|Project by Lenny||posted 10-27-2013 12:50 PM||2010 views||4 times favorited||31 comments|
This is a custom computer desk I was commissioned to make. The husband of the couple gave this to the wife (Steff) as a gift. They had a store-bought pressed wood desk in their study and she always wanted a nice desk. I was asked to make the desk within specific dimensions dictated by where it will sit in the room. It is 66 inches long and 39 inches wide along the left edge. It is 26 inches wide at the right hand edge. The drawer component is 24 inches square and the desk top sits at 28 inches from the floor.
This was not a surprise gift. Steff had major input in the groundwork for the desk. Between photos she shared with me and ideas/photos I brought to the meeting, we came up with a modified version of a computer desk designed by Charles Durfee that appeared in a Fine Woodworking specialty magazine titled, “33 Furniture Projects”. Durfee is a professional furniture maker in Woolwich, ME. At one point in the project I contacted him to ask a few questions and he graciously answered them. He created a wonderful design and a beautiful desk. Steff decided that cherry was her choice of wood. I opted to make the desk top and panels from cherry veneer plywood, a departure from Durfee’s completely solid wood desk. My primary means of joinery (the panels, internal frames and stretchers) is mortise and tenon. The internal frames of the drawer component sit in dadoes milled into the side panels. The drawers are made from ½ inch Baltic birch plywood and ride on full-extension draw slides.
I wrapped the desk top in solid cherry. It is attached to the under structure with screws. However, even though it isn’t expected to move much, if at all, I elongated the screw holes. True to Durfee’s desk, I added a sliding keyboard shelf as well as a pull out writing surface. The structure in the final photo is a shelf on which the printer/scanner/copier will sit. Steff will store her reams of paper beneath it. Durfee indicated in the magazine that he had good success with Minwax Antique Oil Finish when working with cherry so I decided to give it a try. It is an oil/varnish mix that can be brushed or wiped on. I applied three coats and it leaves a satin look to the piece. I wanted a tad more sheen so I topped it with a coat of Watco Satin Finishing wax.
This piece provided several challenges and its share of “bumps in the road”. I estimate that I put in 150 hours making it. I delivered it yesterday and all involved are pleased!
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI