My High Tech Radio Desk
I decided to try my hand at designing and constructing a desk specifically to make operating amateur radio more convenient.
Desired features list for the desk:
a. For those times when needed to access back of the amateur equipment, I have mounted the equipment shelf at approximately a 45° angle.
b. Red or green LED lighting will be provided under the equipment shelf. Night vision will be maintained.
c. The back of one of the legs (prefereably the left leg) a copper panel will be attached for RF grounding.
d. The right pedestal will have shallow drawers for logbooks, QSL cards, etc.
e. Above the equipment shelf will be a bracket to hold a second LCD display connected to a desktop computer. This display can be used for DX spotting, etc.
Left side of desktop
The desk top measures 32" deep and 72" long. It is made of 3/4" thick white oak plywood. The cutout in the back is a cable pass-thru.
Right side of desktop
The cutout in the front is the computer keyboard recess.
Equipment shelf before routing the kerf
The equipment shelf measures 16" deep and 36" long.
The kerf is 1/16" wide x 1/2" deep. I used a 3-flute router bit and a plunge router adjusted to place the kerf exactly in the center of the plywood thickness.
Installing vinyl "T" molding
The tan vinyl "T" is available from Rockler Woodworking & Hardware. Rockler P/N is 27110. Their web site is http://www.rockler.com
Equipment shelf with edging installation completed
After 3 applications of polyurethane finish
I used a clear semi-gloss indoor/outdoor MINWAX "Helmsman" Spar Urethane. The initial surface was sanded with 150 grit sand paper using an orbital finishing sander. After several days of "curring", I sanded using 220 grit sandpaper. It is very important to properly remove the sanding dust between each application with a quality tack cloth.
Mounting spacers installed
Each spacer is a 1" diameter oak dowel 2 3/4" long. Each spacer is press fit into a 1" diameter x 3/8" deep blind hole. The blind holes are made using a 1" diameter Forestner Cutter. Before final assembly, each dowel will be secured using Gorilla Glue.
Trial placement of equipment shelf to check form, fit, & function
This view shows the transceiver on the equipment shelf that is placed on the left end of the desk top.