Reply by clin

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Posted on Building A Desk: What to do with the bottom of the cabinets and how to cover a hole

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1121 posts in 1852 days

#1 posted 08-07-2016 06:35 PM

No matter what, I would finish the bottom edge. Very slight rounding over the edge and applying finsign would help a lot. Iron on edge banding would go a long way to.

I would however, put feet on it. You could put adjustable feet up inside the face frame and sides. So the feet are attached to the bottom. Make sure the bottom is well attached to the sides (dado for example). You could adjust the height of the feet to just hold the sides off the floor. You’d never see the gap in carpeting, and even on a wood or tile floor, you could keep the gap so small you’d never notice.

As for venting, if you are NOT using a fan to force air into the space, you need to rely on convention. In that case, you want to have an opening down low on one side, and up high on the other side. As the air warms it will flow out the top.

I would not let the warm air flow into the leg compartment (must be a name for that). It might make it uncomfortable in the summer. Though would be a plus in the winter.

You could easily put a vent down low, inside the leg compartment, it would be hardly noticeable. That would require the top vent to be on the side or probably better the back since computer usually exhaust air towards the back.

Up to you what that vent would look like. That’s a design choice. Obviously the more open the better.

Now, I would seriously consider forced air venting (putting a fan on the cabinet). Computers can draw a few hundred watts. This can really heat up a small enclosed space like this. Heat is bad, bad, bad for electronics.

I used some fans from these guys to cool the cabinet I have all my TV, XBOX, Blu-Ray player etc in. Very quiet and on a thermostat, only runs when needed.

Obliviously you can make whatever grill you want, even the fabric idea (very open weave fabric).

They have a LOT of options. I’m just showing one that they sell with a wood grill. I use ones powered by small AC-DC power supplies that have a temperature sensor input for thermostat control.

If you use a fan, you want to get cross ventilation, but if the door on the cabinet doesn’t fit tight. For example, has little bumper on the door (common on cab doors), a 1/16” gap all around the door, would be enough for the fan to draw air in. No need to add a specific intake vent. These fans don’t move a lot of air, but still way, way more than passive venting would do.

-- Clin

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