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Finally a desk I fit at

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Project by David Theller posted 01-12-2014 04:06 AM 1079 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I am a big guy at 6’5”, and for years I have been using a small desk that my Grandfather rescued from the dumpster at O.S.U. and I finally decided I needed one I could sit at comfortably. So I went to work to make one before the return to college. I intended to made a small writing desk, easy to move, easy to take places… I ended up with a 36”x 52” top. I pulled the two pieces of walnut I had been saving out of the stash and I just couldn’t trim them down. The legs are ripped from a large cherry plank, and were roughly 3×2s. The table came out to be 32” tall and fits me great, and lots of leg room. Finished with three coats of Poly, hopefully it will stand up to being used as a desk.

This was a quick project, with the use of pocket screws and a plywood center on the desk top. Hopefully I will be able to make a solid wood top in the future. I am happy I found a use for an old beam I rescued that was laying in the hayloft at a barn I worked at in High School. It was full of Lag bolt holes and the knots added some character to the front of the desk.


As always compliments and suggestions are much appreciated, and thanks for looking

-- if at first you don't succeed, get the bigger hammer





9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#1 posted 01-12-2014 04:38 AM

This desk really looks nice. You asked for suggestions. I wonder about wood movement cracking with the top connected all the way around to the apron with pocket screws.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Woodbutchery's profile

Woodbutchery

290 posts in 3045 days


#2 posted 01-12-2014 12:38 PM

Great looking desk, and looks like it’ll hold up fine being used as a desk.

As a1jim pointed out, you may want to consider a different method of joinery when you put a solid wood top together. That and/or a different method to join the table top to the legs.

It should do you fine for right now, though.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View David Theller's profile

David Theller

34 posts in 1419 days


#3 posted 01-12-2014 03:49 PM

@ Jim, Honestly I have no experience with building a top like this. The other projects I have done I have made solid wood tops, just never to this size and scale. Have you heard of excessive wood movement with this type of building?

@WoodButcher Yes, absolutely I would do something other than pocket screws. The only other way I have secured a top has been to screw down through the top and then peg over it. I didn’t want to do this because then how does it come back out of my room. What method would you suggest?

-- if at first you don't succeed, get the bigger hammer

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#4 posted 01-12-2014 04:57 PM

Hi David
Since I left my comment I noticed you stated that you have a plywood base on your table ,so it looks like your pocket holes go into the ply wood ? If that’s the case then I would be concerned about two other items,the first would be how you connected the the end pieces on the top of your table and how the top is connected to the plywood.
You ask if I’ve heard of excessive wood movement ,it does not have to be excessive, in a table your size wood may expand and contract 3/16-1/8” across the grain,if it is restricted in some way(glue to ply or glued cross grain)it will usually crack.
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/55502
As to how to connect a top here’s a post that explains the right way.
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/14002 post# 10
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/25342 post #9

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View David Theller's profile

David Theller

34 posts in 1419 days


#5 posted 01-12-2014 07:04 PM

Thanks For all of the information Jim, It really does help. Picture Four shows that I have Screwed the top together tightly, with both screws into the plywood and screws into the end grain of the boards at both sides, the boards were glued on as well. This sounds like I will have to address this problem quickly, before it splits the boards.

-- if at first you don't succeed, get the bigger hammer

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#6 posted 01-12-2014 09:15 PM

David
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news,I hope you can do a quick fix so you can enjoy your desk.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View David Theller's profile

David Theller

34 posts in 1419 days


#7 posted 01-13-2014 12:04 AM

No problem Jim, Thanks for mentioning it before the top was in complete ruin. Hopefully it will last syllabus week at college and then I can get back to it. If I’m going to redo it I might as well take the time to make a solid wood top, any big suggestions for doing so?

I will take the time to do the clips this time
And thanks for taking the time to tell me what I did wrong

-- if at first you don't succeed, get the bigger hammer

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#8 posted 01-13-2014 12:53 AM

If your going to have boards on the ends you need to connect it so that the boards that go length wise can move,that’s usually done with a bread board end . In this photo notice that holes on both end tenons have elongated holes,thats to allow for wood movement. only the center tenon is glued and the end tenons just have wood pegs that go through the breadboard end and are centered in the elongated holes.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View David Theller's profile

David Theller

34 posts in 1419 days


#9 posted 01-13-2014 01:41 AM

Ok looks awesome, I’ll give that a try when I can get to it.

-- if at first you don't succeed, get the bigger hammer

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