I have way too many interests for my own good. Until last week my jewelry making stuff was all spread out on our coffee table in our TV room. It was insane. There were beads and tools and wire everywhere. It was very stressful to walk down there and do anything, let alone try to create something. I have been brain storming about a solution for weeks and finally I came up with it. We live in a town house and we do not have a ton of room. It seems like we live in such a small space sometimes due to my many interests and it seems that all of those interests need to have their own private space. So the idea that I came up with was to transform the shelf that I have holding all of my craft baskets into a table/desk area for me to work. This shelf is located in our back storage room in the basement. It has a concrete floor, which is perfect for doing my torch work. I haven't had the space to try that yet so I am pretty excited about this new space and all the new possibilities. Plus all I have to do is close the door and it all is put away.
Here is the room prior to my desk addition. The shelf has all of these dividers and then a trim piece on the front. I first had to create a flat surface for me to attach the cantilever support beams to. The front finish piece was 1.5" wide and the divider pieces were .75" thick. This meant that I needed (4) 3/8" thick pieces of wood on both the interior supports (one each side) and (2) .75" thick pieces on exterior supports. I measured the depth of the cabinet and went to work cutting the pieces that I needed using a circular saw.
I then attached these pieces to the inside of each of the supports directly below the shelf. Make sure that you stagger the screws on each side so that they all go in smoothly. Also make sure that you are using a screw that will not poke through on the other side of the divider.
Next I cut the cantilevered elements that will support the desk surface. I determined that I needed about 20" under the desk and then I needed the length to attach it to the shelf, so I cut (2) 2x4 that were 36" in length, (4) 1x4 that were 36" in length. Using a jig saw I rounded the edges of the wood members. I used the first one as a template for the rest.
I already told you that the finish pieces on the shelf were 1.5" wide. It just to happens that a 2x4 is also 1.5" wide so I cut an additional short 2x4 piece that I placed between the 1x members that are going to go at the center supports. I contoured this with the adjacent members so that it would look nicer and make the pieces work together. At this point it is probably a good idea to tell you that I am a structural engineer, so if I am getting too detailed it is not my fault just my nature....Back to the project. I sandwiched the short 2x between the 1x's and screwed them together making sure that the tops of them were aligned.
Next I attached the cantilevered wood pieces to the shelf unit. I used (6) 2" long screws to attach all the members making sure to mark where the other screws were going to be located so that they would not run into one another.
In the next picture you can see how the center cantilevered wood members sandwich the center supports on the shelf. There are screws attaching it on both sides.
And finally I put on the table topper that we has laying around the house. You can use a smooth finish wood door. I think that this was a table top thing that Aaron got a long time ago from Ikea. I screwed it into the supports below and called it good. If your door or table topper is hallow like this one is try to keep any screws that you are using within 1.5" of the edge. There is a solid piece there that you can screw through, but be gentle regardless.
I hope that you enjoyed my project and even if you do not have something to repeat this exactly I hope that you can learn something from the idea. And if you have any questions about doing this to a piece of furniture in your house I would be happy to try and brainstorm with you so that we can come up with a solution.