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Small Laptop Desk & Dovetail Bench

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Project by ZacPrunty posted 03-27-2017 08:26 PM 726 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey all!

Finally got around to getting this project complete so I figured I would share with everyone. This project is made of two pieces (each challenging in their own sense!); the small office table I made specifically to use for my laptop, and the dovetail bench to match. Both pieces are constructed of Big Leaf Maple and Walnut. I just can’t get enough of that natural color contrast! It really pops!

Small Office Table
The Facts:
Species: Top – Walnut, Legs & Aprons – Big Leaf Maple
Joinery Techniques: Mortise and tenon for the legs and aprons. Biscuits for the top panel.
Finish: 3 coats of Poly Urethane (Semi-Gloss) with sanding sessions of 320G in-between coats.
The Story
Ever since I moved into my house (around september of 2003, I’ve wanted to turn this back porch sun room into my office space. For the longest time, this room wasn’t used for anything. Over Christmas break, I put a little time into freshening up the paint and added the accent wall for an extra touch (plus brownie points with the pinterest obsessed wife!) To be a true office, I needed a desk to work (or browse lumberjocks, youtube, and fine woodworking) at… I didn’t have a lot of space, but didn’t need much either. That’s where I decided to design a very simple desk to fit the space (and my laptop!). I wanted to go with very simple design, so I ended up with long tapers on the legs and a simple top. Overall, very funtional, and looks great on top of that!

Dovetail Bench
The Facts:
Species: Top & Stretcher Supports – Walnut , Leg Assemblies and Stretcher – Big Leaf Maple
Joinery Techniques: Hand cut mortise & tenons for the leg assemblies, router cut inlay for the top, and half laps for the walnut stretcher supports
Finish: 3 coats of wipe on Poly Urethane (satin) with sanding sessions of 320G in-between coats.
The Story
Throughout my woodworking journey the past couple of years, I have been wanting to put some time and effort into learning how to cut dovetails by hand. I just never took the time to sit down and practice. Two weeks ago, I decided to put words to action, stop making excuses, and get some scrap boards and learn! As you can see from this pic, I started pretty rough, but was able to gain confidence pretty shortly thereafter (9 tries later).

I really had so much fun learning this classic joinery technique that I wanted to build something to remember this weekend by, so I built this bench. It also turned out that I needed a place to sit and do “work” on my laptop! ha! I knew I wanted to use the dovetail shape in the legs, but as I got to the top, I realized I wanted to try an inlay using the same dovetail angles as the leg assemblies to tie it altogether. I used a router to create the inlay. Filled it in with Maple. I used a disk sander to create the mitered joints for the inlay, which burned some of the edges, leaving a dark line at the joint. I couldn’t get rid of it, so I ended up using a thin tipped permanent marker to “enhance” each joint line for a really cool puzzled look. This was somewhat of a happy accident, because I love the way you can see all the individual pieces that went into the inlay. It makes it pop and gives it kind of a mission flare to it.

Pretty funny that I decided to create a bench to honor the dovetail, but ended up using 0 actual dovetails in the project! Thats just how some of these things pan out I guess… I really wanted this piece to represent and respect the classic geometry of the dovetail, and serve as a confidence builder in the shop. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out! I also, really like the way the walnut stretcher supports tie the top to the legs.


Cheers!

Zac

_





13 comments so far

View grrt's profile

grrt

15 posts in 902 days


#1 posted 03-27-2017 08:30 PM

Nice work man, really good looking!

View gsimon's profile

gsimon

1233 posts in 1716 days


#2 posted 03-28-2017 02:41 AM

great story – i have to learn to do this!
The project turned out really nice
greg

-- Greg Simon

View voodverker62's profile

voodverker62

29 posts in 31 days


#3 posted 03-28-2017 04:40 AM

Beautiful in it’s colors , contrasts,simplicity , and yet the dovetail inlay really sets it off ,nice deign , plan , and execution. Wish I had the patience ,and $ to spend time building stuff for my self ;-) A+

View david38's profile

david38

3455 posts in 1947 days


#4 posted 03-28-2017 02:49 PM

beautiful table and bench

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

1732 posts in 316 days


#5 posted 03-28-2017 02:57 PM

very nice ….GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View ZacPrunty's profile

ZacPrunty

14 posts in 434 days


#6 posted 03-28-2017 02:58 PM

Thanks everyone for the really nice comments! I appreciate it! this was a really fun project!

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

100 posts in 113 days


#7 posted 03-28-2017 03:00 PM

nice clean design

-- Two is One, One is None

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

25299 posts in 2470 days


#8 posted 03-28-2017 04:11 PM

This is a very nice desk and bench. Well done!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

392 posts in 1951 days


#9 posted 03-28-2017 05:01 PM

I like it!!

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

10084 posts in 2471 days


#10 posted 03-28-2017 05:30 PM

Inlayed bench top looks fantastic!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View DerekJ's profile

DerekJ

96 posts in 491 days


#11 posted 03-28-2017 06:07 PM

Nice work, this rocks!

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View ZacPrunty's profile

ZacPrunty

14 posts in 434 days


#12 posted 03-28-2017 06:39 PM

Wow!! Thanks everyone again for the awesome comments! Thanks for all the love! Cheers!

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

240 posts in 1090 days


#13 posted 03-28-2017 10:42 PM

Great project! Thanks for sharing it!

-- -Tim Royal... Always reminded of this when I see the amazing work LJ's do (I have no choice but to be humble!), "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

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