Table upgrade

Woodworking / Working material


Since I take on various tasks at my desk every day, disturbances come to my attention pretty quickly. In this case it was a metal storage compartment which I had bought at some point. These compartments are quite practical when setting up a workplace and somehow this furniture design has still managed to survive from the 80', nevertheless it turns out to be quite hindering at some point. Since storage compartments cannot be defined for an exact category, you inevitably put everything in them. We will simply make the compartments disappear and also make sure that the compartment can only be used for notes and so on. It is briefly researched in the web if one finds a reference project to which one can orient oneself, otherwise it should not be so difficult to create an own concept.


The material (storage compartment) is available, only certain tools are needed which can ideally be found in every household (or borrowed from the neighbour). Instead of a parallel vice, a simple screw clamp can also be used.

  • Metal shelves
  • Hacksaw
  • Parallel vice or Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Wood saw
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Iron file


In the first step I did a short search on the net to see if there was a similar project. On Instructables I found a reference that I could transfer 1:1 to my requirements.

The old storage compartments with disassembled supports. As you can see, I have not only used the compartments for notes or slips of paper, but also started to store my often used tool. Unfortunately, this just fills up your desk.

We clamp the workpiece in the parallel vice and saw it with the metal saw into the individual parts we require. We stick to the following simple technical drawing.

I have made a technical drawing that I will stick to. The small red/horizontal strokes are the places where I used the metal saw to make the cuts. The red diagonal/hatched pieces are the ones that are not used. Only those without hatching will be used for our conversion.

We measure the roughly sawn workpieces to a uniform length (I used 350mm) and mark them with a waterproof marker.

We select the appropriate screws and check the uniform lengths once again. If everything fits, we can start with the screwing. For small differences in length (1mm) we can also repair them with a metal file.

We screw on the first running rail under our work table, measure the approximate width with a drawer compartment and then attach the next running rail. We can leave a little play between the two rails so that the compartment does not get jammed or make annoying noises when it is pulled out.

After I had screwed on the first storage compartment, the disturbing wooden bar opens up for me. This successfully prevented the compartment from being pulled out and I had to clear the table and turn around.

On the photo the disturbing squared timber is to be recognized well.

To separate the wood in the middle from the panel, we saw it in with a small hacksaw to the right and left of the drawers.

The wood was only fisxiert with two screws and a little glue on the work table and can therefore be easily knocked off with a hammer. We repair small defects coarsely with a wooden file. You have to decide for yourself how much time you want to invest in the details. Since I consider my desk to be an object of daily use, this is a pragmatic question for me. In the end, everything will be made nice later.

The finished worktable in its previous final version. All I can do now is sort the papers into the drawers. Now I have to find another place to store my tools. If I move back a little with my office chair, I can easily take out the notes and put them back in again. It's not pretty yet, but it's practical.

We do not throw away scrap metal, but store it in a box in the cellar.


The conversion phase did not take much time and the project can also be implemented by beginners. It also helps to rethink the topic workbench, as most people (including me) tend to turn it into a filing table. There will be no follow-up function for this topic (storage compartment), since the project has now been completed. However, other documentation will be added to the working table, as this can still be optimized in some places.