How to Convert Your Desk Drawer to a Keyboard Tray

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Whether you’re a freelancer or working remotely, creating an ergonomic and comfortable workspace is key to getting the job done. And one easy way to upgrade your home office is to convert your desk drawer into a keyboard tray. Get all the instructions for making this simple switch with our step-by-step guide on How to Convert Your Desk Drawer to a Keyboard Tray.

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How to Convert Your Desk Drawer to a Keyboard Tray

Consider converting the old solid wood desk into a simple sliding keyboard tray instead of throwing it out. To accommodate the tower computer, remove the right or left bottom drawers and the cross-bars between them to make a shelf, or take the tower out of the opening and put it on the ground. Insert a grommet into the drilled hole before threading the monitor cable through it in the top of the desk near its back.

You can do this by drilling a hole large enough for cords. Finish your updated computer station made from old furniture by replacing the middle drawer with a keyboard tray. An easy-to-make keyboard tray provides extra space for the keyboard, mouse, and other desk supplies. It will be perfect for your keyboard and mouse to operate and the best thing is only with this simple DIY project. 

You will definitely enjoy this guide by learning how to make a DIY keyboard tray with the right wood drawer slides, install and screw the slide underneath the desk or table. You may need to make a visit to your nearest hardware store for some of the materials or you can purchase them online.

Table of Contents

Adjustable Keyboard tray that opens up

Step 1

To ensure the keyboard shelf or tray will fit in the middle wood drawer, measure its height. It is common to find a wide, skinny old desk drawer. To ensure the middle top drawer’s height will fit properly, measure the width against the keyboard tray width.

Step 2

From the old wood desk or table, remove the top wood drawer. Pulling out a drawer with two small wheels is easier if you lift it slightly as you do so. The wood drawer can be pulled straight out if not.

Step 3

The hole should be large enough to hold the keyboard cable. Drill the hole in the back of the drawer closest to the location of the computer or desktop or laptop or any other device. Grommets protect cables from rubbing against the wood by preventing them from rubbing against the hole. The final touch completes the look. It is not necessary to complete this step if your keyboard is wireless.

Step 4

To remove the drawer face, use a reciprocating saw to cut it away. The drawer front needs to be cut away at the edge where it joins the side and bottom pieces.

Step 5

Get rid of burrs and wood chips on the edge of the cut with 80-grit sandpaper.

Step 6

You can seal and protect wood edges by applying a high-quality wood stain.

Step 7

Incorporate the keyboard tray into the drawer box by placing the drawer back on the slides. You need to feed the cable through the hole behind the drawer if there is one.

Drawer front with a drop-down mechanism

Step 1

Using a pencil, mark the location of the screw holes by holding the drawer front in place while the screw is fitted with hinges. After separating the side rails from the drawer, add two hinges or a piano hinge to the inside of the drawer bottom and face. Put wood screws into the hinges that are not long enough to go through the drawer front.

Step 2

The men’s and women’s parts of the double roller catch need to be placed on the inside drawer sides and the inside drawer front. Mark the locations. Those attached to the drawer face attach to both sides of its front edges; those attached to the drawer interior attach to both sides of its inside. The roller catches and locks the drawer front in place when you lift it up.

Step 3

Attach the male and female roller catches, along with the marked wood screws, to the inside side of the drawer and the front of the drawer. Make sure the roller catches are working correctly by closing the drawer front. Also, If necessary, shorten the screws to stop them from piercing the drawer front.

You must know: How do drawer slides work?

Drawer slides: how they work. Drawer slides work by reducing friction to allow drawers to move into and out of furniture without binding. A piece of furniture cannot have a drawer installed directly into it. The drawer slide is still able to be opened and closed, but closing it will cause friction.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I add a keyboard tray to my desk or table?

Adding a midi keyboard tray to your computer location workspace is like adding another shelf to the room if you’re working in a compact or small space. In addition to screwing, clamping, or otherwise attaching your keyboard tray to your desk, many other options are available.

How do you make a keyboard tray?

A desk drawer can be transformed into a keyboard tray by using an old one. To make sure the drawer slide can hold your keyboard, you should measure the drawer. After attaching the drawer to the slides, you can mount it under the desk or table.

What should I do if my keyboard tray needs adjusting?

A knob in the tray’s center can be rotated to adjust the tilt of the keyboard tray. You can tilt the keyboard tray upward and downward using this feature. By pulling up on the front and twisting the back of the Tray, you can adjust its height. Adjust the height to your liking.

What should I look for in a DIY keyboard tray?

The DIY keyboard tray should fit the keyboard you plan on using. It is also important to keep an eye on the surface material. In many DIY keyboard trays, the surface with which the tray interacts with the keyboard is non-slip. In order to prevent the sliding tray from sliding away or moving, tilt it.

Does the desk need a DIY keyboard tray?

As your desk surface can be adjusted, you can fine-tune monitor height and keyboard and mouse height more precisely. To ensure proper dual ergonomics, a sliding keyboard tray is all that is needed when using a standing desk.

How deep should a keyboard tray be?

For a track, you will need an area that is about 6″ wide, 11″ deep, and just over an inch thick for the mounting screws (33/4″ long). It takes 22″ of depth to mount a 21″ track fully beneath your desk when not in use if you wish to store the keyboard slide tray completely under your desk when not in use. Repetition is necessary for the other side. The keyboard shelving board should be mounted onto each side of the desk using the mounting brackets.

Remember: Ensure the wood of the desk is not split by drilling a small pilot hole.

How do you install keyboard drawer slides?

Installing a keyboard drawer slide is an easy and inexpensive way to give an existing drawer on your computer desk a customized look. The installation process can be completed at home with just a few common tools and the right hardware.

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In simple steps:

●     Drawer slides should be positioned in the correct order.

●     Slides should be installed.

●     Drawer sides should be marked.

●     Slide the extension into place.

●     Slide the drawer with the keyboard slides in place.

●     The drawer should be inserted.

●     Drawer faces should be positioned.

●     Drawer faces should be attached.

Is a desk drawer with keyboard trays better?

Any workforce can benefit greatly from adjustable keyboard trays. These provide maximum ergonomic benefits and greater levels of comfort. A keyboard tray can be beneficial to the overall usability and ergonomic function of the work center when used in conjunction with fixed height desks and stand-up desks with limited adjustment ranges. There are a number of keyboard trays, as well as individual keyboard platforms, keyboard arms, and keyboard arms from Workrite available for solutions for pretty much any application. The keyboard tray may not look cool, but it is a very useful tool for ergonomics.

Classic office furniture, keyboard trays won’t disappear any time soon. Even though they aren’t the coolest, they’re an excellent ergonomic solution that ensures proper alignment of the arms, wrists, and hands while typing.

Make Your Desk Ergonomic:

Do you have a desk that is the wrong height and makes working uncomfortable? Are your elbows too bent over with your keyboard on the desk to reach a 90-degree angle? You can save the day with a keyboard tray! With keyboard trays, an ordinary desk becomes an ergonomic work surface in an instant.

Desks with fixed heights are usually too tall for those with short legs or too short for those with long legs. The keyboard tray can be moved up and down according to the user’s height so the arms and wrists are positioned most ergonomically when using standard height desks with the adjustable keyboard arm.

You Can Fight Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Hand/Wrist Conditions

Carpal tunnel, RSI, and other wrist and hand disorders can be prevented through proper ergonomic positioning. Your hands and wrists may eventually experience discomfort if you are always reaching or bending, or if your wrists are at an angle. If it goes unchecked, the discomfort may turn into a serious issue. A dedicated keyboard tray can prevent these ailments by keeping workers well-positioned ergonomically and allowing them to change positions as fatigue sets in.

Suitable for everyone

You can adjust the keyboard tray so that it fits the body of anyone, from the shortest to the tallest. Your arms, wrists, hands can be strained if the keyboard is positioned too high or low. Fixed height desks are often the cause of this. You can make any desk work for everyone, no matter what height you are.

Identify the correct angle:

Maintaining a neutral wrist position can be achieved by angling the keyboard tray up and down. Depending on how you learn in your chair as you type, you may want to angle up your keyboard tray or angle down your keyboard tray. No matter how you angle your keyboard tray, make sure your wrists are parallel with your elbows.

DIY keyboard tray: How do you make a keyboard tray at home?

Making a keyboard tray using items you already have is one of the best DIY keyboard tray DIY projects. A desk drawer can be transformed into a keyboard tray by using it as a storage area. Only make sure it is long enough to accommodate your keyboard by measuring the drawer. Once the desk drawer is attached to the slides, it can be fastened under the desk drawer.

Is the DIY keyboard tray worth it?

What are the benefits of keyboard tray slides? That question has a straightforward answer: keyboard tray slides are not a necessity. They are, however, a good fit for preventing carpal tunnel. In spite of the ergonomic benefits of height-adjustable desks, they have their limits. In the end, you can check it by sitting at your desk.

Skip the DIY building and buy a keyboard tray

Are you struggling with putting in drawer slides and having it work perfectly? Why not buy a keyboard tray instead? These come pre-assembled and will fix most of your installation woes!