While carving up and modifying office furniture at work is frowned upon, there’s nothing stopping you from experimenting with some home office furniture hacks. Here’s a roundup of some of the ways hackers are adding electronic relevance to everyday desks and task chairs.
USB Hub – Office Makeover Edition
From John Edgar Park comes this quick project to inset a USB hub into a wood desk (don’t try it with a glass-top desk!) It does require the use of specialized power tools, the ability to measure accurately, and good eye-hand coordination to control your Dremel. Other than that, it’s a pretty simple DIY project that shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours—including the epoxy drying time. With a flush-mounted USB hub, you won’t have to worry about knocking the hub off your desk or digging around in a drawer to find it when you need to charge a favorite device.
Forget the Hub – Go Wireless!
If you’re tired of the awful drudgery of actually plugging and unplugging those tiny USB cords, this is the project for you. The video at this link shows how to build an inductive charging station into a piece of particle board with a laminate surface. The technique is shown using a wall-mounted shelf, but the same principle works for a desk. Basically, you just disassemble a PowerMat or other induction charger, hollow out the underside of the desk, and fix the charger in place just below the surface. You’ll need to feel comfortable with using a soldering iron for this one, and you’ll need to have a basic grasp of how circuitry works so you don’t end up shorting out the device. After installation, you won’t have to sacrifice desk space for the charger or worry about knocking it off onto the floor.
Rock and Roll Office Chair
This final office furniture hack is really for gamers. It’s pretty involved and you’ll need to take apart some old speakers to get the parts. Basically, you rig up a weighted speaker on the underside of your office chair, connecting the amplifier or the hi-fi to the computer and the speaker to the hi-fi. This setup will make your office chair vibrate along with the soundtrack of whatever you’re watching on screen. Find the tutorial here at Instructables.