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Steps in Assembling a Sauder Computer Desk

Quick, what pops into your mind when you hear the term computer desk?

I bet most of you think of the fake wood looking desk with doors on each end. Well, that’s what I’ve assembled, and have photos of the different steps along the way.

When you visit Staples, Office Max, or any store that sells computer desks and you pick out one of these for your own use, let me first warn you, the box they are packed in are heavy! The model here — #404594 — weighs in at a mere 117 pounds. You’ll need a helper or truck dolly to get this sucker into your home.

Upon opening the box, it will immediately hit your that this won’t be a 15-minute job. Plan on setting aside 2 to 3+ hours. There are many steps and many parts and pieces that must get assembled.

Step 1 – Layout the Ends, Uprights and Bottoms

Dig through the box of pieces and find these six items and lay them on carpet (or cardboard) so not to scratch them.

The instruction manual gives each part a letter or letter/number combination and you should find either a sticker or ink imprint on the edge of each part.

Step 2 – Insert Hidden Cams and Cam Dowels

The desk is put together with cams, so insert them into each of the cam holes on the sides, uprights and bottoms.

Before inserting the cam dowels, make sure the arrow on each cam is pointed towards the outside, so the dowel can be inserted properly.

Step 3 – Fasten Drawer Runners to Ends and Uprights

Locate the proper runners (labeled) and fasten with screws into the pre-drilled holes. Take care in making sure you have the roller facing in the proper direction.

Step 4 – Fasten Ends and Uprights to Bottoms

Now, you’ll begin to feel you are making some progress. Attach the proper bottom to the correct end and upright. You’ll insert the cam dowels into the pre-drilled holes and turn the cam with a screw driver 210-degrees to tighten properly. If you only turn the cam 180-degrees, it won’t be tight enough.

Step 5 – Fasten Angle Brackets to Ends

The bases attach to angle brackets that are fastened to the ends. These bases give the bottom a finished look. Be sure the edges of the angle brackets are even with the edges of the ends.

Step 6 – Nail Veneer to Backs

To give a finished look to the rear of the desk, you’ll nail a sheet of veneer to each of the two backs.

You’ll want to make sure that you have the veneer placed on squarely, and that the holes that line up along the horizontal bottom or those nails will not fasten properly.

DAVE TIP: Start out putting the nails in only halfway until you are confident everything is square and lined up properly. Having to remove the nails once hammered home may cause cussing.

Step 7 – Fasten Ends & Uprights to the Top

Now we’re cooking with gas! It’s really starting to look like a desk — especially when you stand on your head.

Fasten the ends and uprights to the top with the hidden cams. Once again, tighten these 210-degrees.

Step 8 – Attach Modesty Panel to the Uprights

The modesty panel is attached with four black screws coming in through the sides and also to two angle brackets you’ll have to fasten through the pre-drilled holes.

Step 9 – Fasten Runner to Keyboard Shelf

Screw the runners to the keyboard shelf. Make sure to use the properly labeled runner and position the roller in the proper direction.

Step 10 – Mount the Hinges and Hinge Brackets

Because everything is pre-drilled, attaching the hinges and hinge brackets is pretty straight forward. Line up the holes and screw in tightly.

Once you have them attached, and you have mounted the doors, you will most likely have to make vertical or depth adjustments. These adjustments are rather simple and involved turning in/out the appropriate adjustment screw on the hinge or hinge bracket.

Step 11 – Assemble Drawers

The drawer sides and backs are already grooved, and to put them together involves sliding the sides onto the back. Once you have done that, slide the drawer bottom into place.

There are drawer front brackets that slide through the groves that the front of the drawer will attach too.

Step 12 – Fasten Drawer Slides and Finish Hardware

Attach the drawer slides and add the pull knobs. Then insert drawers into the unit.

The Finished Product

It may take you a long time to put this desk together, but once completed, it is all worth it.

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