Scaffold/Tube Clamp Desk, Wardrobe and Bed

This is not my usual type of blog post, yet there is design, creativity, cursing and a little photography involved.

A few months ago I decided I wanted a bigger work/desk space so I started shopping around, I’m quite fussy and nothing really got my attention. So I thought I will build my own; after a bit of googling I settled on the idea of a scaffold/tube clamp desk with shelves. After many hours of researching other people’s designs and working out the logistics of it all, I started the design. As opposed to using CAD, I decided to draw these on isometric grid paper. (Each grid represents 10cm).

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This was my first sketch, a bit rough but the idea developed by building an attached wardrobe with interconnecting shelves…!

After a few other failed drawings, I finally got the finished designs done for both the desk and the wardrobe. My plan was to have supporting poles the same height on the right side of the desk and the left side of the wardrobe to allow for the interconnecting shelves. The beauty of this design is, that if the system is placed in another room the wooden planks can easily be shortened, or longer ones installed.

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The desk, with a proposed top shelf height of 2 meters and main desk height and depth of 70cm.

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The wardrobe, with an overall height of 2 meters to match the desk and depth of 50cm.

So with the designs done, I just needed to work out how much tubing and fittings were required. Perhaps a little overkill, but I settled for a 42.4mm diameter galvanised tube. After some checking and double checking I required about 46-metres of tubing and about 90 various tube-clamp fittings, which apart from weighting about 300kg, totalled almost £500!!

Once it was delivered, I sat about cleaning the tubing and removing any burrs, although the ends would be nestled in one of the various joints, metal burrs are quite sharp and unwanted when handling.

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My bedroom before.

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The main frame of the wardrobe completed, just need the shelves.

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This is the finished article, it was altered slightly from the original designs in terms of the shelf placement, but overall it was an interesting and great material to work with.

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The interconnecting shelves are held together with the same ‘199’ fittings.

Now, after completing this project I looked at my bed and thought ‘thats not cricket’, its got to match. So out came the isometric grid paper again and I set out to design a new double bed base. I had already built my previous bed out of pine about 14 years ago, so I already had enough wooden slats, it was just the frame I needed.

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The first draft, I ran out of room for the headboard…bugger!

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The first design, with a headboard based upon the desk fittings.

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The second design with added foot and side supports to stop the mattress sliding.

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The final design incorporating elements from both previous ideas.

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All the parts laid out and ready to go…

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The finished article.

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The two main supporting beams for the slats, these are joined to the frame with ‘Offset 9o° Crossover – 161’ fittings.

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An interesting feature of the design, is that the height is easily adjustable. Four ‘3 Way Through – 116’ fittings support the base, which can be lowered at any point, based upon the size of the stored items underneath.

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Another reclaimed office table top, it has been fixed using the same method for the desk top.

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The top two ‘Base Plate – 131’ fittings have been cut, allowing the bed to sit tighter against the wall.

Overall this has been a fun, interesting and challenging project to complete, which has produced a fantastic matching set of furniture, which through some quirky designs is very adaptable and modular, which I’m confident will last a lifetime. The total cost was about £850; looking at other design companies and installers, you can expect to pay in excess of £2500 for similar items, just hunt on Etsy for some ideas.

Thanks for looking.

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