Modern Computer Desk with Integrated Cable Management

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Project by Ron Stewart posted 05-14-2017 11:47 PM 2849 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I remodeled our office/library (new wood floors, paint, chairs, and layout), and we wanted a new desk to replace our old executive-style one. Our old desk was too big and heavy, and we wanted something with simple, clean lines, waterfall grain, and open-framed metal legs.

When we started, we didn’t know if we’d place the desk out in the room (with its back visible) or against a wall. To account for the former placement, we wanted a design that hid as many cords and cables as possible. To that end, I shortened the drawers to leave a cavity at the back of the desk and made the rear panel removable (held in place with disc magnets). The rear panel has a 3/8” slot at the top that allows cables to exit the cabinet to reach the computer (and desk lamp).

We ultimately decided to place the desk against a wall, and that led me to add a small shelf to hold our cable modem and router. This shelf consolidates all of the networking equipment and really de-clutters everything. There are just two short cords (power and coax) from the wall to the desk; everything else is hidden.

The overall dimensions are 53 1/2” wide by 24” deep by 31” high.

The wood is quarter sawn Sycamore from Hobby Hardwood Alabama, a small lumber business that specializes in locally harvested trees. The finish is Danish oil (Watco).

I don’t know anything about metalwork, so we bought the legs (“Big Craftsman”) from Symmetry Hardware of Portland, Oregon. They’re very solid and well finished, with 5” wide mounting plates.

Here are a few more closeups of the wood, which we find very beautiful and different. It’s easy to see why Sycamore is sometimes referred to as “American Lacewood.”

Here’s a photo of the open back showing the cable management cavities. If you look carefully, you’ll see 2” diameter holes in the bottom panel and vertical dividers. Cables can enter the desk from any of the three bottom holes, traverse the full width of the desk, and reach the desktop via the slot in the back panel.

Here’s the desk with all of the cords and cables installed. A six-outlet power strip sits in the left cavity and the router and modem are on the shelf.

If you want more details, please see my corresponding series of blog posts about the desk. Thanks for looking!

-- Ron Stewart

7 comments so far

View Earache's profile


37 posts in 1168 days

#1 posted 05-15-2017 03:52 AM

I like it. Hiding the cables in a box is a good idea – nicely executed.

-- Eric - Black Hawk, Colorado

View woodworm's profile


14454 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 05-15-2017 02:01 PM

Simple in design, beautiful and practical – well done!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View helluvawreck's profile


30192 posts in 2776 days

#3 posted 05-15-2017 02:17 PM

This is a very creative computer desk. It is nicely done and has a innovative method of routing all of the various wires that causes messy problems.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Woodknack's profile


11153 posts in 2290 days

#4 posted 05-15-2017 04:42 PM

Nice design and well executed, very tidy.


View tool_junkie's profile


320 posts in 2439 days

#5 posted 05-16-2017 12:07 AM

I love this desk! Simple, modern and functional. I am saving it in my favorites.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

109 posts in 2414 days

#6 posted 05-16-2017 12:16 AM

Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them.

-- Ron Stewart

View oldnovice's profile


6554 posts in 3277 days

#7 posted 05-17-2017 01:40 AM

One word, elegant!
OK, two words beautiful too.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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