Modular Desk Blocks

Adding a standardised rail for flexible desk/table/storage elements

I'm building a desk with extendable modular 'blocks'. A rails with standardised dimensions makes it possible to build up a block library, and swap in the blocks relevant for the task at hand. The rails allows building downwards in between the rails, upwards, or just flat, to seamlessly extend the desk top.

Examples of blocks:

  • soldering tools & wires block
  • built-in power outlets/sockets
  • tray of papers to read
  • drawing tools
  • monitor stand
  • robotic arm installation
  • calibrated stereo webcams
  • electronics switch panel (home automation controls)
  • built-in mini touchscreen (music control, home automation, Kanban project board)
  • upstanding cabinet (3 elevated layers of rails)
  • archive cabinets (hidden underneath the desk)
  • plants
  • lights
  • mini trash bin, or shredder
  • 9inch audio effects
  • lego plate (e.g., for fixed Lego Mindstorms installations)


I quickly built some Hello World blocks, but am just starting to explore the power of using a standard for desk, table, and storage space. The whole systems feels nice and clunky, and the raw wood makes it easy to quickly saw together new blocks without worrying too much about precision (play of ~2mm).

I've added the same rails to my storage cabinet, so blocks can be stowed away until relevant tasks or projects come up. The rails system can be added to future woodworking furniture projects. The idea is to slowly continue growing this (personal) standard of blocks, and build the ultimate flexible environment.

Specs and more block ideas can be found here:


Painting & Block with hidden wire rolls

I created a new block for wires, for electronics projects. I've attached an array of rolls with colourful wires underneath it. The wires stick through the bottom of a tray, ready to be cut but also leaving the tray useful for pieces of wire or other electronics components.

I also painted everything white. I'm using spray paint, so new blocks can be painted quickly, and without wasting paint brushes every time I add another one. The painted blocks look a little more polished, without losing too much of the quirky home-built look.


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