My Beat Up Old Desk Gets Hip

December 19, 2009

smart fixes

I have this old desk. It’s OLD. It’s an old schoolteacher’s desk, maybe dates back to the 1920s or 1940s or something.

desk tray7

It’s huge– it weights a ton because it’s solid wood. It has this strange plasticky tabletop material on it; it’s not slate– it’s a little spongy. You can write on it, and sharp things (like fingernails!) will scratch its surface. I don’t know how to repair it because I don’t know what it is. I love the sliding wooden trays on each side. They are wonderful. I can place a cup of coffee on them, knowing that a spill won’t destroy what’s on my desk; and the kids can come to me with their onerous books so we can go over their work.

Well, the worst part about the desk (besides badly needing a surface restoration- yeah, I’ll get to that someday) is that it’s not built for modern technology. It’s a little higher than most computer desks, and has no sliding keyboard tray, so it gets tiresome to type with my arms and hands elevated all day. I asked my husband if he could make the front drawer into a sliding keyboard tray.


With just a little adjusting, a few minor cuts…

desk tray1

desk tray2

desk tray3

I have to admit, I shuddered every time the table saw roared on. :S My beautiful desk! But it was in good hands.

We couldn’t find a piano hinge short enough for the tray to drawer joint. So he got some small fancy brass hinges for now. Someday we may need to install something a little sturdier.

desk tray 4

Two cabinet magnetic latches secure the drawer closed. It’s very nice to have the keyboard at a more comfortable level!

desk tray5

desk tray6

And best of all, when my kitty clambers up to my desk to sit in front of my computer monitor, she no longer sits on the spacebar or “delete” key. Hoh boy, did we have fun with that. :-p


Now I need to get the sandpaper out and try to refinish the wood!

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