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Old 07-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #1
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


I have some nice smooth plywood that I'd like to make wall to wall, floating desk with (88" long x 24" deep x 3/4" thick). The problem is I have no studs to screw a U shaped support frame into. Is there another way to make this desk appear floating or leg-less?

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


Whew. That's going to be tough without a very thick front edge... or steel.

But, it CAN be done by properly constructing the whole front framework as a solid, interlocked unit.

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


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Whew. That's going to be tough without a very thick front edge... or steel.

But, it CAN be done by properly constructing the whole front framework as a solid, interlocked unit.
Can you provide an example of what that looks like?
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


This is very basic. And you could also build two matching frames, but with the joints on the opposite pieces so that no joints touched each other, and sandwich them into a double thickness.

I might make the inside frame totally out of plywood... no joints at all.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:39 AM   #5
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


Okay. Where does this attach to exactly? The surface of the plywood and then the...?

My apologies, my understanding of this kind of stuff is very lacking.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


I am picturing a 88X24 piece of plywood in a nook with walls at both sides and the back. If this is the case you what sort of walls are we looking at? Is there only walls on either side and not the back? By floating I assume you mean there is nothing at all below the plywood.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


you could use a doubled up oak 1x4 glued together to span across the front of shelf from wall to wall and then cleats around the walls (2 sides and back)to hold the shelf up. along the sidewalls you should find at least one stud per side to screw side cleats into if the depth of the shelf is 24" and/or then use a shield and anchor into the drywall.

if 1x4 is to wide for the face across the underside of the shelf rip a 1x4 in half to 1 1/2" and double it up or even make it a triple glued and nailed together to make the span.

Last edited by hand drive; 07-04-2013 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


Yes, cleats, that's what I meant (instead of U shaped support frame). There are no studs for the cleats to screw into (the framing in this room was no where near standard - I screwed the drywall to whatever was there).

Attached is a photo of the space where the desk is to go. At this point I'm open to any kind of design or build (doesn't even have to be floating or leg-less) to just get this desk installed.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


The front (finished surface) piece is wall-to-wall.
The mating inside plywood is 3/4" shorter on each end.
The red pieces are 3/4" mounting boards, glued and screwed to the side walls.
..... they will fit just BEHIND the front finished piece.

You can also mount red plywood along the back sides of the boxes.

This should give you enough to see and understand the idea.

After it's all mounted, you could cut and install a lap drawer if you choose.... but I would get it all mounted first. BTW, the average lap drawer is only 2 1/2" deep.

You can build the boxes any height you want to get the floating look.

I have this much in SketchUp format if you want me to post the file (they allow that here)

The trick of this is that you could actually just shorten a normal desk bottom, and hang it like this (if it was the right length) since desks are designed to carry that center section just fine. All you need to do is get those red side (and maybe, back) pieces well glued and screwed... that gives you a whole lot of glued surface area to support almost any kind of weight, even if you never hit one stud at all.
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs-hanging-desk-4.jpg   make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs-hanging-desk-3.jpg   make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs-hanging-desk-2.jpg   make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs-hanging-desk-1.jpg   make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs-hanging-desk-5.jpg  

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Old 07-29-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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make desk appear floating or leg-less, no studs


Looking at that picture there has to be at least three studs. Even if they are 1x4's, they still have to be there. I say that because there are three electrical boxes, which nail to a stud. If you did the drywall, you know where the stud support is, which there has to be some support, otherwise the drywall would fall. Screw cleats into what studs you have, and set the desk on top. Be warned that it may still require legs, if there is not enough studs to support the weight of the desk.

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