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I have an Uplift standing desk and an Isobar 6-outlet surge protector. The surge protector is currently sitting on top of the desk, but I'd like to mount it somewhere under the desk to save space, and because it looks ugly.

Conveniently, the surge protector has 4 keyhole slots on the back for mourning. Less conveniently, the slots are directly under the body of the surge protector. That means I can't do the easiest thing, which would be to mount the surge protector upside down on the underside of the desktop.

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I need gravity's help to keep the keyholes engaged on the screw heads, so the surge protector must be mounted vertically (at a 90° angle to the desk). That's pretty easy with a spare piece of plywood, but now I need a way to attach the plywood to the desk.

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The desk frame has pre-tapped holes to use with optional accessories, and it even came with a couple brackets—great! I found some D-shaped shackles I thought would work perfectly, and they almost do, except that the ears/lugs are slightly too fat to fit through the hole in the bracket.

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Maybe I could use a swivel hook or some chain to attach the shackle to the bracket, but then the board is hanging further down and swinging around. I thought about bolting the board directly to the bracket, but then I'd have to drill holes closer to the edge of the board, and there'd only be about 1/2" between the hole and the edge (maybe that's fine).

Am I missing an obvious solution? If there's nothing better, I'll probably give it a go with bolting the board straight to the bracket.

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  • For the weight, a 1/2 inch from the edge is probably plenty, but it seems you might have an inch or two to the bottom of the desk to play with.
    – crip659
    May 24, 2023 at 19:58

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Drive four screws, appropriately placed, tight enough for the slots to just barely slip around. Friction may then be enough to hold the box in place. If that isn't good enough for you, drive one more screw along the center of the side to prevent it from sliding back off.

Gravity isn't the only way to hold things in place.

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  • If you go with this solution put Curved Disk Springs under the screws before sliding on the power bar. Then you might not need the final screw to lock it in place.
    – jay613
    May 24, 2023 at 20:45
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    5 screws, they probably have. Making it a "hunt down special hardware" job is fine if you have a box of 98 becasue you needed two and bought 100, but silly if you own 5 screws right now. Particularly given that these things are rarely loose enough to slide without pounding on them with only 4 screws. To state what isn't stated explicitly, you can, of course, do this on the bottom of the desk where the OP claimed to want to do it but thought they couldn't.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 24, 2023 at 20:50
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    I think the fifth screw to prevent side-to-side movement is the part I was missing.
    – Matt Jacob
    May 24, 2023 at 22:29
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Mounting vertically as you propose has the significant advantage that phone chargers and other heavy loose-fitting PSUs won't need to be strapped on.

To use the ready-made holes in your rails, take one of the screws that came with the desk (with those black brackets) to a hardware store, and buy longer ones with identical threads. Drill through the wood and mount the wood directly with your longer screws.

Alternately use L-brackets to mount the wood to the bottom of the desk.

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  • Vertical mounting has obvious advantages, as you say. Most plugs are designed to plug into a wall, not a ceiling. The hard part is finding M8 screws of the correct length locally.
    – Matt Jacob
    May 24, 2023 at 22:31
  • Oh well if you know the thread size you can get long ones on line easily.
    – jay613
    May 25, 2023 at 0:18
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To mount to the bottom of the desk if that is what you prefer, use bolts and nuts with built-in lock washers to mount some 2-inch straight brackets to the thing sticking out the side just enough to screw them to the desk. Bonus: You don't have to measure anything precisely.

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As for keeping the Isobar on the plywood, use the usual 2-4 screws as intended, and after it's slid on, add a screw to pin it so it can't slip out.

You're looking at the shackles upside-down. You drilled the holes in the plywood for the shackle pin and left getting the other end of the shackle attached, up to fate. Don't leave things to fate. Size the plywood holes for the shackle not the pin. Use the pin through the desk holes. Or use smaller shackles.

Or if you don't want the plywood swinging back and forth, use a "bolt and nut" through the plywood through the hole. Nice big washer on the plywood side.

By the way, if you're one of those people who is biologically compelled to only shop at big-box stores, then "maker stuff" like this is not for you. You would be extremely impeded because everything is in barcoded plastic bags and at extreme cost (cost of bagging, barcoding and uneducated person handling, necessitates a price of at least $1.25 a bag, so they give you multiple bolts or nuts to make that price seem less outrageous).

A basic staple of such "making" is an old school hardware store, or at least Tractor Supply, where they have bins and bins of random hardware you can actually touch and test-fit, and that cost 4-30 cents a fastener, u-bag-it and on the honor system. Tractor Supply sells it by the pound.

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You don't need gravity to keep the Isobar in place. Mount the Isobar to the plywood in your preferred orientation with four screws through the keyholes in the mounting feet. Add another screw in the plywood adjacent to each of the two mounting feet to prevent the Isobar from sliding off the keyhole screws.

Mount the plywood to the desk using two (or more) bolts through the pre-tapped holes in the frame. You may need to remove one or both of the existing brackets to free up enough space.

That will give you a solid mounting with a minimum of "dangle" below the desktop.

Alternatively, if you are willing to drill holes in the bottom of the desk you can use 4 keyhole + 2 blocking screws to mount and lock the Isobar with the receptacles facing down. That will leave wall warts dangling and may require some additional creativity to restrain them. Since the Isobar sits away from the mounting surface you can thread hook-and-loop straps around the Isobar and wall warts to keep things in place.

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