Once I had the new desk built, I realized that the HUGE white walls that it was mounted too were too blank and needed to be spruced up. I had 4 14″ x 8′ plywood strips left over from the desk surface, so I decided to use those to make the shelving unit upper and lower. The plan was to attach 2 2×4’s to the walls and mount the shelves to the 2×4’s. Once everything is mounted, I covered up the 2.4’s with the left over planks of hardwood flooring that I used on the desk surface and painted the whole thing with the same metallic silver paint that I used on the desk base.
Lighting for this unit was the tough part. I wanted indirect lighting and a lot of it, so I decided to go with 1/2″ LED rope lights – they give off lots of light, very little heat and very low power consumption, plus they fit in tight spaces. I had to design lips and recessed spaces for the lighting to go as well as a single path that one 36′ strip could take uninterrupted through the shelving unit. After quite a bit of mocking up on the floor I found the light path that would show the least amount of cord (the red line in the design sketch).
Another major consideration of the shelving was to incorporate a monitor stand mount. I have a 4 monitor mount installed on the desk, but I want to consolidate it and include it in the shelving unit. This was a tricky design piece because the clamps for the mounts are a very specific diameter and won’t clamp onto just any pipe. I went with the 1″ pipe fixtures, joints and flanges from home depot. After some fiddling around, I found the correct sizes and joints to set each of the two mounts at just the right height. This pipe is connected with a flange and 8 bolts, 4 on top and 4 into the surface of the desk. I wasn’t crazy about drilling 4 holes into the desk surface, but this was the only way to make it as strong as I wanted it. I can literally kick it with all my strength and it won’t budge more than 3mm.
The choice of the monitor mount pipe made the shelving supports an easy choice – I used the same iron pipe in 1/2″ with flanges on top and bottom to split the shelves in thirds plus on in the middle.
Finally, I trimmed out the edges with 1/2″ aluminum trim u-strips on all the outward facing edges of the plywood to cover up the rough stuff and match the desk.
I got the wireless switch controller from harbor freight that uses a key-fob to control up to 3 plugged in items so I can turn them on and off from a remote location.