Pullout Writing desktop

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Project by rweitz posted 12-21-2010 06:16 AM 1468 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The other sister now needed something also! So I removed the busted keyboard pullout and replaced it with some hefty slides and supersized it for a writing / project surface. The old pullout was on cheap slides and made from particle board like the rest of the desk, so it pretty quickly fell apart when she used it to write on as well as quilting and sewing.

I used a birch ply for the topper and some poplar 1×4’s for the runners to mount the slides, braced with a 1/4 round. Unfortunately the plywood from Lowe’s was cheap and bowed up before I could mount it to the runners so it took several 20 mile round trips to slowly measure twice and cut once the parts to the exact dimensions of the non-square and poorly constructed desk. What looks like a rectangle is really more of a rhomboid! to fit the space under the desk and not bind too much.

Back to the cheap ply from Lowes – it was sold as birch finish ply, but the birch on the face was literally paper thin. I know I’m a printer by trade. I mean like 5 – 6 thousands of an inch. I started to sand with a 220 and went right through it. There was even a couple of voids that had not been filled just covered over with the paper thin facing.
I would not even call it a veneer it was too thin for that. Just be warned is all I’m saying.

So before I stained it, I actually went around the edges and over the areas I had sanded through – to make it look like a wavy border – no one even noticed. Screw up turned design element to the rescue!

But again, it worked and she was happy with it so worth the effort.

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

3 comments so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4237 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 10:04 PM

Turned out nice, looks like it is built to last.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

208 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 12-29-2010 03:40 PM

I think it turned out fine, love the finish what did you finish the pull out writting pc with?
You did it for family, to me nothing more important and more worth while than making family smile with content and happiness.

Your Canadian
Woodworking Buddy
Jim. R

-- jim

View rweitz's profile


116 posts in 3041 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 06:58 AM

Hi Jim,
I finished with a couple coats of polyshade mahogany and then waxed the top for that silky feel I like. It looks better in the pics I think and on the top side, too many swirls and finger prints on the underside keep me up at night thinking ” if only I had….”!

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

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