The Last Ham Desk Project

My new Ham radio shack desk is almost finished. I made a similar one a long time ago and it got thrown out. It was good while it lasted, but this one I think will be the last Ham radio shack desk I ever need. The depth of the desk is very important to us Hams and this one costs less than $150 to make. The entire process took a few days and I’ll show you how I did it below. After finishing in the garage, it took two of us to move into the new Ham shack.

The Last Ham Desk Specs

It’s a solid core oak door purchased from our Menards store in Pierre, SD. This is one beast of a slab weighing in at 89 lbs.

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Mastercraft® 32″ W x 80″ H x 1-3/4″ Ready-to-Finish Oak Solid Core Door Slab. I chose the 32″ x 80″ and they have a couple even deeper if you like.

Ham Radio Shack Desk Legs

There are a lot of choices out there. My first desk I just used two filing cabinets with a hollow door and that worked good. This time I chose to go with table legs and solid oak.

I got the legs from Amazon and there are many to choose from. I wanted something that looked good, held up the weight, was the right height for me and I wanted to be able to remove the legs easily.

My choice: Action Club 28″ Height Tall Adjustable Metal Office Table Furniture Leg Set Black,Set of 4. I like the way they look, but they are not as steady as I would have liked, so I am going to attach the desk to the wall. The weight won’t be a problem for the legs because they are rated for a vertical load of 220 lbs. each.

I will buy another set for an additional table.

Later I saw some other options. This looks like a good one: H28″, Rusty Design, BKH1728 Pipe Legs KIT for Writing Desk, Computer Table, H-Shape, W17″ x H28″, Pack of 2 suitable for 1 Table. I like the pipe design.

Sanding, Staining, Finishing and Wax

I won’t bore you. there are lots of videos on YouTube finishing tables.

It’s sanded using 180 then 220 grit sandpaper, a nice golden oak stain (one coat), polyurethane spray (I’ll brush next time), and paste wax.

I attached the legs after moving the desk into the new Ham shack.

More to come…

There are a couple of monitors that need mounting and I ordered monitor arms for them. This is what is coming:

I’ll drill a hole in the table to run cables and I am not sure where my CPU will go. I may mount it right underneath the desk so that I can reach the front easily. This might work:

I’ll have to reroute my coax from the old shack to the new shack and then of course move the equipment. The desk may need a shelf, but that will come later. I may be done by Christmas, HI!

Thank you

I got some good recommendations to leave room behind the desk for access and I wanted to do that, however I don’t have the room and I will need to attach the desk to the wall. I’ll attach another table making an “L” shape and it’ll have room behind it.

Thank you for subscribing to this website. I appreciate the comments, questions and suggestions. Please comment below and follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube if you have those.

Stay in touch and best 73,

Rich, K0PIR

Resources:

www.nd7j.com

YouTube Ham Shacks

Google Ham Shack Image Results

The Great Ham Radio Desk Project

Menards

Amazon

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K0PIR

I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

13 Responses

  1. Bob Smith WB6ODR says:

    The desk looks very nice and the finish is great. I would have gone with a door desk when I added the shack on to the back of the house, except, I need drawers and shelves to put my junk on. Of course my wife say, “Get rid of some of that junk!!” She has a point, but after some 50 years in the game I just can’t part with some of it.

    73

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Bob,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting. It’s coming together.

      I need some drawers too and I remember my first ham desk when I was 14yrs, had drawers. I’m going to have to do something to add some. I have some shelves closeby.

      Thanks for the reminder. Happy Holidays and best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  2. Michael Stacklin says:

    That new solid oak table looks great ! I am using an old Atwater-Kent radio cabinet from the 1920’s for my 7300 , the MFJ roller inductor tuner, the 706 for 2M SSB and on the bottom shelf where the original batteries were located, I installed the Astron metered P.S. The Swan 500C and power supply , the Drake MN-7 antenna matcher is sitting on a 55 y.o. table built to hold boat anchors back in the day.

    73, Mike W8CJJ

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Mike,

      Nice to see you here and thanks for commenting. I hope all is well.

      I had to look that up, “Atwater-Kent radio cabinet”. Now that’s a very cool idea. Very unique!

      That’s just I want, a table for boatanchors. I have an idea to add a table and make it an “L” configuration. I can have a place for boatanchors then. It’s in the plan!

      Thanks Mike, happy holidays and best 73! CUL on The Breakfast Club Net 3.973 MHz.

      Rich,K0PIR

  3. david a. mourino says:

    very insightful thank you godspeed

  4. Pat says:

    Hey Rich,

    Your new desk looks great!!! Looks like it is heavy duty.

    I have an older office desk, and keep thinking about building something new – but once I think about the effort moving everything out of a small office – I tell myself I am happy with what I have.

    Again – The Looks Great!!!!

    And Thank You for all the effort you put into your site and the great information you provide.

    73’s Pat- K7LNP

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Pat,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting.

      Yes, I know how you feel. I delayed this a long time. It finally came about because I had to do some painting and carpeting, so I thought I’d just better get it done now. I have been using a small dining room table that came from Walmart. It is 36 inches deep by 58 inches long. It’s been a good desk and I managed to put a keyboard tray under it which I like. I’ll have to post a picture of it sometime.

      Thank you again Pat, Happy Holidays and best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  5. Dennis Cornell says:

    Looks good. I will send pics when I finish the loft where the 7600 is going. Basement has a workbench and a hollow core door on two file cabinets. It is for all the boat anchors.

  6. K0PIR says:

    Nice to hear from you Dennis. Thank you and please do.

    I will be making a desk addition too for boat anchors. I’m looking for a National NC-57 if anyone has a working one in good shape.

    Rich, K0PIR

  7. Gayland Grant says:

    I done the same thing. Only I got a hold of a bunch of doors that had been took down. The side were the hole was I used that to pull some smaller wires through . Then I took another door and made the legs .

    Were the legs go I routed out a slot wide enough for the legs to fit in. Finished with a light walnut because they were close to that. Then about four coats of clear. They make fine operators desk. Strong enough to set a big amp on or what ever you want to do.

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Gaylan,

      Nice to hear from you and thanks for commenting.

      That’s a great idea and I agree, they do make a very good desk. I think I am going to do another one.

      I’m looking for some drawers to go under the one I have now.

      Thanks again, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

      73,

      Rich, K0PIR

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