30 desks in 7 days - built in a barn project 5

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Project by builtinabarn posted 04-23-2009 03:26 AM 2671 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These desks were going to a retail store where you can sit down and rent hourly time at a computer to gamble online where gambling is illegal ( doing it like this makes it legal). Made of black 3/4” melamine with the “fastcap self adhesive (peel and stick) edge band. I also added a typical keyboard / mouse tray pullout. Short and sweet. I hate doing this type of work but it paid good (real good) and times are a little slow in the custom wood furniture world right now. The photos show that my shop is to small to store any number of these things so I had to deliver what I built every other day. Also shown in the pic, is the assembly jig I made so that basically I laid out all the pieces in the jig and simply pre-drilled and screwed it all together. The assembly only took about 15 minutes per unit once all the pieces were in the jig. The jig also allowed for every desk to be assembled exactly like all the others; so when the units were screwed together in rows of 6 (and back to back), every thing lined up exactly in line with the one next to it. And thats how you make 30 desks in 7 days. Thanks for checkin this out.

-- Built in a Barn Bob

15 comments so far

View dustyal's profile


1293 posts in 3469 days

#1 posted 04-23-2009 03:33 AM

Very interesting… well thought out production… at first glance photo glance I thought they were church pews for an open air church…

I guess if you are gambling… you may want to go to church and pray a little for that winning hand… :)

Congrats on getting the production job in these tight times… well earned commission I suspect.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#2 posted 04-23-2009 06:01 AM

Hey dusty that’s moving out. Well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3436 days

#3 posted 04-23-2009 09:57 AM

Mans gotta eat right! I made some flatpack versions of this for a customer outfitting 40 foot containers as mobile schoolrooms here in the philippines, after all the work they took my prototype and got some local to do it GRRRR!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View builtinabarn's profile


98 posts in 3379 days

#4 posted 04-23-2009 02:08 PM

The outfitter who does the computer work for these set-ups, maybe wants me to build these for locations all over the U.S. I dont know if I could stand for these desks to be a part of my life.

-- Built in a Barn Bob

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3552 days

#5 posted 04-24-2009 12:14 AM

Nice job and fantastic production rate. Sounds like you got it down pat.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4309 days

#6 posted 04-24-2009 12:22 AM

You might have to build another barn first! Turning down work is kinda hard to do these days.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3436 days

#7 posted 04-24-2009 12:29 AM

You could always go offshore with them! :-) I,m not doing anything at the moment.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Sandy's profile


216 posts in 3919 days

#8 posted 04-29-2009 09:29 AM

I have been having a terrible time trying to assemble some melamine cabinets by dadoing and gluing. What type of joints did you use? Glue? Simple butt joints? What type of screws? Thanks.

View builtinabarn's profile


98 posts in 3379 days

#9 posted 04-29-2009 02:16 PM

These are all just simple butt joints, I am pre-drilling and counter sinking a square drive #8 2” course thread screw. the screw has a self drilling tip. I leave the screw head flush with the melamine surface and hammer on a TITAN screw cap (cover)

-- Built in a Barn Bob

View Sandy's profile


216 posts in 3919 days

#10 posted 04-29-2009 03:36 PM

Coarse thread, as in drywall screws? Pocket hole screws?

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3378 days

#11 posted 04-29-2009 05:57 PM

I noticed in your profile that you said you built enough projects from melamine to last a lifetime but like some of the other guys said, you do what you have to do to make a living. Great job. It looks like you gave them exactly what they were looking for and I don’t think I could have done more than 7 in 7 days myself and don’t plan on trying.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View builtinabarn's profile


98 posts in 3379 days

#12 posted 04-29-2009 08:59 PM

To sandy….... I really dont know the true name of the screw I use. Its not a drywall screw. Most woodworking dealers carry them. Its a square drive head and on the underside of the head (tapered side) there are nibs or little groves that help to self countersink. The tread I used was coarse because melamine (partical board) is soft and the coarse thread gives more holding power. A fine thread may strip out easily and not hold as good. Also the screw Im using has a sharped cut at the point which allows the screw itself to be like a drill bit. I still pre-drilled the hole and pre-countersunk before screwing.

-- Built in a Barn Bob

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3643 days

#13 posted 04-29-2009 09:12 PM

nicely done! this is what jigs are all about. pretty good production result!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3667 days

#14 posted 06-24-2009 12:19 AM

You show been busy.



193 posts in 2329 days

#15 posted 01-27-2013 11:53 AM

WOW! Very well crafted and finished. Grateful thanks for sharing.


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