CREATIVE IMAGINEERING | A ‘STAR TREK’ THEMED WORKSTATION | PART 2

These are the voyages of my custom-designed workstation. It’s bold mission, to entertain, inspire, and fill a mighty big need!

In Part 1 I began building the main console cabinet. But, this project actually began weeks earlier with the careful design of the mesh grill. I imagine that the original was pressed out of metal, but due to the unavailability of this kind of mesh here in Phuket, Thailand, the simplest solution was to recreate the mesh and 3D print it.

You can download the STL file here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4260175

Yesterday I finished gluing the panels together.

On Thursday afternoon I had a bit of time spare, so I got in and added the rear section of the desktop. This is actually the second panel that I cut, the first panel I drilled a hole in the wrong place, effectively ruining it visually. I’ll be able to reuse it somewhere else in the build though.

First thing today was to position and mark out the mesh, and the hole that needed to be cut in the front of the cabinet.

I decided to go power-tool free today. It was a beautiful quiet day with birds chirping, and I didn’t want to shatter that with my jigsaw or drill, so I cut out the hole with my tenon saw. It might not the best tool for the job, but it performed very well. Actually, I burned out my extention lead, and was still waiting for the new one I ordered to arrive…

With the hole cut I had to go ahead and make a frame for the mesh. This troubled me for a while. The best solution would be to go to a hardware store and by appropriate aluminium screen frame, but I cannot do that right now, so I cut strips of cupboard backing from the set of draws, and it turned out to be brilliant for the job!

Here’s why the cupboard backing was brilliant. I chose to glue the mesh down using superglue, which soaked right in creating a very strong bond that also strengthened the cupboard backing. A good deal all round I think!

You can see here how well the glue soaked in, and how good the overal product is beginning to look.

A very successful test fit!

The next step had also troubled me, but worked out fine. I had some cheap magnets that my wife had bought me to fix fridge magnets. Never happened. Ouch… But, I still have some left to do that! Anyway, pairing up the magnets made a strong enough hold, so I made support frames to go inside the cabinet, and I cut into the mesh so that the magnets could be glued down correctly.

I also added more strips of the cupboard backing to the interior to make it more rigid.

Very satisfying! The magnets and extra internal supports are doing their job. The mesh frame holds in place very nicely.

Next up, I removed the top, and cut a second panel which I glued edge to edge to the original, and fastened together with metal plates. I then turned it over and placed weights on it to make sure it dries correctly.

Lastly, for today at least, I gave it the first coat of paint. I’m use white as an undercoat for now. The shiny panels from the drawers, and the varnished skirting boards don’t paint very easily, I really should’ve sanded them back a bit first, but I’m sure it will be fine by the second coat. Only the front remains unpainted at this time. I need to do a little bit of filling with putty, which I’ll probably make myself from sawdust and white glue. Only visible parts of the desk will be painted in the classic grey used on the original studio sets.

 

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