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I have prepared a 7.5 ft x 2.5 ft piece of monkeypod wood that is approximately 2 inches thick. It will serve as a computer desk. The heaviest object on it will be my desktop tower (~25-30 lbs). You can see pictures below of the wood and the legs.

How do I decide where to place the legs? Ideally, they would be at the very ends because that gives the most leg room underneath. But I don't want the table to sag in the middle or eventually break over time. Should I move the legs in from the edges and if so by how much?

Monkey pod desk top

Legs

  • I don't know that there's published data on monkeypod wood that would allow for a really decent estimate of sag potential here, but ~2" is really very thick. Even in fairly meh wood like pine this makes for a pretty stiff panel. And ~30lb isn't an excessive load (when I do rough calcs of sag for Answers I usually enter a 100lb central load as a worst-case scenario). My gut feeling is this will be totally fine with the legs placed pretty much as the sawhorses. But probably best to test empirically for peace of mind — weight the centre with much more than the expected load and measure the sag. – Graphus Jun 8 at 7:21
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    Before I posted the above I didn't check the Sagulator. Plugging in the rough numbers for where I think you might place the legs (giving an unsupported and unreinforced span of 6 feet) in fir, spruce and even pine, and more than doubling the load gives an answer of Acceptable (which understates it, because the expected sag is next to zero). So, uh, yeah, go for it! – Graphus Jun 8 at 7:39
  • Thanks for your help! So you're saying go for it as in it's very likely ok to just put the legs at the ends? – Dylan Russell Jun 8 at 7:47
  • I plugged in data for an unsupported and unreinforced span of 6 feet, more than doubled the load and the sag in some cases was literally zero. If you want a full 7.5' unsupported span go to the Sagulator and plug in some numbers, selecting various woods, and see what you think of the results. – Graphus Jun 8 at 8:02
  • Bear in mind that at some point you, or one of your friends/family/etc. may put a cheek on the desk and use it for a chair. You may want to use the Sagulator to test for a 200 lb single point load, just to be sure. Also, you may want to consider racking forces, in case someone leans on/bumps into the end of the desk. I really like those legs, and with and top, and I think they'll make a good looking desk - I'd just hate to see the whole thing crumple sideways. – FreeMan Jun 8 at 18:22

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