Friday, March 01, 2013

Reclaiming my hobby desk!

So,  a few years ago I set up my desk with the intent of doing some professional level sculpting projects.   I wanted my tools organized and accessible, but out of the way, and I needed to set it up on a zero budget using stuff I already had.

I had just moved back to my small town house from Phoenix.  And in that move the previous room mates had left alot of stuff behind when they left.   Including a decent glass topped steel framed desk that I believe is from Ikea- but I cant be sure.   Anyhow,  The rather hefty tempered glass top would be great as a work top- easy to clean,  and perfect for sculpting since you can roll your putty right onto the table top.

To organize I had some wire cube shelving I had been using as closet storage.  And while they aren't designed for supporting tools,  with some extra support from zip ties or hose clamps I figured they'd be more than sturdy enough for what I needed them to do-  and they were!  

When first set up in 2009 I only envisioned the need to support some lighting and my 2 speakers so I could listen to music and watch netflix or hulu while I painted or sculpted stuff.   A simple 4 socket power bar was plenty,  it would power a dremel, laptop and a couple lamps.

But sadly, that wonderful desk fell into disuse for almost 4 years.   Why?   Well,  thats a lengthy story that will be covered in detail in future blog articles- but the short version is that I had a rapid onset of health problems that affected my motor control in my hands(and everything else).  When sitting at a desk- and handling sharp things- and you drop a sharp thing- it falls into your legs or feet.

After dropping a large sharp thing and causing a large bloody mess- I had to accept that it was not safe to handle sharp things while sitting at my desk anymore.   So,  I gathered up the tools into boxes and did my work on the floor- where dropping things wouldnt hurt the carpet much.  And by that time I was dropping the minis quite often as well-  it was less damaging for the minis- so it just worked out better.

Now, nearly 4 years later,  the room my really nice desk sits in has mostly been used as a giant closet/catch all room.  You know the room-  the one when you dont really feel like cleaning you just put everything in there?  Ya,  that one.

So- over all this time the health problems that had me stop using the desk havent gone away,  in some ways they've gotten worse.   I've had to relearn how to paint,  how to sculpt,  and how to do alot of the little hobby things I used to take for granted.   If  I didn't already have 10 years of experience before I had these problems I dont know if I could have adapted like I have.   Not very many people have to learn how to paint  all over again, or sculpt.  But my hands just forgot how even though my brain knew.   Anyway, the desk.

Since I've adapted to the problems,  and they arent surprises anymore- I decided it was time to save the desk.  Unearth it from the monumental pile of stuff on it and around it.   I was going to take before and after pics-but the mess was truly embarassing- so the after pics of the desk are what you get ;)

One of the other reasons for digging it out- is that its actually set up really well for doing video tutorials on miniature work.   I've already rigged up a articulated camera boom thats way better than what most of the guys on youtube are using (and its something I hope I can help them fix if they are interested!) so getting close ups and using my camera can be a bit more dynamic since I don't have to stick it on a tripod and leave it.   So, to that end,  the right side is usually occupied with my laptop and camera mount leaving the middle and left side as work areas.

I'd be turning out videos already, but our good freind CenturyLink- seems to think that less than lmpbs down load and like .5 mbps upload rates with a bunch of jitter in the line is somehow 'looks fine'.   But trying to upload a video to youtube isn't getting much success right now.    So,  worst case scenario is I cant really get behind video production until after we get moved from Arizona to Tn in the next couple of months.


  1. I have been on the lookout for good work desks for miniatures. I really like yours. I would not have thought of glass for a working surface, but it would work great. You could even use the surface for a palette and just clean it up afterwards. :)
    Nice blog...


  2. That sounds like a great idea, I have never seen that done before. If you are able to paint with it and no other filters, then it must work great. Thanks for the info.Brain