Desk Setup Fail

Well after 3 years of this, it looks like things are falling apart.

I had 2 WD Passport Drives and an Anker USB Hub taped to the bottom of my desk using Command tape, well…it all came crumbling down.

Not sure what happened, it was on for 3 straight years, maybe heat? maybe cold? But I now need to think of re-configuring my desk all over again.

The benefit of having them under the desk was that it freed up more room (which I used for something else). The negative lesson I learned, I didn’t have anymore available USB ports available on my desk so plugging in my SD card reader or anything that I needed for those one-off monthly or quarterly items was annoying.

I encourage two things.

  1. Any memes of my situation ‘it all came a crumbling down’ - because we all need to get a daily laugh
  2. How do you manage your desk situation?

Yes, my desk it’s messy. I was working on a heavy project in the beginning of 2022, I needed a 2nd monitor at the time, then it grew on me. I can’t imagine doing work without 2 monitors, especially when working on files or excel sheets.

Behind the 2nd monitor, there is the left JBL 305 speaker, a nintendo switch dock, and my PS5. Suggestions are greatly welcomed as you can see under my desk the passports that have fallen.

Under the desk was my Anker Hub (10 usb-port) and 2 WD Passports, one for CCC and one for Time Machine. You can never have enough backups.

How about a cable management tray? Amazon example There are lots so search for a size that works in your specific setup. Ikea has a couple options.

Another option is would be a strap that could be screwed into the bottom of the desk.

Since it’s on the underside of the desk I screw everything in. Just verify first you are using screws short enough they won’t poke through the top.

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It looks pretty good to me. Can the monitor on the left be rotated to portrait? That’s what I do and it frees up a lot of desk space. If the door on the far right is a closet, maybe you could switch out the desk top for one that is a foot wider. Basically you need more room.

Consider screwing things to the underside of your desk rather than taping them.

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Hand speakers and lights from the wall?

I would maybe get some cable clamps, with screws in replacement of the usual Nails, and “enforce” with this the durability of the Ducttape you used before, by fixing the cables in addition.
There is also a variety of trays available, you could screw under the desk, to place various items there.
Here are a few quick examples
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tray+under+desk&sprefix=tray+und%2Caps%2C167&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_2_8

You could also think about a VESA Mount, to place the left monitor above the other on.

Since I moved house last year and had to furnish from scratch, I have become a walking Ikea catalogue; it’s always nice to see an Alex desk setup :joy:

I second what others have said here, screw instead! I’d make a cable shelf/ledge/tray at the back underside of the desk. You may even find other uses for it once you have it set up! You just need to be very careful with your screws as your desktop seems not thick. If your desk has an open back there’s probably even a clamp version you could use if you don’t want to screw.

If you really don’t want to screw and clamps wouldn’t work, I’d use a heavy duty tape like 3M double-sided foam tape or even duct tape (I think you guys have a different name for that in the U.S but I don’t know what you call it? It’s the grey fibrous tape that plumbers use for sealing… ducts, pipes, etc.). The downside with these are:

  • 3M foam tape is pretty much unremovable without a lot of effort, so if you attach a hard-drive to a desk it’s going to be stuck there for a long time and will probably damage either the desk or the hard-drive when you attempt to remove the foam strip.

  • Duct tape is amazing; it’s pretty much a staple of garages over here - no self-respecting DIYer would be without it. I’ve even used it to seal a broken water butt which still doesn’t leak 6 years later! However, it will look like a bit of a hack job (since it’s under your desk you might not care), and if/when you remove it it will leave sticky residue which you might be annoyed about. (Normally I’d recommend rubbing alcohol for that, but not on IT equipment!)

If it was me I’d be looking to screw a tray in though, since you might want more gadgets soon and value that extra space!

Please no!
It gets gummy after a while, and is like a bandaid mixed with gorilla snot :slight_smile:
Gaffer’s tape is much better, and doesn’t get icky.

That would be VHB tape, my favorite tape, and it holds the skin on the Disney Concert Hall.

If you just leave them on the floor, they can’t fall. Tuck them behind your file cabinet/drawer units.
There’s also plenty of blank space on the back of your monitors if you wanted to VHB tape things to them.

:slightly_smiling_face:

Then perhaps you are familiar with these words to live by: "If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.

+1 for Gaffer Tape, too. As the saying goes: “If you can’t fix it with gaffer tape, you’re not using enough.”

P.S. Do you have WD-40 “over there?”

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Velcro - the industrial version (on Amazon or elsewhere). Much stronger than the regular consumer stuff.

Buy it in a roll and cut to fit. Mount the cushy side on the desk and you can leave it there if you later remove the drives or gear and always put something else there.

If you have to remove adhesive residue, depending on the surface, you can use isopropyl alcohol or other non-water based solvent, but test on a hidden area to see if it removes finish, paint or is safe.

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I definitely live by that first saying :joy: We do have WD-40, if your question was asking me about the backwater that is Britain. I particularly like it cleaning gardening tools. They cut so smoothly after a session with some WD-40 and some wire wool!

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This is a genius idea, I now retract all my suggestions! If you ran Velcro in a wide stripe along the whole underside of your desk (let’s say 30cm wide all along the back of the underside) you’d have so much space for adding things, with the added benefit of being able to easily remove them temporarily if needed! Absolutely brilliant idea!

starts rummaging under own desk to wonder how it can be made better with velcro

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These also work really well (they are non-polar solvents):

Goo Gone

Goof Off

But always:

I use gaffer tape all the time for photo gear. I would argue that gaffer tape, by design, is meant to be temporary and thus has very light adhesion and not suited for anything where gravity can pull it down/off.

The no or little residue of gaffer tape is excellent for temporarily taping down microphone or video cables, etc. but of little value for mounting or holding something in place relatively long term.

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This doesn’t look that bad at all for a setup that is taped. My own desktop inventions don’t have that service life!

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Thank you. I don’t get around much :slightly_smiling_face: so it’s nice to hear what goes on in other parts of the world!

Minnesota (United States) is much more the backwater (I know you’re just humoring me) than Britain as we here descend into our cold snowy hibernation period. Keep the home fires burning!

+1 for Velcro, I have several devices velcroed to the underside of my desk.

But for heavier devices I have a pair of wooden cubes on their sides acting as a ‘flat surface’ on top of which are a couple of drives, drive encloses, and my 2018 Mac mini. You could easily fit on in the space under your desk.

Next up on my to do list, cable management …

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I have one of these Ikea wire racks under my desk. It works well for USB hubs, disk drives, etc.
I think it’s called a trådställ för skithållning (translation).

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All of these are great ideas. My desk appears to be slightly smaller than yours. To retain some desk space, I have a shelf on the wall behind the monitor (which now needs to be raised since the Studio Display is taller than my previous monitor). The good sound of the display also allowed me to ditch the external speakers.

I considered mounting my Mac Studio under the desk, but in the end I opted to stack it with my scanner. This gives me easy access to front ports and the power button.

I had a hard time finding an inexpensive stand that looked nice and wasn’t too big. In the end I went with a display stand made of acrylic, purchased from a company that has a wide range of sizes and gives the thickness of the acrylic. Now my MacStudio won’t collect as much cat fur and I still can pull out the scanner when I need it.

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