Monitoring the Finish


I’m lucky enough to have two (2) big (23” inch, I think) monitors at work. Since I got them, I’ve been looking to mount them to the wall and win back the desk space (I’ll never understand why flat panel monitors or TVs are left on their bases). By getting them off the desk I can slide the laptop dock under the primary monitor. That will let me set up my secondary printer where the laptop dock used to sit. The second monitor can now be hung above the phone, getting it closer to the first for a more seamless view between them.

My desk before the monitor wall mounting began.

I began by measuring the clearance I’d need for the laptop and determining where and at what height I’d like the monitors. Then of course I took their bases off and set them aside.

Laying out the mounting holes in the board.

As the wall is a steel framed, ½” gypsum wall typical of modern light commercial construction I was not comfortable mounting the monitor arms directly to the gypsum. Since I’m locating them relative to my chair and not the wall framing, I chose to mount a wooden board to the wall first. The board can be fastened to two (2) studs and the monitor arms can be mounted to the board, independent of the stud locations. Before I installed the board, I carefully layed out and pre-drilled all of the fastener holes.

We have board mounting!

Once the board was attached to the wall studs, it was a simple matter of attached the monitor arms in the pre-drilled holes, attaching the monitors to the arms and plugging everything back in.

Everything mounted and plugged in, the first time.

Unfortunately, I realized at that point that I had installed the to edge of the board at the height I had wanted the top edge of the monitor (the board is centered on the monitor height). That’s what I get for working in my office at 1:00 am.

The eye level view when the monitors were originally mounted.

A few minutes later I had taken it all apart, re-mounted the board lower, and re-assembled everything. This time the height seems dead on. I’ll move my laptop dock and confirm that it fits another day when it’s not the middle of the night. I’ll make another board to install above the original and hide the fastener holes from my first, aborted installation.

The second, correct height, mounting.

Why regal you, my dear woodworking readers, with the tale of mounting of my monitors to the wall in my office? Because that board I used to mount the monitor arms that I can now barely see behind the monitors was my finishing experiment. I used The Wood Whisperer’s Simple Varnish Finish method to finish it, and the finish came out excellent. I’ll be folding the monitors out of the way to show the board off to my coworkers.
The beautiful mounting board, soon to be buried behind monitors.

If you’re nervous about finishing, you need to check Marc out. Between the Simple Varnish Finish DVD, the Finishing: It Ain't’ Over Till It’s Over book and the abundant finishing advice he shares in his podcasts, he is a wealth of actionable finishing advice. You owe it to yourself to check him out.

How are you finishing that project of yours?

Dyami PlotkeNon-Shop Projects