The Digitiser Desk

This is the process of building the Digitiser desk, as documented on Twitter, where we were connected with Paul Rose, AKA @Mr Biffo, by a mutual follower. We produced concept models at three price points, from which Paul chose one for the desk, with the logo panel from another. Read on to see how we put it all together:

Getting underway with a big pallet wood and LED desk project!  One day (soon) I’m gonna need a bigger workshop! I bent some 22mm copper while @SueArcher6 sorted the pallet wood I thicknessed earlier, and made some parts up.

I hate MDF. But often it is the most appropriate material to use. Three sections of curved desktop cut out while @SueArcher6 makes old wood look older with the first of many layers of paint effects.


Don’t steal the blue pallets, folks, they belong to @CHEP. We make our own for the effect!

Sue paints strips of pallet wood with blue paint

Marking out a rectangle on a curved edge board always makes it look wrong. Many checks to be sure. Then drilling accurate perpendicular holes with vintage @StanleyBlkDeckr drill press.

Bandsawing and painting the client’s logo.

When you have one of those stupid ideas for accurate location of two loose boards and you really hope it works in reality!

Well, the stupid idea seems to work! Table legs are Ikea ‘Olov’, adjustable from 600mm to 900mm.

.@SueArcher6 had a repeat of the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ thing, last seen while painting pavements at @WestApproaches.

tubs of paint partially hide the letters painted matt grey

This is the problem when @RSComponents only give external dimensions for their enclosures. A bit of cutting out was needed. Love their quick delivery though.

@SueArcher6 making ‘burnt pallets’, without any heat or flames. Our workshop is looking more and more like one of @donttrythis one day builds!

LED power supplies boxed, switched, and fused. Ready to install under the desk. Been a busy afternoon with a mechanical call out, and a failed extension lead.

Oh look! Another project just arrived in the workshop. A #BoomBike on a @larryvsharry Bullitt for @McrBikeHire.

Sue working at the bench, with a cargo bike also on the bench top

Didn’t get many progress photos today but @SueArcher6 paints a mean bit of riveted ‘rusty’ boiler plate! Still work in progress though.

letter painted to resemble rusty metal with rivets

A little home made driver, from the end of a broom handle, for when you have 30+ screw eyes to wind in.

It’s ok, @SueArcher6 is just researching verdigris for paint effects.

Sue watching something on her phone, photographed through a bike wheel

@SueArcher6 and Fifty Shades of, errr, Oxidation?

Adding timber to stiffen the desktop around the hatch, and applying a laminated skirt to the front edge.

Using my Map gas torch to heat colour the copper tube, adding patina prior to verdigris paint effects.

Rust and verdigris..

close up of rust effect letters inside a verdigris effect copper pipe frame

Spent a long Sunday afternoon using foil tape, LEDs, and a soldering iron. Logo wired up and assembled.

Back lighting works! Now to tidy and secure the spaghetti ‘behind the scenes’.

Under desk lighting installed and working. I’m really liking that grey now that it has a matt varnish on it.

Sewing today. Who the heck undid all the top thread tension on the sewing machine? Probably Dad! 400gsm Cordura hemmed, velcroed, tabbed, and hooked.

Down lighting.

looking up at the strip of LED lights under the desktop

The desk is a little too big for the free space left in the workshop so we could only set up two sections at a time. Right end and centre, and left end and centre.

The illuminated logo was hung onto the centre section of the desk. Then we noticed that back lighting didn’t work on the letter ‘i’ as it was only a painted gap. The ‘i’s came back out and were modified to include a space to let light through.

the digitiser logo illuminated

The desk was then flat packed, one of the client’s requirements, ready for collection. However, that didn’t happen due to client time constraints. So we did a mad rush drive to London to deliver. Our first sight of the complete desk on @mrbiffo‘s garden decking.

the desk seen from the front

And here it is in front of the cameras. You can see how it compares to the mix of two of the models we made.

The cast of Digitiser sit behind the desk on set

We were really pleased with it, and with the client’s delighted reaction!

You can watch the desk in action here on the Digitiser 2000 YouTube channel.

Thank you @Chompworks for recommending us for this project!