Our 12th kickstarter is launching soon! To get the earlybird goodies, click 'notify me on launch'
Permies KickStarter Discussion
Earlybird Goodies
Get a KickStarter Kickback
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Jay Angler
  • Nancy Reading
gardeners:
  • Beau Davidson
  • thomas rubino
  • Edward Norton

Seeking desk skirt/kotatsu suggestions

 
Posts: 20
Location: Northeastern US, USDA Zone 5b
7
plumbing books medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I posted about this on the Create A Micro Heater Bubble BB page (https://permies.com/wiki/110283/pep-electricity/Create-Micro-Heater-Bubble-PEP) but that doesn't seem like a very popular BB so also posting here in hopes of getting some responses.

I would like to make a desk skirt/kotatsu for my desk to keep in the heat from my heated foot mat and keep my lower body warm while working on the computer. However, my desk has a drawer for the keyboard and mouse (necessary for me based on my height and ergonomics) and I'm not sure how to attach a desk skirt in a way that will work with that. I'm sure there is a way but have not thought of an elegant solution yet myself so thought I'd see if anyone else had suggestions. Thanks!

IMG_20220127_120655636.jpg
desk setup
desk setup
 
gardener
Posts: 1296
Location: Washington State
770
2
forest garden trees rabbit earthworks composting toilet fiber arts sheep wood heat woodworking rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Initial thoughts:  I might try to skirt the desk on 3.5 sides covering the sides, wall side, and 1/2 the front leaving the area under the keyboard tray open. Then I’d create a chair skirt (around the back of the chair) so that when a person is seated/working at the computer the air around the legs is kept warm too.
 
gardener
Posts: 319
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
160
homeschooling forest garden building writing woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, the keyboard tray definitely makes it more difficult.

Personally, what I do (and am doing as we speak) is to drape a blanket over my lap and let it hang down over the heating pad.

I could see if you want it more built in.  But sometimes the keep-it-simple solution is good too.
 
gardener
Posts: 2830
Location: South of Capricorn
1313
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

K Eilander wrote:
drape a blanket over my lap and let it hang down over the heating pad.


This was going to be my suggestion too. I`m in summer right now, but by June I'll be in your boat. I use a lap blanket and heated wrist wrests, often fingerless gloves, and when things are really, really bad I have a mouse blanket (plug-in usb heater i got on the interwebs and made a flannel "blanket" for)
 
Becca Miller
Posts: 20
Location: Northeastern US, USDA Zone 5b
7
plumbing books medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Opalyn Rose wrote:Initial thoughts:  I might try to skirt the desk on 3.5 sides covering the sides, wall side, and 1/2 the front leaving the area under the keyboard tray open. Then I’d create a chair skirt (around the back of the chair) so that when a person is seated/working at the computer the air around the legs is kept warm too.



Thanks, Opalyn! I swear I actually thought of a chair skirt earlier in the week then promptly forgot so I'm really glad you suggested it.

K, I already do the blanket thing but would like to be cozier (and complete the BB, which requires a desk skirt).

I think perhaps using a blanket with the 3/4 desk skirt and a chair skirt might be the optimal and warmest solution!

Though if anyone has suggestions about how to rig some sort of blanket skirt attachment piece under but not in contact with the drawer, that might work well too. But it can't take up much space because then my knees would hit it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3440
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
563
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Personally I would ditch the drawer entirely. I find them an uncomfortable working position, and interfere with my knees. They are a poor compromise on ergonomics to start with. The downside is desk clutter. I find a wireless keyboard and mouse a big help, as I can tuck them away in seconds and the cords don't interfere.

That would circumvent all the issues of the shelf interfering with your desk-skirt.
 
Becca Miller
Posts: 20
Location: Northeastern US, USDA Zone 5b
7
plumbing books medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote: I use a lap blanket and heated wrist wrests, often fingerless gloves, and when things are really, really bad I have a mouse blanket (plug-in usb heater i got on the interwebs and made a flannel "blanket" for)



Tereza, can you please share a photo of the mouse blanket?? I am having a hard time picturing it.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 2830
Location: South of Capricorn
1313
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Becca Miller wrote: mouse blanket


No photo, unfortunately, all the winter stuff is in storage.
The USB heat element is like this but I think the actual element is maybe the size of a 3x5 index card, maybe a bit smaller?
I took some old flannel pieces and sewed the element inside it, so the "blanket" is about the size of a notebook, big enough to drape over my entire mouse hand while I'm working. I originally thought I would make a heated mouse pad on the bottom but.... that didn't work.

The other thing I really can't recommend enough is wrist warmers. I have two homemade "fabric tubes" filled with polenta or corn (can't remember) that sit right where my wrists rest in front of the keyboard, I microwave them and they hold heat for a good long time. They also make a good heat pack when someone's hurting, earache, etc.

As for the kotatsu idea. I grew up in Japan and miss them a lot! But something that often gets lost when people start adapting them is the fact that the kotatsu works so well because you're on the floor and there's not a lot of space underneath to heat (and often, if you're on top of tatami, you have insulation underneath the mats- my apartments always had styrofoam bolsters underneath). When the table is up off the floor, that's a lot of empty space to heat up and keep warm. Unless you can convince your pets to go in there with your legs, in which case everyone's happy.
 
Becca Miller
Posts: 20
Location: Northeastern US, USDA Zone 5b
7
plumbing books medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Tereza, I think I'm picturing the heated mouse blanket correctly now. I also found that a heated mat under the mouse did not do much so I have a flexible arm desk lamp with a 40 watt bulb positioned a few inches over my mouse hand which works decently but my hands are always cold so an additional source of heat might be good.

I don't find a wrist rest of any kind comfortable, so not sure those heated wrist pads would be good for me, but I do sometimes wear knitted wristwarmers (basically fingerless mitts) that also help keep my hands warm.

I would love to try a true kotatsu! I guess I could make one with a much lower table but don't think that would be comfy for me for the amount of hours of computer work I do. But your point is helpful - seems like anything I can do to reduce the amount of space within the desk skirt would keep it toastier. Unfortunately I don't have any pets to help with that but reducing the area of the skirt (so only skirting the part of the desk around my legs and the keyboard drawer, instead of the whole desk) would probably help.
 
pollinator
Posts: 82
Location: MD, USA. zone 7
34
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On the topic of keyboard trays, I've destroyed a couple over the years. My current setup doesn't have one. I lowered the desktop surface to be keyboard height, and moved the monitors up a bit so they're at the right height. It's a lot sturdier. I added a separate side table at writing height for paperwork and cups. The gap between the two has been very useful at keeping spills from reaching my tech!

I couldn't see where your computer itself is in the pics, but if it would be under the desk and inside the skirt I'd turn on a temp monitor if yours has one. Tech can be sensitive to heat and airflow.

I wear finger-less wool knit gloves and have a little usb hand warmer. A heated foot mat sound nice!
 
moose poop looks like football shaped elk poop. About the size of this tiny ad:
free heat movie pre-order
https://permies.com/w/free-heat
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic