My High School Custom L-Shaped Desk

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Project by BigTall posted 11-21-2011 07:33 PM 3764 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello Everyone!
Since this will be my first post, let me introduce myself.
My name is Kyle, im 20, and fairly new to the realm of wood working.
My past experience is all from High school. But this is where i become hooked and created my first two projects.
I learned allot from my shop teachers and I also owe them allot. They helped me work through my crazy ideas and turn them into practice.
But enough chatter, here is My first project.

Junior year of high school
Woods Class Level 2

Top: solid walnut, with a dark walnut stain
Legs 400pcs 3/4in oak strips with golden oak stain
yes i said 400 hand sanded, and routed oak strips
skeleton: pine and MDF

Fresh out of Shop #1 I wanted to create a desk. Not just any desk, something different and interesting. I didn’t want to buy a plan and follow someones else’s idea. My shop teacher had a simple rule, ”if you can draw it you can build it” Well ok then, lets get busy. I drew out a plan that he had never seen before, especially in a the level class i was in. Generously he said if i work hard and keep at it im allowed to build it.

My idea was an L shaped office type desk. But with a a few additions and changes to typical layout.
My desk would feature a central sitting position, instead of the left or right sides of the desk.
Draws that would pivot out instead of slide.
An Under hanging cabinet that would house the computer with a tray to pull it out on.
Open face shelves, curved solid legs, and other small things.

Construction started simple.
A pine/ply frame was built:


A Plywood and Flexy plywood would serve as the base

The inside and outside of the legs would be cover by 3/4in oak strips. Routed and sanded

Me and my shop teacher plan out how big the table top would be and where you would sit at the desk.

The open selves That would be mounted underneath

The draws that would also be attached underneath

Both mounted to the legs

The top cut and being placed to measurements

The under cabnet being built

The under cab would feature a tambor sliding door and a tray for the computer.

The table top being clued

The gangs all here

With all the components ready, it was time for staining.

The final product

All in all i spent all of my spare time working on this. I was the most watched and anticipated project in the school. My teacher had never seen the amount of work, odd challenges, and dedication in a long time, put to a single project. I was featured in the Northern NJ Regional Craftsman fair in Ledgewood NJ.
I was awarded a 1st in category. funny part was i was actually in my own category, due to size and complexity.
The judges thought i had bought the strips that line the in and outside of the legs. There were 400! strips exactly.

I was also awarded “industrial arts student of the month” three times that year.
Ending my senior year i was awarded the “industrial arts distinguished Student award” for my work in the shop through out my career.
So there she is. My first woods project ever, and the desk i sit at everyday.

Check out my second Project:

-- -Kyle, New Jersey, Novice Craftsman

12 comments so far

View bochmann's profile


17 posts in 1648 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 07:48 PM

Nice job!! you sound a little like me, getting hooked in high school shop and wanting to build a huge project right out of the gate. My first project was a mahogany and walnut poker table.

View HerbC's profile


1437 posts in 1946 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 08:14 PM


Great project.

I assume you got an A+ in the class.

I know you got an A+ in my eyes.

Keep up the good work.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View BigTall's profile


10 posts in 1465 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 08:24 PM

Thank you guys!
Boch: Yeah HS was it for me, im designing my own shop at home now. The project sounds great, post a photo if you happen to have the chance.
Herb: haha oh i did, at one point i had a 110 grade and thank you! Sadly my sister isnt as invigorated as i was. My shop teacher actually called me to say she needed to work alittle harder lol.

-- -Kyle, New Jersey, Novice Craftsman

View Woodbridge's profile


3293 posts in 1505 days

#4 posted 11-21-2011 11:19 PM

Kyle, great first project. You have created a very interesting and unqiue desk design and constructed it skilfully. Great work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View bochmann's profile


17 posts in 1648 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 12:19 AM

Kyle, yea I will get a picture when I take it out and assemble it for our next poker night. But yea I have been building up my shop as well… Kinda surprising what can come out of a 14’x14’ shed lol

View Moron's profile


4929 posts in 2980 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 01:29 AM

sure beats what I made in high school

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Woodmaster1's profile


662 posts in 1674 days

#7 posted 11-22-2011 03:16 AM

Great job! You would have been the star in my classes when I taught woodworking. I am glad to see some schools still have woodworking as part of the curriculum. Sad to say mine no longer offers it.

View exelectrician's profile


2304 posts in 1514 days

#8 posted 11-22-2011 07:25 AM

Very good start, so….. What is next?

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View rando1's profile


163 posts in 2011 days

#9 posted 11-22-2011 02:15 PM

Man, Great job! Can tell there is a talent there! Continue using and honing your skills! Keep Building Up and Out.

-- Randon Riegsecker,

View 3Gwoodguy's profile


157 posts in 1779 days

#10 posted 11-22-2011 03:54 PM

Here is a bright future in woodworking….excellent work Kyle!

-- "The beatings will continue until moral improves" -- Bart Ridings, Illinois

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2276 days

#11 posted 12-22-2011 03:22 PM

Wow, Good for you! On all counts….. Amazing work at such a young age! Yes that makes me feel old now for sure LOL 400 wow thats alot of sanding. Great job and welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DouginVa's profile


487 posts in 1360 days

#12 posted 11-17-2012 04:09 PM

That’s a desk? I thought it was going to be a bar. Which ever use you chose, you did an incredible job and all of your awards were much deserved. Great idea and a good job bringing it all together.

Like you my high school shop teacher was my woodworking inspiration. He deserves a lot of credit as well.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

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