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I want to create a modern desk that also works as a shelving unit such as the one below:

The idea is that I will have a corner desk which at one end has the desk curved under the computer tower (also acts as a support) and then it bends around over to the other side of the room to the floor (support) and then every 20cm it raises by 20cm 4 times to create a holder for books and DVDs. It then curves back on itself to create a full shelf. This is repeates until it reaches almost the ceiling and then bends around the next wall opposite to the computer and stretches along the wall by a couple of meters to create further storage space (similar to at the top of the image above.

The wall at which the PC is placed is not a solid wall (ie plaster board I assume; 15cm thick) and so the support of the desk bending will be needed as well as wall supports. But the wall it bends around to is an outside wall. The long shelf wall is also an outside wall.

Is this even possible and how would I achieve it?

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I would be forever banging my head on that shelf standing up from the computer. To each his own I guess. –  KeithS Mar 5 '12 at 16:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Woodchips is correct. Bent plywood manufacturing isn't a simple process. It'd be incredibly labor intensive, and likely as expensive as buying the actual product (if it's actually a product for sale).

Perhaps you can bend a bit on your aesthetic goals. The same overall form could be made (sans-rounded corners) via flat plywood and a different types of joints. Perhaps some carefully handworked dovetails would look nice.

FWIW, that photo is a really pleasant looking desk/shelf but looks incredibly impractical. For one, you're severely limited to the size of monitor you can use and I see no real space for using a mouse.

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the photo was on a sort of "inspiration" site, that's not how I will set it out either but thanks for the ideas :) –  Cameron Mar 5 '12 at 18:31

You could possibly buy it more easily than you could make it, especially if you have no experience with building laminated forms, or the tools to do so.

IF you had those tools and the woodworking experience, that structure will still not be easily made anyway. In order to attain any stiffness with those sharp corners, it appears to be made of thin layers of wood, laminated up over a form essentially into plywood, then probably covered with a contact paper surface. You might use a tool like a veneer press in the form of a vacuum bag that would exert pressure over the entire surface.

I suppose one could cover it with a high pressure laminate too, but this was surely not done in the piece that is the subject of your picture.

Even as a strip laminated form, I'm not sure it would be terribly strong, probably breaking at the joint near the keyboard before long.

I suppose this structure could also be made of some variety of thermo-plastic, molded into that form. If so, it is nothing you could make. Or, you could do this by laminating fiberglass up into the desired form, much as a boat builder might do.

Personally, I'd suggest making an equally useful desk far more simply. Then hang a flat shelf on the wall. All done trivially, without a massive investment in tools, time, and expertise.

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