Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Desk

We bought our home from my wife's brother in the winter of 2003 I think it was.  One evening I came home from work, and the closet had been torn out of the end of the front bedroom.  Not one to back away from something that needs doing, my wife had very efficiently removed the sliding doors and then the partition that framed them.  It was not built very well.

  We decided that a built in desk would be nice in this room.  I guess you would call it the guest room now that there are no kids at home.  This was my first foray into the world of Sketch Up.

Now Sketch Up is a fantastic and powerful 3-D drawing tool that does amazing things.  One of the things it does to me is give me head aches.  Every time I want to do anything with S/U, I have to go through a whole tutorial on line to figure out how to do it.  Then I usually make an error in something and trying to fix it results in whole strings profanity.  For those who are good at this type of thing, it is a wonderful tool.  I am a little clumsy when it comes to computers and making them do what I want them to do.

So, I did come up with something with it.  It was great for figuring out how big to make things and getting everything somewhat proportional.  The plan for the top of the desk was....

A large bookshelf with lots of storage.  I needed the desk itself though, so out to my "workshop" and start making some side panels and a top.

OK, maybe workshop is not the right word.  It is an old leaky home built garden shed that was here when we moved in.  But I did make some side panels and a top.  My material was all rough sawn pine barn board.  It can be bought pretty inexpensively and I think looks just wonderful after planing and finishing and a couple years of mellowing.  We both love pine, and our home has a cottage feel to it that we like.  The whole wall (and others in the home) is panelled in pine.  Then I started to build in the desk.

Some stringers to hold everything at the proper spacing and to attach it to the wall.

Then add the top, which is just screwed to the centre stringer to allow for movement across the grain.

The stringers are all notched in, and the bottom one replicates the plain base board that will be added later to the rest of the room.  You can also see how the panels are all made to look thicker too.

Then it was on to building the top bookshelf.  I wanted to experiment with the joinery, as I wanted it all exposed.  It was a bit of work on the table saw with figuring out the distances to set the fence, but I think it was worth getting a bit of a unique look.

Now a couple of those shots of the joinery were taken after it was installed.  First there was a bit of gluing up to do.  This stretched the limitations of my clamps, and, of course, since there is no real shop, the living room was the only spot to do it.  First I made some cauls/alignment blocks to help.

Then start gluing

Take a bit of cupping out of the board to get it in the dado

Lots of time waiting for glue to dry before going on to the next glue up

It slowly starts to look like the plan

and gets put in place

The finish is all Tung oil with a wipe on poly on top.  Just a satin sheen.  We have used it a lot and re arranged it a few times.  Now, here in the early part of 2015, with the side wall painted and the by pass doors installed, a bit of living in, added crafts, books, hobbies and other stuff, this is how it looks.

Thanks for stopping by!


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