I have a small table next to my desk which I keep my wifi router, external hd and several chargers on. It has come to the point where the table is quite an eyesore in the room so I decided to try to hide some of the hardware, under the table. Not only did this work spectacularly but the equipment is hidden so well that if some one broke in they wouldn't have a clue I have this stuff (unless of course they read this).
Step 1: Table dissection 101
First off we need to take apart the table to hide the goods underneath. My table was held together using long bolts and some special brass nuts.
Step 2: Dissection 102
Because where my table was located relative to my desk, when ever I wanted to turn on my external hd I would just about fall out of my chair. I thought if I was able to add a second switch that would turn the hd on and off closer to me it would be very helpful. I took one of the cross members of the table and cut it so that I could replace the missing section with a household electrical switch. Wiring is up next...
Step 3: Switch wiring
To wire the switch in I used two regular electrical plugs and some house wire. The hd would plug into the female end of my new cable which would go to the switch then to the male plug end which went into the powerbar. The switch on the hard drive is now kept in the on position and the light switch turns it on and off.
This is also a good time to mount the powerbar. I used two screws and the slots on the underside of the powerbar. I made a template out of cardboard to find where to drill the holes for the powerbar.
Step 4: Mounting the hd
To mount the hd I used this stuff called All Round. All Round is like a long strip of flexible mechano. It can be broken at any point along it's surface and the holes are used to put screws in. This particular type of All Round has a special nylon coating which won't scratch anything. I got it at Canadian Tire.
Once I found a good place for the hd and it's power supply, I cut two strips of All Round and secured it down using some screws.
Step 5: Mounting the router
Time to place and mount the router. This is done in the same way as the power bar using screws and the slots on the underside of the router. Make sure there is enough space for the Ethernet and power cords to fit in nicely.
Step 6: Securing chargers
To secure the chargers in, I used more All Round and screws. A piece of All Round over the charger will hold it down to the power bar. Remember that the everything is going to be upside down so everything needs to be secured down well so it doesn't fall out and so you don't have to be on your back trying to put it back in.
I had my phone charger, router power supply, iPod charger (more on that later) and my macbook charger. Because I move my macbook around alot I didn't want to have it's charger fixed on the table which would require some upside down unscrewing. To solve this I put the charger under the cord for the power bar and made a tab out of All Round to hold the opposite side. To remove the charger now I just have to slide the tab over.
I added a set of All Round hoops to hold the excess cable from the macbook charger. The wire slides in and out nicely.
Step 7: The iPod charger step
Both me and my brother have an iPod and we share the same charger. This would not work out mounting the charger permentally in the table so I had to come up with another solution. My idea was to use a powered USB 2.0 hub which would charge the iPod and would also connect the hd to my computer using a long USB extender cable. The hub is held down (really up) with double sided foam tape.
Step 8: Cable management
With everything mounted all that's left is to clean up the wiring. This was done using small zip ties and several All Round hoops (see step 6).
Step 9: Finish
The bottom of the table can now be put back in place and the table turned right side up again.
The table really cleans up my work space and hides everything really well. All that is plugged into it is the cord for the power bar and the Ethernet cord for the router.