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Forum topic by woodyourather posted 06-22-2017 01:51 PM 1974 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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woodyourather

4 posts in 216 days


06-22-2017 01:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: desk joints techniques tips help style

I’ve recently bought a new house and am having a tough time figuring out the best way to achieve my goal here. I’m turning a small bedroom into an office, and would like to build a large wraparound desk that spans across the three of the walls.
The room is approx. 140” x 134” and ideally i would like to of the sides of the desk to span that whole distance and the third to be about 7’. But most importantly the center piece needs to be that full 140”, i cant shorten the one side if needed. It’s going to have a depth of roughly 25” and at the 2 inside corners instead of a right angle i want to make it 2 45 degree corners so there’s a flat face that’s about 2’ long to sit at to give me more work space and room for keyboard etc.
I don’t have too much experience so bear with me here, but obviously it will be too big to put together in my garage/shop and then bring in to the room. It’s pretty much going to be a floating desk with a few drawers here and there to help support it and some support pieces along the wall to hold up the back side.
I’m having trouble figuring out the best way to go about this, mortise and tenon along the butts so i can assemble to make sure everything is nice and flat and them remove and reassemble in place, or if i just should put together in the room, but then I’m stuck with sanding etc. up there which i really don’t want, or something else i can’t think of…
PLease help!!

And i guess i should mention if it’s not obvious, i plan to make it with planks, somewhere between 4-6 pieces to fill out the depth.

Any help or ideas would be grateful. I don’t know if there’s a technique that I’m missing, or if I need to redesign it a different way or what.


12 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3634 posts in 2242 days


#1 posted 06-22-2017 02:38 PM

My suggestion would be to make this in a series of modular pieces. Making one at a time, taking care to design each piece for best use of space and convenience. As you finish each piece move it into your office, then repeat. Once all pieces are done you could then make your tops to cover a couple of pieces at a time tying them together as a whole.

A well thought out design, drawn out on paper would be a must. You want to take advantage of the space the 1st time because retrofits are always a pain.

Probably most important for this project would be the advice of take your time. Last I checked we have no awards for quickest built cabinet / or anything else. But we have lots of stories about how we rushed something and Father Murphy gave us a swift kick in the rear.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2683 days


#2 posted 06-22-2017 02:44 PM

I did an office recently, bought reasonable priced file cabinets at Office max for bases and then built counter tops to create to work surfaces. If you’re going to just lay in boards I think you’ll be dissatisfied with the work surface as a smooth hard high pressure laminate HPL is really the ideal and what I used for mine. Created the counter tops i pieces, finished in shop and then on site connected them with counter top connector bolts. Looks like 3 sheets of plywood would build the desk tops in 3 pieces with enough material from the 4×8 sheets to build the front edges up

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2949 posts in 546 days


#3 posted 06-22-2017 02:50 PM

just as ( woodbutcherbynight ) says make it in pieces …as for the long side I would split it in half …the join with THESE
GOOD LUCK :<))

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

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2710 posts in 1314 days


#4 posted 06-22-2017 03:05 PM

I would use plywood or laminate for the top. Much less headaches ;-)

Use biscuits to align the 45° miters. Add countertop seam bolts (no glue) if you want to be able to break it down later.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4475 posts in 2184 days


#5 posted 06-22-2017 03:13 PM

Build it like kitchen cabinets in modular form, then put a counter top on it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5456 posts in 2647 days


#6 posted 06-22-2017 03:52 PM

I have made corner / wraparound desks in both solid and laminate varieties. I wouldn’t make a solid wood top that large. Just think about it in terms of several base cabinet units, with an MDF and Formica top. At points where you need support for the counter, but don’t want cabinets, you can make stanchions with doubled-up 3/4” plywood and face it with hardwood.

Formica surface over custom cabinets… http://lumberjocks.com/projects/52062

Solid wood corner desk… http://lumberjocks.com/projects/114649

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3629 posts in 2142 days


#7 posted 06-22-2017 05:51 PM

They make particle board specifically for making counter tops. It comes 25 inch wide and 144+ long. I would use that & what ever HPL you like.

I would use spline and draw bolts where ever you have to join two pieces together. I would take the time and money to get some good draw bolt that are easy to use like the ones in this video.

https://youtu.be/PR6thMXS9FA

laying under a counter top with a little wrench and make a 1/4 of a turn at a time in a pain in the ass.

Something like this but I’d use a spline or domino in place of biscuits.

https://youtu.be/sITzBUQ2b-4

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View woodyourather's profile

woodyourather

4 posts in 216 days


#8 posted 06-22-2017 06:16 PM

thanks for the advice, i was really hoping to make it a hardwood top and avoid the laminate/countertop route. i know if built in my shop, i can join all the pieces for each side and make it smooth, just not sure the best way to attach each piece then ensuring that everything stays flush

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3629 posts in 2142 days


#9 posted 06-22-2017 06:51 PM

If you really want wood let me through out one other possibility. I built the table in the picture something like 30 years ago. Its still in use today.

I made the legs, attached them to plywood and covered the plywood with a real wood laminated flooring that had a full 1/8 inch real oak wood on top and trimmed it in walnut.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

960 posts in 2651 days


#10 posted 06-22-2017 09:39 PM

Like you I wouldn’t really want to stick a big piece of laminate countertop in my study. It’s certainly possible to laminate solid pieces together to do this, although you should know that you need a jointer and planer and that it’s going to involve a lot of sanding or handplaning.

At my brother’s house he and I installed a solid wood countertop (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20275140/) for a desk. Unlike your situation, it only went along one wall, from corner to corner, so it was quite easy to install with a couple of cleats.

If you have 3-4 drawer units it shouldn’t really be a problem to get the sections level: just build a wood base under each and adjust, either by shimming the low parts (if you have some kind of trim to hide it) or plane off the high spots until it fits.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3629 posts in 2142 days


#11 posted 06-23-2017 01:09 AM



Like you I wouldn t really want to stick a big piece of laminate countertop in my study. It s certainly possible to laminate solid pieces together to do this, although you should know that you need a jointer and planer and that it s going to involve a lot of sanding or handplaning.

At my brother s house he and I installed a solid wood countertop (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20275140/) for a desk. Unlike your situation, it only went along one wall, from corner to corner, so it was quite easy to install with a couple of cleats.

If you have 3-4 drawer units it shouldn t really be a problem to get the sections level: just build a wood base under each and adjust, either by shimming the low parts (if you have some kind of trim to hide it) or plane off the high spots until it fits.

- jdh122


According to the description in the like you provided that counter top is particle board covered with 1/8 thick real wood. Not saying there’s something wrong with it but it’s not what I call “solid wood”.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

960 posts in 2651 days


#12 posted 06-23-2017 09:39 AM

Sorry, I provided the wrong link. It was solid wood. This one, I think: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60274964/

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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