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I have a largely jerryrigged desk - its a particleboard table top that's sitting on a pair of metal A frame trestle legs. I recently got a 27 inch monitor and the weight of it is causing the desk to sag. Its an inch thick particleboard that used to have a pair of I frame and a board across it.

I don't have a wood shop or a machine shop so reinforcing the desk is unlikely. How would I keep this from happening in future? Would adding a single table leg be enough or should I add another trestle help? Would having a even wider base for the monitor help spread the load?

5 Answers 5


You can move the monitor so as it stays right above another leg, though, depending on the construction of the leg, it may be not enough place for your legs.

Personally I also have a deck, but mine monitor is attached to the wall via the "robo arm".


Depending on if you can find/buy any materials, you could add some metal/wood rails between the trestles to support the weight of the desk.

Essentially you need to distribute the load and cross pieces could serve.

Extremely crude drawing:

======desk surface=======

|--------support beam----------|

/\<-----------trestles --------->/\

------- A possible way to build supports: -------

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Color key: red=particle board tabletop, black=2x4 support beams, green=trestles, orange=lag bolts or screws


A single table leg might be too rickety; the cross section is too small. But if you use a 10" or 12" wide board, standing on end directly under the monitor's base, I think that would do the trick! You can stand it up parallel to the sides of the desk, or parallel to the front & back of the desk. Just make sure it's exactly the height of the trestles.

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  • @Minnow Your "drawings" completely got the point across though! :) Nov 17, 2015 at 17:43

Whilst the best option would be to add cross bars across the entire length above the trestle legs, you could also opt for stiffening the particleboard table top in between the legs.

This can be done by attaching a board along the back edge of the table. The higher the board the better. Something like a 2.5cm x 7.5cm (2'' x 3'') should suffice, and be easy enough to fasten through the table with multiple screws. (Note that higher part should go downwards, as in the beautiful ascii art below which is viewed from the side of desk)

                            B      B - Support beam
(+1 for ascii art)          B

Such an extra support beam will stiffen the table top a lot, and I've used this often to stiffen either tables tops or shelves.

  • 1
    +1 for making the drawings in my answer not the only ascii.
    – Minnow
    Nov 17, 2015 at 17:24

Don't spend another penny or a minute's time trying to save anything made of particle board. It can't carry a load even if reinforced.

Save the trestles and substitute a sheet of plywood or put the sheet of plywood on the particle board (after you turn the particle board over).

Use a minimum of 5/8" / 16mm thickness.

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