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I'm using an IKEA Linmon plywood table 150x75 as a desk and the monitor stand I've been using did this at some point over the weekend.

Looking for a cheap fix to help keep the structure of the table. As it is just my desk doesn't need to be pretty, especially if I could move the stand back over it.

table hole

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    If you look closely, that's not plywood. That's corrugated cardboard. You can't fix that, but you can cover it with something stronger, like Solar Mike suggests. – computercarguy Jan 25 at 22:53
  • you could fill the hole with something solid. Concrete comes to mind, but clay, epoxy, paper mache, a stack of wood laminates, etc can all work fine. – dandavis Jan 25 at 23:24
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    I suspect concrete would risk punching through the other side. – Journeyman Geek Jan 26 at 7:06
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    @computercarguy the top skin is sometimes ply, though that looks more like MDF as used on the plain colour versions. It's 3mm thick I think from when I got rid of one and was curious about the construction. The bottom is probably MDF, and the inside honeycomb cardboard. Rather like most modern interior doors in fact. – Chris H Jan 26 at 8:44
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    @ChrisH Most usually it is some kind of vinyl wood-lookalike ply glued to a thin mdf pressed board (to give it a very slight "woodness"). To author; furniture and boards like these are made supercheap. It might be cheaper to buy new than to buy the items necessary for its repair - if you live close to the IKEA you could also possibly ask for a replacement top board. – Stian Yttervik Jan 26 at 9:15
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Get a piece of ply bigger than the hole (at least 2 or 3 times the size and use it to spread the load.

If the clamping side is also small then another spreader may be a good idea.

There was a similar question like this previously...

See Best way to spread load on monitor clamp

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If you want to be slightly decorative you could try something like this...

Start with an aluminum cake pan, maybe 8" diameter (or larger?) With a removable bottom; example:

enter image description here

You only need the bottom.

Bend the circular bottom twice with e.g., a vice, or using clamps & a block of wood (*), so that it carefully will slide over the thickness of the table top, and look like this:

enter image description here

Spray paint it black.

Slide this over the hole.

Clamp the monitor to it.

Now it will reinforce the hole and may actually look good or even like it is part of the monitor stand.

Being thin metal it won't get in the way of other objects.


(*) a metal 'brake' would be ideal

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    Short of patching the hole, I think this is a good solution, simple. It could be anything , steal, aluminum, wood. The bigger/wider the footprint the better, you want it to spread out far enough to be over the ribbing supports inside the hollow core. +1 for "Being thin metal it won't get in the way of other objects" – Alaska Man Jan 26 at 18:05
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    @AlaskaMan - "It could be anything , steal, " - wouldn't you have to commit robbery to get that? – Michael Harvey Jan 27 at 13:40
  • @StayOnTarget Have you factored in the consequences when that partner finds the "best" cake pan missing ? :) – Solar Mike Jan 27 at 14:28
  • @SolarMike ha ha ha I should edit it to say "buy a new cake pan..." – StayOnTarget Jan 27 at 14:28
  • @StayOnTarget yes, I've been caught in the past - vacuum cleaner not cleaned etc etc :) – Solar Mike Jan 27 at 14:30
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I know its not a fix as such, but its probably not worth going out your way to fix this issue, The desk in question is very cheap and a new top can be purchased for as a little as £6.

https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/linnmon-table-top-white-00251135/

Despite being honeycomb particleboard these tops are suprisingly strong so im suprised your mount managed to make such a hole. I also have a monitor mounts with 2 monitors on it on this top and its held up fine for over 3 years now.

EDIT: As David Wheatly said for your size it would be £29.https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/linnmon-table-top-black-brown-10251352/

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  • Not for the size that they currently have (£29). The edge facades of mine have begun to stop being stuck to the interior frame, and mine has sections where you can clearly see the cardboard interior. I really don't want one of these again. – David Wheatley Jan 26 at 11:21
  • @DavidWheatley Thats very true, Apologies i did not see the size when i first read the question. – GamerGypps Jan 26 at 11:23
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    Still, for the price, these are basically disposable items. – FreeMan Jan 26 at 12:07
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    @DavidWheatley Or for only about twice that price, you can get an actual wood tabletop about that size that will last for decades. – Darrel Hoffman Jan 26 at 15:15
  • @DarrelHoffman I can really recommend the LILLTRASK work surfaces. Not real wood, but solid, and incredibly tough. Check out this LILLTRÄSK from IKEA. Here’s a little more information: ingka.page.link/ra75X7SdEd8sxqDj6. It’s even a bit longer than the one OP is using – Tim Jan 26 at 23:07
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enter image description here

Enlarge your hole to a minimal rectangle with square corners that meets the edge of the desk's frame. Cut a block of wood to match the indicated hole. Glue it to the wood frame (marked in green), and to the (interior) bottom of the desk if it's smooth enough. Run screws as indicated in the picture, so that they pierce through the wood frame and the block. Pre-drill holes if possible. After the glue dries, use the monitor mount clamp over the repaired section to avoid making another hole.

If there is no identifiable wood frame, don't attempt this.

Many hardware stores that will cut lumber for you will also sell partial pieces at a steep discount (or free).

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    Agree. I'm assuming absolute minimal tools available from the question's framing... So make the hole rectangular by scoring it repeatedly (first very gently then progressively deeper) with a simple boxcutter / 'snap off' blade you run along some hard flat straightedge. If you have a handsaw and are in a typical city, you'll find suitable wood along the road in skips or near communal bins. – user3445853 Jan 28 at 12:19
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Based on "Cheap Fix", I would obtain three pieces of timber:

  1. piece exactly as thick as the desk, which will go inside where the cardboard is. Size should be at least 2 inches square, but not so big you can't get it in the D-shaped hole. This will act as packing and will not be visible.
  2. short planks of pine or customwood or plywood. The top one will be seen, so its up to you if you want to stain or paint it. Thickness should be 1/2" to 3/4" (12-18mm) with a depth of 3" to 6" (150mm to 300mm) and a length of 12" or 300mm.

Pop the lid up so you can access inside the hole. Clean out the cardboard packing that is in the way.

Fit the packing piece inside the D, and lower the "lid" You might choose to glue it down with wood glue, and to the back frame if possible. Clamp while glue dries.

Put one board across the top and one underneath. Use your monitor clamp to hold both together. You should be able to crank down on the winder underneath because the compression is squashing on your packing piece in the middle.


Right now you're at risk from your monitor stand doing the same further along the desk.

Also, having the monitor arms stretching toward you will also increase the pressure on the desk.


Your other somewhat-cheap option is to put a new board on top of the entire desk surface. 18-25mm customwood is cheap.

Heck if you find a nice top, you could simply move the legs over from your existing desk, and have something that isn't made of cardboard.

Aside - never stand on this desk, if it can't take a monitor it can't hold a person.

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    You'd be surprised how much weight these can take. I've stood on one before, probably when I was over 90kg. It's the pressure that counts rather than the total weight and I don't wear stiletto heels. I suspect that monitor stand got a knock at some point and the leverage caused the edge to dig in. The one in the pic might be MDF, mine was ply on top (natural beech outer veneer) so would have been slightly stronger; anyway this isn't a recommendation to use it as a step – Chris H Jan 26 at 8:41
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Either a 12"x12" or an 8"x16" sheet of 14 gauge steel or 10 gauge aluminum. Also a similar sized piece of at least 1/2" plywood.

Use masking tape to cordon off an area of the table 1/4" on each edge smaller than the sheet of steel. With a 120 grit block sander, sand up that area so the surface is rough. Do the same thing on the underside, and also on the sheet of plywood.

On the steel or aluminum, identify a "pretty side" and flip it over. On the un-pretty side, roughen the surface - lots of microscopic hills and valleys - using #36 sandpaper, light touch with a grinding wheel, whatever you've got.

Peel the original masking tape and re-mask an area just exactly the size of the sheet of metal. Mix up the slowest epoxy that the hardware store has, and coat the rough side of the sheet of steel and the desk surface. Set the steel there. Do the same thing with the plywood on the bottom, then clamp with wood clamps. We want there to be no voids between steel, desk, desk and plywood. The point of gluing is to assure that pressure is spread.

When the epoxy gets rubbery but before it cures hard, use an exacto knife to cut away any excess and peel off the masking tape. If you wait til hard cure, you'll never get it up.

Remove clamps. Mount up your stand!

Why are we using metal up top and plywood below? Aesthetics. Plywood up top would be fine if you wanted a huge bump on your desk.

Why a brutish #14Fe/#10Al sheet (Humvee frame) instead of a pie tin? To spread lateral force instead of dent. If you were capable of bending it without a metal brake, then so is your monitor clamp, which means it will still inflict point forces on the desk surface and will still collapse it!

Why so darn BIG? Because you need to engage quite a large area given the finite compression per square inch of the cardboard honeycomb. We also need to span quite a ways away from the damaged area to get enough good material to do the job.

Why not just repair the damaged area? Because that's a bunch of fidgety dental work, and I'm guessing you already think the above is too much work.

Won't the steel, epoxy and plywood cost more than the whole £29 table top? Why yes, yes it will. The question is whether it'll cost more than a table top made to clamp monitor stands!

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Simplest fix of all - get Expanding Foam Filler, a good enough one to give a solid base, and a sheet of thick cardboard plus some clingfilm / saren wrap for the top.

  1. Cut the broken bit of top out using a sharp knife, try to keep it in one piece (though only for a semi-decent look.

  2. Pull out some of the filling to make a nice empty hole behind the still-ok bits.

  3. Cover the thick cardboard with the plastic wrap (bottom side is needed, but that stuff can be easier to just wrap around).

  4. Spray the foam into the space, and make sure that it's starting to expand. Before it reaches over the top of the hole put the old piece on top (you want it to have more than enough foam that it would otherwise want to come out the gap - feel free to experiment).

  5. Put the thick cardboard on top, plastic side down, then put the monitor clamp over it and tighten it down so it's flat on the top.

  6. You can leave it here, but the reason for the cardboard and wrap is simply so when it's set you can take the clamp off, take the cardboard off, and then peel the wrap off - with the black desk some paint / ink will make the edge a lot less obvious.

This isn't the strongest fix (definitely wants one of the wood ones if someone pushes the monitor forwards again) - but it should be good enough - and using a larger plate underneath the monitor clamp could spread the force more if that is a risk (I have big cats, they destroyed one monitor here before I clamped it to my desk!)

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    Spray foam isn't all that cheap. – chasly - supports Monica Jan 27 at 15:46
  • I can find it from about £5 - so not the cheapest, but definitely one of the easiest (cutting wood etc also needs tools - so nothing is perfect for cost) ;-) – Rycochet Jan 27 at 17:27
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Why not get your local merchant to cut a sheet of 6mm mdf to the size of the desk top and glue it on, apply mdf sealer and paint/colour to your preference?

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