Metal Angle Support

Discussion in 'The Inspection Pit' started by gregamer, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    I've removed my old under-layout desk, and will be replacing it with a new one. The desk is inside a closet and spans the 5' closet door opening. The problem with the old desk is that it drooped in the center, because teh 3/4" plywood I used to span the 5' opening wasn't strong enough to support the weight of my desktop computer without drooping.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I'll be building a new desk that can take the weight. My plan is to use steel or aluminum angle to support the entire length of the front and back of the desktop. This angle will be bolted to the studs. The new desktop will be 3/4" melamine. A keyboard tray will be bolted to the underside of the desktop. The layout will be above the layout. I need to keep the overall desk profile thickness to a minimum so I can fit my file cabinets below the desk and my computer monitor atop the desk.

    I have very little experience working with metal. I know aluminum is softer and I'm asuming easier to cut and drill than steel. I've found two options at Home Depot I'm considering.

    1. 1 1/2" Slotted Stell Angle.
      I'm positive this will be more than strong enough. It also will not need to be cut or drilled (good) but it has a larger profile.
    2. 3/4" Aluminum angle.
      The advantage to this is that it has a shorter profile, it will also look nicer. But will it be strong enough? Also, will I have trouble cutting it?

    I guess my main questions are will a 3/4" aluminum angle support maybe 100 pounds across a 5' span. If not, how big of an angle will I need to use?
     
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Greg, consider a corner brace similar to this one at Home Depot. I've used them many times with good success.

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...&langId=-1&keyword=corner+brace&storeId=10051

    First locate a stud near the center of the desk board. Push the brace up under the desk board and against the wall centered on the stud, then mark the three screw holes on the wall. I used 1-5/8" sheetrock screws to attach to the stud through the sheetrock. No need to screw into the desk board because the brace is supporting only a downward force from the monitor and computer. Also, being 5" long, it will provide plenty of support for the center of the board.

    BTW, the brace doesn't need to be exactly at the center of the desk board. Anywhere within 8", assuming your studs are 16" on center, will be fine for the amount of weight you're dealing with. On the other hand, I wouldn't try sitting or dancing on the desk, your arthritis might like that....:tb-ooh:
     
  3. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Hytec,

    I actually had those across three studs along the back of the old desk. Problem is the desk is 24" deep and the front drooped. That's why I'm thinking to support across the large unsupported front portion.

    Thanks, Greg
     
  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    Try some larger shelfing brackets attached to the studs and attach the desk top to it as well.
     
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

  6. MisterBeasley

    MisterBeasley TrainBoard Supporter

    I agree. Get solid ones that mount directly to the studs. These are what you want, and you don't have to deal with fabricating metal parts, which most of us don't have either the experience or the tools to do right. Make sure about the studs. Using wall anchors will not do the job with the weight you plan to put on them.
     
  7. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV TrainBoard Member

    Greg, I would go with the steel. Aluminum angle does have more flex. The slotted steel from HD or Lowe's isn't that hard to drill if you need to add a hole somewhere other than the slots. I've worked with it on other projects.

    George V.
     
  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member


    I have three of those holding up a 24" wide hallow core door that I got for $1 and Menards bargain bin. It's out in the garage and hold a lot of weight.
     
  9. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks George,

    I went to Home Depot and experimented with the aluminum angles and you're right they do have some flex. So I bought a pair of 1 1/2" slotted steel angles. I mounted the rear one and will mount the front one after I squeeze the desktop into the closet.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't use shelf brackets here because I need my file cabinets to roll beneath the desk and the shelf brackets would block that. I am going to give up my under desk slide keyboard tray. I'll just keep the keyboard and mouse on top of the desk. The one thing I'll miss about that is it is a convenient place to temporarily store mail and documents.

    Thanks Everyone. Greg
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Greg, shame on you, you added more "stuff" to your specs after you published the original RFP, tsk, tsk.:tb-tongue:
    I've seen after-market keyboard slide-outs, can't remember where, but I'd guess Office Depot or Office Max for starters. Also flip-out mouse pads that clamp on and rotate out from under the desk.
     
  11. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks Hytec,

    Yeah maybe I should keep my keyboard slide out tray. The problem with installing now would be overall height of the desk, since I just added an inch and a half to the profile, I'd need to raise the desk top another 2 1/2" to add the tray and still clear the file cabinets. This makes it too high to still fit my monitor underneath the layout.

    http://www.gregamer.com/index.php/2012/03/06/brackets-in-now-take-them-out/

    Maybe I shouldn't have lowered my layout height to begin with.

    Greg


    ---
    I am here: http://tapatalk.com/ma
     
  12. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Methinks this might be where the phrase "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart" becomes apropos....:tb-wacky:
     
  13. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Eating My Cake

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I wnet to Pacific Industrial Supply an found 1/4" thick aluminum angle, this is sturdier than the 1/8" angle I found at Home Depot. I decided to use this across the front of the desk. The angle is 1" x 1" and 1/4" thick. I secured it to th wall with 2 1/2" #14 screws. The angle is installed open side up, so that the front of the desktop will drop into the angle, and the front of the desk will be the front edge of the angle. This arrangement will allow me to also use the keyboard tray.

    I'm still using the steel angle across the back, but I adjusted it upward.

    Greg
     
  14. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    Looking Good, Greg. Glad you were able to find material that allowed you to modify your original design. Or as is often said...No amount of planning replaces dumb luck. :tb-tongue:
     
  15. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Desktop

    [​IMG]

    This is how it looks with the black melamine desktop. I need to do some touch up, shim the back, bolt the keyboard tray below, and cut some back board to hide the gaps. But overall, I like it!

    Thanks again for the input.

    Greg
     
  16. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yep, that oughta do 'er.......good work.:thumbs_up:
     
  17. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Steel Angles for a Sturdy

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I liked those slotted steel angles so much that I used it as the base for my new workbench. Two slotted steel angles are attached horizontally to wood blocks attached to steel shelf brackets. A melamine table-top is screwed to the steel angles. The workbench is 16" x 84". It's very sturdy. This will be my main modeling work bench.

    If youd' like to follow along with my layout progress, please visit my blog: THE INDUSTRIAL LEAD
     
  18. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Steel Angles for a Sturdy Workbench

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I liked those slotted steel angles so much that I used it as the base for my new workbench. Two slotted steel angles are attached horizontally to wood blocks attached to steel shelf brackets. A melamine table-top is screwed to the steel angles. The workbench is 16" x 84". It's very sturdy. This will be my main modeling work bench. I'll also be building a painting and weathering sation on the opposite side of the layout.

    If youd' like to follow along with my layout progress, please visit my blog: THE INDUSTRIAL LEAD
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    What sort of prices have you found on those brackets? The steel angles? This has me thinking of some possibilities. but with a very tight budget.
     
  20. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    I think the 6 foot angles were around $15-$20 each at Home Depot.
     

Share This Page