I have an old office desk which has this design, only colour is different:

enter image description here

I wish that I augment the design my adding support to this design. The discussion is how to add the support and not if support should be added.

I intend to add beams, this diagram shows where they will connect. The horizontal beams shall connect the vertical metal bars together. The support added via the screws in the wood is basically nothing. There is no thead in the holes in the wood as it has been screwed and unscrewed many times, that is why I want to add beams.

enter image description here

Once the beams are added, they will need to be connected together for extra support. This shall look like this (looking down from top):

enter image description here

Now my question is, who do I contact to manufacture the required size and nature beams? How much could it cost? I live in the UK.

I really wish I could design my own work from home desk.

  • Cost is very specifically off-topic, since it varies too much with time and location, so remove that question. A metal fabricator or weldor would be the sort of shop you're looking for. If the wood is effectively useless, replacing the wood with non-useless wood would be easier. In any case, you'll need X bracing if you want your added metal to be of much help. New plywood would do the bracing and the screw-holding, both.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 19 at 14:43
  • 2
    What is the material of the top? If it's particle board (which I suspect) you're going to have the same problem with screws not working long term. A better way would be to screw from the top down into the metal but then you would see the holes. I would go to a local metal supplier and have them cut some tubing for you, most metal yards (at least in the US) will make cuts for an extra buck or two.
    – icurays1
    Jan 19 at 14:44
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    It would be at least 500 quid cheaper to either fill the existing holes so they support the structure again, or just run some countersunk bolts right through the desktop. The logistics of trying to order what is essentially a prototype, with no accurate drawings would be a nightmare. Usually anything like this is prototyped first before committing to the run. With a run of one, all your costs are in the up-front.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 19 at 14:45
  • I am willing to find a work around. How do I fill the existing holes so the screws can connect again?
    – quantum231
    Jan 19 at 14:47
  • The top is chip-wood.
    – quantum231
    Jan 19 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


If I understand your goal, it is to bind the outer legs more strongly towards the corner leg because the wood is no longer doing that.

You could achieve this easily and cheaply with steel wire strung between the legs. Just cheap picture wire would do! Drill holes in the legs and pull the wire tight with nuts and bolts. If you want to get fancy you could use turnbuckles but that is probably unnecessary and would more than double the material cost. Run the cables behind the rear panels so they won't be visible.

Another approach, if the screws are no longer holding the legs to the rear panels, would be to drill the panels to insert cross-dowel-nuts, then replace the screws with bolts into the nuts. These will last longer in chipboard than screws.

cross dowel nut

  • so what you mean is to use, really thick steel wire?
    – quantum231
    Jan 19 at 15:08
  • 1
    Shouldn't have to be very thick. The wire isn't carrying the weight of the desk, just stabilizing it.
    – keshlam
    Jan 19 at 15:20
  • Not thick. Anything. You could use pipe strap. It's just pulling the legs in towards the rear panels, not supporting weight.
    – jay613
    Jan 19 at 15:39
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    Anything that doesn't stretch. You could use nylon cam straps, shipping straps, phone/ethernet cable, etc if you have those lying around.
    – jay613
    Jan 19 at 16:16
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    Might not want to use the Ethernet cable that's actually connecting the desktop machine to the network, though. Could be hazardous to the bit's health... :)
    – FreeMan
    Jan 19 at 18:18

There is no thead in the holes in the wood as it has been screwed and unscrewed many times, that is why I want to add beams.

You can use threaded inserts in that case. Or drill out the hole and glue in a dowel to create some fresh wood to cut new threads in.

If you instead go for wire to pull the legs together you don't need super thick wire, because you don't need that much strength there.

  • Threaded inserts, epoxied in, are the only option for repeated insertion/removal of screws in chipboard.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 19 at 15:26

Drill new holes through the metal legs and add new screws through the holes into the top. Be sure the screws are long enough to go through the metal, but short enough that they don't go all the way through the wood desk top. Don't know what they have in the UK but here in the US Teck screws would be my choice. screws ( example of the type of screw. NOT the suggested size.)

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