Galant

Published on August 2nd, 2011 | by Jules IKEAHacker

28

Galant Megadesk





Materials: Galant tabletops, Galant frames, A legs, T legs, Capita legs, Signum wire management

Description: I made this desk quite some time ago, so I may forget to mention a few steps. I think this is a creative way of putting together a desk as large as you need/want with an elegant shelf. I have built or assisted with 4 similar desks of varying size. This one is (by far) the biggest.

The Setup

I had a formal living room that I wanted to turn into an office. Instead of putting several desks next to eachother, I really wanted to make a Galant that would fill 3 walls of the room. That would give me plenty of room for several computers, a TV, and some room for studying, etc. I started watching craigslist and visiting the As-Is section regularly. 


The Desk
I started with 2 large rectangular Galant desks (63 x 31.5 inches) and one small extension (23 5/8 x 31.5 inches). I arranged them as a corner desk, making an L shape, with the extension on one end. I didn’t use a corner piece here because I wanted the desk on both of these walls to be 31.5 inches deep, not the 23 5/8 inches that a corner piece would have forced me into on one wall. The trick was using the right frame pieces to make it one solid desk. I used frames from a Galant corner desk and the 47 1/4 x 31.5 inch rectangular Galant, along with 2 bars from a large extension frame kit to join them together. Those frames covered the 2 large Galant desks, and I used the regular extension frame for the extension desk piece. If I used the frame as designed, it would have been too far to the back of one of the desks. I drilled my own holes in the corner frame where the two pieces of the frame bolt together. With my own holes, I had to use a nut at then end of 2 of the bolts. I also had to drill my own holes for the spots where the frame attaches to the table top, but only on one of the tables. I used T legs for the ends, and put A legs in the back of the desk where possible. If you prefer the look of the rounded corner, just put a Knos curved desk pad in the corner. It looks good and is strong enough to be used.

About a year later, I had finally acquired enough pieces to finish the rest of the desk. I used 2 corner Galant desks to complete the desk. I used one of them as a corner and I cut the other down to a 63 x 23 5/8 inch rectangle. I joined them using another set of extension bars, then joined that to my previous desk with yet another set of extension bars. I used 3 more T legs on this part of the desk. Due to the size of my room, I had to insert a 5 1/4 inch piece of scrap so the desk covered the whole wall.

The Shelf

So far I’ve described the actual desk. The part that really makes this hack-worthy is the shelf on top of the desk. I decided to use Galant desk pieces for the shelf since they look great with the desk, and I find the Lack shelves to be somewhat cheap. I used two corner Galant desk pieces and one small extension to create a shelf about 15 5/8 inches deep that covers the entire desk, except where the desk is only 23 5/8 inches deep. I think the diagram will show this much better and faster than I can write it. Simply take a Galant corner desk and cut where I have the red lines. Use Capita legs to elevate the shelf to whatever height you want, and put it on top of the desk.

I chose to have my shelf 6 inches above the desk, but the Capita legs are also available in 4 and 8 inch heights. I used 21 Capita legs due to the size of the shelf. When installing the Capita legs, use them to join multiple pieces of shelf/desk together at the joints (two screws into each piece of wood). Also make sure you place them far enough back in places where you plan on using the Knos desk pads. I have 2 corner Knos and 3 straight Knos on my desk. With the 6 inch Capita legs, I now have room under the shelf for some Kassett DVD boxes, and Kassett CD boxes.

I used 7 Signum wire managers on the underside of the desk with surge protectors zip tied to the bottom for very effective cable management.

~ Joshua, Virginia

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The Author

Jules IKEAHacker

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

28 Responses to Galant Megadesk

  1. Great job. That is one big workstation.

  2. Jenny says:

    That is one MASSIVE desk! We have something close to your orignal desk shared between two people. We choose to put it together in two pieces (which meant buying two extra legs) after we moved, because the original set up was near impossible to flip over after attaching the legs.

  3. This is a great idea that I’ll keep in mind next time i’m up for a new desk. A desk with 2 levels is great for creating that extra bit of space :)

  4. Bravo, this is extraordinarily impressive! I’m looking to do nearly this, though the Galant system seems almost too complex. Can one make J shaped desks without using the “corner” units? I’m not exactly sure how the frames work in that case.

  5. Josh says:

    Thanks for the positive comments. The shelf on top really makes the desk way more useful. I currently have 6 monitors, 1 TV, and about 16 computers in my office.

    Brian: You can make a J-shaped desk out of the Galant without using corner pieces. The pictures above show how I put the frame together. I used a corner frame to turn the corner, but I did have to drill a couple holes because the depth didn’t line up with what Ikea intended. The expensive part is having to buy a $20 extension frame just for the extension bars.

  6. Chris says:

    Josh,

    I used to have a Galant desk, but sold it! What a terrible decision.

    Anyways, I am going to build a desk configuration like your’s (which is awesome, by the way) – but Ikea’s product dimension information is very lacking.

    Would you mind sharing which “corner frame” unit that you used to bridge the 31.5″ deep desk appropriately? All of the corner units I have found on Ikea’s site are only 23 1/5″ deep at the extension point.

    Thank you very much.

    Chris, fellow Virginian

  7. Anonymous says:

    Chris,

    I believe he used a standard Galant corner frame (the same one you found on Ikea’s site: 600.568.81) which is why he had to drill new holes to get proper alignment for his 31.5″ corner extension See the part where he talks about the frame being “too far to the back of one of the desks.”

  8. jc says:

    Ikea Galant desk is hands down the best setup ever, I have I made myself a very nice setup with the Ikea galant and included custom monitor raiser and cable management all using Ikea parts. For pictures, instructions and parts check out my setup here: Best Ikea computer desk

    http://www.josenet.com/2011/09/best-ikea-computer-desk-setup.html

  9. Josh says:

    Chris,

    Anonymous is correct. I had to drill out some new holes to get the corner frame to fit the desks properly. Using the corner frame as it is intended puts the frame too far to the rear of the desk, and then the holes don’t line up to attach the frame to the desktop.

    The nice thing about drilling your own holes is that you end up using 3 bolts instead of the normal 2. I think it makes up for not using the intended spots.

    It’s tough to describe in words, but you’ll end up using a bolt in each of the 2 intended spots on the short piece of the corner frame (drilling out holes to allow it through the larger piece of frame), and then you’ll use another bolt in between those two (but you’ll use one of the intended spots on the larger frame piece and drill out the smaller frame piece). And by “intended spots” I mean the place where there is a thick washer-type piece of metal welded to the frame. You’ll need 3 washers and nuts for the end that is not in its intended spot.

    Hope that helps, or at least doesn’t confuse you more…

    Josh

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I’m not very handy, and I have a Galant desk that’s slightly too large for my new apartment. What tool(s) does one use to cut the Galant desktop? Handsaw? Circular saw? Thanks.

    • Alan says:

      You absolutely can cut the Galant desk with a hand saw with great results- carpenters used to be able to do amazing things 100s of years ago with just hand tools. Granted it will take a little longer (like maybe 10 or 15 minutes), but if you only use it once or twice a year a table saw is just in the way (and you have to buy it, set it up, and move it…).

      I used a small panel saw; I felt that the smaller teeth would damage the wood less than a large panel saw might.

      I clamped a cheap (but straight) piece of 1×4 pine along the ‘good’ side of the cut line using Irwin Quick-Grip clamps; any others would work so long as you protect the desk top. I had already added masking tape along the area to be cut, and drawn the line to be cut in pencil.

      After I was done cutting I lightly added the cut and added some Ebony stain/varnish. It’s pretty hard to tell that it wasn’t bought like that.

      My reason for cutting it was that I want a 60cm deep desk along two walls of a room, and the stock corner piece gives you a 60cm desk on one wall, and an 80cm along the other.

      Maybe I will add some photos of my own when I get a chance…

    • Alan says:

      “sanded”… I sanded the cut edge, ad added varnish.

  11. Josh says:

    I used a table saw for nice straight cuts. Cutting the Galant with a handsaw would likely yield poor results. If those are your only choices, the circular saw would be better.

    In order to get a straight cut, you can clamp a board to the desk to use as a guide (the guard of the circular saw will rest against it, NOT on top of it). I’ve read that some people also put masking tape over the area they’re cutting to cut down on splinters. Good luck.

  12. Ian says:

    Thanks Josh,

    How to build the shelf for the Galant was exactly what I was looking for! It’s a near-perfect desk that just needs some way to get a bit more height between the desk/keyboard space and monitors that need to be higher up. Much appreciated.

  13. Hey guys I’ve updated some of the pictures of my IKEA galant setup as well as instructions and parts of how i build my desk including the custom monitor riser, enjoy.

    The Most Practical IKEA Computer Desk – VIKA VEINE
    How to build the best IKEA computer desk (parts & Instructions)
    http://www.twanis.com

  14. Anonymous says:

    HELP!!! I have the same desk (love it), but the drawer unit is slightly older/different and is my current problem.
    … If something falls behind the drawers in the unit, the drawer will not shut and the others will not open. Ikea support is no help.
    Any clue on how force a drawer open or at least access the back of the drawer unit?

  15. Hank Lambert says:

    I want to build the same desk as your top picture with the top shelf like your bottom pictures where it stops on the left right after the bend. I want the main desktop to be the same deep depth on both sides, just like your top picture. My question is, how did you get the same depth on both sides with the bend in the corner for the main desk (Top Picture)?

    • Josh says:

      I used two straight pieces to make the same depth on both sides. Look at picture 3 (the diagram). I just put the “Knos Desk Pad” over the corner to make it look like a rounded corner. Luckily, the Knos is very sturdy.

      Good luck with your desk. I still love the setup.

    • Hank Lambert says:

      Thanks for your quick reply. I am a Ham Operator and have been searching for quite some time for the ultimate desk. I need at least 1 shelf at about 4″ and another at 6″. When I saw your design, I about fell over because it is exactly what I have been looking for. I plan on starting it next month after the room renovation is complete. I will post pictures when I am done.

      Thanks again!

      Hank
      KB4MTO/TA5ZC

    • Hank Lambert says:

      I went to Ikea this weekend and am creating the parts list. The rooms should be ready for the desk in two weeks. One final question; was the corner piece used for the top shelf hard to cut? I have a table saw that I can use, I just don’t want to destroy a $70.00 piece if I can avoid it.

      Thanks,

      –Hank

  16. Anonymous says:

    Josh,
    Nice job!!! I recently discovered the Galant desk strolling through the local IKEA store one day. Went out to CL and have picked six for FREE from various sellers. Booyah! Sold a couple, then saw your hack. Love it, especially the shelf. I have multiple computers in my home office like you and like the “console” look you created – being to look at multiple monitors at a glance around the “desk”, like a Data Center NOC.

    Going to warm up my power saw and draw some straight lines ;-)

    Question -
    Once you cut the desk you have a “bare” edge. How do you finish that edge for a finished/professional/store-bought look? I’m a rookie at this kind of thing but intrigued.

    Thanks

    • Josh says:

      I haven’t finished any of the rough edges. Luckily they end up facing the wall in my office. I believe hardware stores sell rolls of thin veneer that you could experiment with.

  17. Tonya Martin says:

    Have a similar project, but need to know: has anybody here successfully drilled holes in the underside of the galant desktop and successfully screwed it to the frame? The panels come with anchors glued into pre-drilled holes – would their screws hold in new holes without anchors? I want to use the L shaped frame for the narrower 23 5/8 panels and would need to drill holes in the panels to match the frame mounting points. If screws were installed in that engineered wood just once, and not removed repeatedly, would they hold or would the particleboard just disintegrate?

    • Chris says:

      Re: screw anchors

      Even though the screws have a wide thread I wouldn’t use them in the particleboard desktop without good anchors.

      When assembling my new Galant the screw anchors came loose in three of the eight holes before the screw head was even down to the bracket (one case) or snug (the other two). So I couldn’t screw it in and couldn’t screw it out. Even though the anchor was loose, when I pulled the bracket away from the table it still pulled some of the particleboard with it. This has happened to others as well, see the forums on IkeaFans. If it was a matter of putting it together once and leaving it that would be fine, but the only way to remove the legs is to remove the bracket from the desktop first, so if I move in a couple of years I’ll run the risk over again. These do have a ten-year warranty so I suppose I could just go back to Ikea.

      The design is questionable since the anchors are in countersunk holes so as the screw starts to pull against the bracket it’s actually pulling the anchor out of the hole. I should think the anchor should be flush with the hole so it can seat against the bracket.

  18. Josh says:

    I’ve done this a few times and in different ways. One way is to just pre-drill some small holes and attach the frame to the desk using some shallow (but fat) screws. You really don’t need a lot of holding power since gravity holds the desk down, so you just need to hold it from moving side to side.

    Another way is to pull out the little plastic insert pieces. Drill new holes for them and put the plastic pieces in the new holes (make sure it’s a snug fit). When you put in the screws that are intended for those plastic inserts, the plastic expands to make it tight. You might also put a dab of glue in with the plastic.

    Good luck!

  19. Anonymous says:

    i have this desk exact , same second level and what not but i also added ikea led strip lights under neath second level that light up the under part in any colour, also mines a bit bigger fits another drawer on the oppisite side.

  20. Henry says:

    Josh (if you are still out thee),

    It looks like you have a 47 1/4 x 23 5/8 desk connected to a corner desk with a single A-leg for support in the back. Is that true? How sturdy does that make the desk? Does it give in the front?

    I’m currently trying to get a desk together before they discontinue the series in October.

    • Josh says:

      Henry,

      I’m not sure whether the A leg was necessary, but I had an extra and figured it would provide more support than nothing at all. I didn’t want to put a T leg in that spot because I needed the front open. I also put another A leg very near a T leg. Basically I attached an A leg to any unused leg mounts on the frame.

      It does not give in the front unless I’m trying to do squats from it, but this was also a concern of mine. You can always try it out but I think it’s sturdy enough.

      It’s a shame they’re discontinuing this series. It’s the perfect desk series, IMO. I’ve done 4 more of these desks for relatives.

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