987&s=gateway&sr=8-4

    Probably cheaper than other DIY solutions, tbh.

    Simpsonia on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Simpsonia wrote: »
    What type of mousepad is this? Maybe the solution is to just go with a new mousepad? Maybe just get one of those big aluminum ones with the rubber backer. Should be plenty stable and rigid on the surface with the weight of your hand when in use, able to take off if not. And if it's not stable enough, just glue that sucker down. I picked up a 12x8 aluminum one as swag at a trade show years back and it's definitely rigid enough for these purposes. Maybe something like this? https://www.amazon.com/Blade-Hawks-Double-Sided-Aluminum-Non-Slip/dp/B075ZN8H26/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Aluminum+mouse+pad&qid=1567519987&s=gateway&sr=8-4

    Probably cheaper than other DIY solutions, tbh.

    I bought the Logitech Wireless G502 and the accompanying PowerPlay wireless inductive charging mouse pad.

    The setup was $250 so...yeah. This is the specific setup I was going for. The mouse pad charges the mouse as you use it, so it's necessary for the setup. Thanks, though.

  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    Dimensions:
    Drez wrote: »
    Dimensions of the mat, according to Amazon: 12.6" x 0.4" x 10.8".

    I’ll check that link out as well as everyone else’s advice tomorrow morning. Thanks everyone!

    edit: Hmm I think the board in that link may be perfect. 0.6 of an inch short isn’t going to matter, I don’t think. It’s pretty stable right now. I may go for that. Thanks!

    I would glue it then? What kind of glue?

    Yeah, I would probably buy an epoxy kit for doing it. A quick search shows gorilla glue makes one you can get for $5. If you do go epoxy, wear gloves while working with it!

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    If you're just going to stick something fairly light like a mouse pad to the top, you could almost certainly get away with a few of the sticky strips that 3M command hooks use, which would be removable if you change your mind later / want to adjust things, and a lot less hassle to get set up, you can just press the top surface down with your hands rather than having to wait for it to set. Not as strong, but probably okay in this case.

    djmitchella on
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I wouldn’t use glue. Plastics like PE and PP are notoriously hard to glue to. It may work for a bit, but it will not take very much force to pop off the plastic.

    Seconding the suggestion for double sided tape. Something like 3M mounting tape.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited September 5
    Rather than gluing, instead get some spacers, rubber or wood block, that are the depth of the existing mouse annex. Get another thin piece of wood that is longer than the width of the annex, screw it and the spacers into your new surface from the bottom such that the whole thing slides overtop of the existing mouse pad and holds on. If you get the measurements right, it'll be secure and easy to disassemble.

    spool32 on
    Jebus314BurtletoyDrezHappylilElf
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I wouldn’t use glue. Plastics like PE and PP are notoriously hard to glue to. It may work for a bit, but it will not take very much force to pop off the plastic.

    Seconding the suggestion for double sided tape. Something like 3M mounting tape.

    Epoxy isn't glue and is fine on plastics.

    I would suggest not doing 3m mounting tape for what I am assuming is intended as a permanent fixture that will have varying weight's and pressures on edges and corners for it's lifetime.


    Yeah, what spool suggested is probably better, tho.

    Burtletoy on
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I wouldn’t use glue. Plastics like PE and PP are notoriously hard to glue to. It may work for a bit, but it will not take very much force to pop off the plastic.

    Seconding the suggestion for double sided tape. Something like 3M mounting tape.

    Epoxy isn't glue and is fine on plastics.

    I would suggest not doing 3m mounting tape for what I am assuming is intended as a permanent fixture that will have varying weight's and pressures on edges and corners for it's lifetime.


    Yeah, what spool suggested is probably better, tho.

    I mean, I literally work at a company that glues plastic together. I’m pretty familiar with epoxy’s, cyanoacrylates, polyurethanes, etc.

    We work a lot with PE and PP and in order to get any real strength, with any kind of adhesive, we have to flame or plasma treat the surface.

    The frame is definitely the best bet but also the most labor intensive, and requiring the most skill.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
    DrezElvenshae
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