IT manager's work bench

Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block Work Bench with Matching Shelf

Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block IT Work Bench

Having worked in the IT Industry myself, I can tell you that one of the lesser known problems we encounter is having enough space to work on as many systems as possible. You can only stack desktops so high before you start encountering problems! This was a problem Tyson Smith was obviously fed up with when he came up with this desk.

Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block IT Work Bench

Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block IT Work Bench

This desk was deisgned to provide maximum space, both on the surface of the desktop but also underneath, this enables him to daisy chain his systems for configuration, to troubleshoot issues or even create entire networks within a very small amount of space, not only this, but the desk itself is stylish and presentable enough to hold meetings at.

Tyson chose to use Kee Klamp fittings for a couple of reasons:

Ultimately, I chose the Kee Klamp for two reasons. Traditional threaded fittings are very cool but weren't ultimately the look I was going for. My office is more "techie" so I wanted something that looked current and not old. "Modern Industrial" if you will, vs "Vintage Industrial". The other reason was that traditional threaded fittings would have taken a much larger effort with having to thread each pipe.

Tyson touches on the main reasons why people choose Kee Klamps and Kee Lite over standard threaded tube and fittings, threading tube can sound easy enough in principle, but unless your measurements are exact, it can be tricky to get the fittings and tube to line up correctly. With Kee Klamp and Kee Lite, you simply slide the fitting into place and adjust as necessary.

How to Build the Desk

Tyson used a couple of standard fittings to create the leg system for his desk.

He relied on these four fittings:

L152-7 - 4 Hole Square Flange, 32mm (1-1/4")
L152-7 - 4 Hole Square Flange, 32mm (1-1/4")
13 x £24.53 £318.89

Tyson used these to attach to the desk. You could also use the L61-7 and achieve the same effect.

L10-7 - Single Socket Tee, 32mm (1-1/4")
L10-7 - Single Socket Tee, 32mm (1-1/4")
28 x £15.56 £435.68

These are used to connect most of the legs to the horizontal members of the desk frame. As an alternative, he could have combined the tees on the corners using the L19-7.

L26-7 - Two Socket Cross, 32mm (1-1/4")
L26-7 - Two Socket Cross, 32mm (1-1/4")
06 x £20.24 £121.44

These are used in the middle legs of each of the desks to connect the horizontal tube.

L84-7 - Malleable Plug, 32mm (1-1/4")
L84-7 - Malleable Plug, 32mm (1-1/4")
13 x £6.61 £85.93

These aluminium plugs were used on the bottom of each leg to make the desk move smoothly on the carpet. If you're putting your desk on to a hard wood or cement floor I recommend using the 133-7 plug which is plastic.

The desk is somewhat modular in nature and uses basically the same construction on all three sections. To keep the inside of the desk completely clear from obstructions, the two side desks attach directly to the main desktop.

Massive U-Shaped Butcher Block IT Work Bench

He painted the tube himself and came up with a great looking contrast between the black tube and the bright color of the aluminum fittings.

So what about the tops?

The tops are 2-1/4" maple butcher block workbench tops that I ordered online from They came with a Durakryl coating that really showed their color beautifully, but I was after a different look. I sanded for hours on end to get the old coating off and then applied some charcoal oil based stain. Once that was all wiped off and dry I put three coats of polyurethane on to protect it.

Don't Stop with a Desk

Butcher Block Shelf

Tyson didn't stop with the desk. He went on to create a shelf with leftover sections of butcher block. Using a very basic frame and some casters, he drilled holes in the butcher block to create a complimentary rolling shelf for the corner of his office.

Feeling inspired?

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