Add a sliding shelf to any desk!

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With everything today that goes into a modern music studio, it can be quite a task finding spots for all those essential doodads. If you find yourself running short of space, you’ll be relieved to know that for less than 10$ in materials and a little bit of time, you can have your own sliding shelf under your desk that would be a perfect spot for computer keyboards and control surfaces.

All you need to do is head down to your home improvement center or hardware store and pick up a pair of drawer slides. These can be found anywhere from 3-15$ depending on the amount of weight they can hold, so choose accordingly based on what you plan to put on your shelf. They also come in two flavors: side mount and top mount. After that, all you’ll need is a board cut to length. Try and get a particle board shelf board, as I’ve found that unfinished wood boards usually have a warp one way or the other and they tend to twist the brackets, which prevents them from sliding smoothly.

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You’d want to use side mounts if your desk has large, flat sides and you intend to have your shelf run the full width of the desk. Top mounts would obviously be a better choice if your desk has legs! The mounts also come with included directions, should you need the help.

What I typically do is measure the height of the thickest piece of gear you want to put on the shelf and then maybe add a 1/4 or 1/2 inch to that to ensure good clearance. Taking that measurement, I then measure down from the top of the desk along the edge of the side and make a mark. I then line up the top of the bracket with that mark and I put the first screw as close to the edge of the desk as possible. I then take a level and hold it up under the bracket making sure it sits level and then I add the rest of the screws. Simply repeat for the other side.

One thing to take into consideration before you begin is how much leg room you’ll have once you’ve installed your shelf. Most desks average 32 inches or higher for the work surface, which should be adequate for drum and control surfaces or thinner keyboards. I unfortunately found out that my Ikea desk is a bit shorter than average and when coupled with my semi weighted controller, I had no leg room at all and had to sit an arms length away from the desk. The end result was that I just left the controller on top of the desk where it was originally and I removed the shelf! So that’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind..

Good luck and if you give this a try, be sure and send in your photos!

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