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Roll top desk

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Blog entry by cdnstudentwoodworker posted 02-21-2014 01:41 AM 1174 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Two years ago i was introduced to high school wood working. I was formerly familiar with the trade and tools as my great uncle and grandfather were both career woodworkers making fine furniture. Ever since i made my first project the dream has been for a roll top , well its been three courses and 250 hours later , i have been all allowed to begin construction on my desk. This blog will be about building that desk. More for me to track my progress than anything but anyones welcome to come learn along the way. I will get 83 minutes per day to work for the next 4-5 months. The lower half of the desk will be made from Better home and garden’s WOOD magazine issue 32 December of 89’ , the top will be modified and made from issue 103 of woodsmith. Did i mention ill be doing most of this alone ? only taking instructor assistance with things i cant do yet , like tapering.

Project start , February 12th


Feb.12th leg boards cut from 3 boards. Each leg is a 1/2” panel sandwiched between two 3/4” inch boards , got processing half done on all leg parts

Feb.13th finished machining legs to planed size , glued the faces together to form my four legs.

Feb.14th Unclamped legs and machined them to final dimensions and marked out all dowel holes to be drilled tomorrow, i really really dislike the way the plan shows the holes and the instructions.

Feb 18th drilled dowel holes with much dread , depth of cut changed alot and im sure ill feel the problems from that later , selected my boards to create the side and rear aprons

Feb.19th finished machining of the side aprons and rear apron

Feb.20th Cut all the rest of rails and internal parts of the lower desk excluding the drawers and drawer parts some of the smaller 1” rails were a pain to cut and have natural defects like cracks in them , i dont like it but ill settle as to not waste wood.

Feb 21,22,23 did not get to work

Feb.25th finsihed drilling holes to both side assemblys , lots more work to do on them like tapers but progress is coming , keep forgetting to take picutres

Feb.26th and 27th, cant find time to get the tapers done , more parts cut and shaped , rebbate for plywood bottoms cut and finsihed,

feb.28th started on drawer front and cleaned up my rabbets using a chisel.

Spend monday cleaning up shop and doing some work on a walnut box tuesday the fourth my legs finally got there tapers using a shop made jig! on to assembly

March 5th got one side assembly glued , took some doing , lots of little things i had to rush to get perfect before it set , accuracy was key with the dowel joinery , messed up on a few things and am quite angry at myself but tommorows a new day.

March6th same problems got other leg together

march 7th and 8th , did finicky things and some final cut trims and hole drilling

march 10th assembled lower desk , not happy but not bad
spent the following two days processing lumber and the such , 7 more boards in , lots of scaping done

march 13th glued and biscuited my desk top , looks a little crooked but itll sand out.

Doing lots of shop maintenence but the top got sanded and cut to size.

used scraps from the desk top to create the lower drawers , finger joint yet to be cut with forest blade set. cut up on more board on april 2nd and made the drawers for the upper organizer…while im cutting finger joints anyway.

Words cannot descrbine how much i hate finger joints. Litteraly three weeks trying to get my setup 100% but to no luck. Even had a sawstop cartridge fire while doing setup.
13th of may drawers finished but not mounted , desktop installed and routed , shes looking good.

Finished on the 13th of febuary 2015!



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