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Monitor Bridge
copyright 2005

Slide-Forward Monitor Bridge

Some people with visual challenges need their computer monitor pulled up very close. While other members of their households need the monitor much farther back. This Slide-Forward Monitor Bridge lets you pull the monitor forward very easily and put it back when you have finished.

This bridge uses heavy duty drawer slides in a easy to build platform. I is made from easy to obtain materials and can be build by anyone who does fix-up around the house for less than $60.00.

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  1. Download the Detailed Drawings

  2. This design has two sketches which will print-out with these construction notes. If the sketches are not clear enough, send in this little freebie form.

    Rockler order link to first page
  3. Bridge Construction

  4. You can make this bridge by:

    1. Print Out this text and illustrations.
    2. Study this information and locate the materials.
    3. Decide on size of bridge you need.
    4. Purchase local materials.
    5. Cut out the pieces.
    6. Assemble the bridge
    7. Finish all pieces
    8. Reassemble and install the monitor.
  5. Discussion of Illustrations

    These notes should help understand the photos and sketches more fully.

    1. Monitor Bridge, Three Views (above)

      The sketch above show three views of the Slide-Forward Monitor Bridge. Note that this bridge is clamped firmly to the desk at the back and that the monitor can move forward at least 14 inches.

      Bridge Parts
    2. Monitor Bridge, Parts, Sketch #2

      This sketch shows all the parts of the bridge. These are the bridge, the back cross piece, two drawer slide mounts, two sides, two braces, four monitor positioners, and one handle. The top is of .5 in. plywood. The sides and back piece are of 1-by wood. The small parts are of .75 inch molding or quarter-round.

    Rockler order link to first page
  6. Materials

    The Monitor Bridge is made from a piece of fir plywood,a few pieces of pine, and a pair of heavy duty drawer slides.


    1/2-Inch Hardwood Plywood

    You will probably have to purchase a least a 48 x 24 inch sheet if you do not have a piece of scrap on hand.


    If you have access to a a table saw or radial-arm saw, you can cut all the molding from scrap hardwood and save money. If you do not have access to a shop saw, you may make the bridge completely out of dimensioned lumber and molding using only hand tools.


    The bridge slide must be rated at least 50 lbs. It should have ball bearing in steel slides.

    Rockler order link to first page


    Omissions and Contingencies _______________ $3.25
    (Tax, sand paper, etc.)

    ______________Estimated Total Cost _________ $60.00

    This is only an estimate (made in March of 1999). The price may vary in your area. Getting a good price on the wood is critical to keeping the price down and, of course, making as much as possible out of scrap.

    Rockler order link to first page
  7. Fabrication Notes

    Here are a number of points to consider in building your bridge. It is your desk and you can build it to suit your likes and needs.

    1. Options

      Before starting work, look over the following options and decide what you want to do for your bridge:

    2. Length and Width -- The bridge should be sized to fit your monitor and desk.
    3. Height of bridge -- You can use the exercise Air Typing from our Web Site determine the correct height for you monitor. This bridge will work with heights above the desk top as low as 3 inches or as high as you need.
    4. Attaching the Bridge -- The bridge is attached to the desk with 'C' Clamps. These are absolutely necessary to keep the bridge from tippings forward. Look at your desk and see what size clamps you need.
    5. Tie-wrap holes -- Determine where you want holes to tie-warp the monitor cables to the shelf. You may also need cable extenders for your system. You do not want the cable connectors themselves to be pulled on when the monitor moves forward.
  8. Making Parts

    The bridge shelf piece is cut from 1/2 inch plywood and has tie-wrap holes along the back edge.

    The two sides run the full depth of the bridge shelf. The slide mounts are the same length but only as wide as needed for the shelf slides.

    Cut the back piece a little long and trim it to fit your exact bridge. Two of the short molding pieces are to strengthen its attachment to the sides.

    The quarter round molding is rounded at each end. You can make this our of scrap wood and round it with a block plane.

  9. Assembly

    Assembled the unit with wood glue and screws. The use of a Screw-Mate drill greatly strengthens the joints.

    Start by mounting the slides on the sides and slid mount with eight screws. Leave a small space between the sides and the shelf. A thin piece of cardboard is helpful to keep this gap even.

    Place these on the up-side-down shelf and mark their positions. Screw and glue the slide mounts to the top.

    Trim the back piece to length and install it with ten screws and two pieces of molding. This piece must be strongly attached to the sides.

    Install the handle under the front of the shelf. Drill two screw holes in each monitor block but do not install them yet.

  10. Check the Action

    Check that the shelf slides easily even with weight on it. Adjust the slide mounting screws if necessary.

    Disassemble the bridge for finishing

  11. Sanding

    Hand sand all parts being sure to remove all excess glue so it does not effect the stain. Round over all exposed corners.

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  • Finishing

    You may finish your bridge any way you like. We recommend: oil stain and two coats of varnish. You may have finishing materials left from bigger projects.

    1. Staining

      Work with the stain color that you have chosen. Practice on scraps wood (solid and plywood). Don't use a color that looks bad just because you had some on hand. If you used a mix of hardwood plywood and store moldings, you may need to work with several coats of stain on different parts to even out the color.

    2. Bridge Finish

      You might like polyurethane varnish, spar varnish, or tung oil finish. Sand lightly between coats.

      Apply the felt patches to the bottom of the sides and to the bottom of the back piece where it will be clamped to the desk.

  • Installation

    Reinstall the drawer slides with 8 screws and check the action. When you have it adjusted and running smoothly, install 16 additional screws. Place a screw in each available hole. This is important because the monitor is heavy.

    Clamp the bridge to your desk. You may wish to put something thin between the clamps and the wood to protect it.

    Place the monitor on the bridge. Locate the four blocks around its base. You may need to shape them to fit your exact base. Attach them with screws but no glue. You may need to install a different monitor later.

    Check the movement of the monitor. Tie-wrap the cables to the shelf to keep the connectors from being pulled on.

  • Rockler order link to first page


    Thanks again for using a Woodware Designs Computer Furniture Plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.

    If you send us a picture of your finished bridge, we would be happy to put it on our Web Site. We need pictures of desk with real people standing beside them.

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