|Forum topic by Luminareo||posted 10-29-2012 06:28 PM||2324 views||0 times favorited||23 replies|
10-29-2012 06:28 PM
I don’t have much space in my new room, so I am trying to make sure all of my furniture is multi-functional. Rather than choose between my computer setup and my digital piano, I would like to incorporate them into the same deskspace. I think that having a desktop right above my piano would make maximum use of my space. The keys of the piano would sit just below, and just in front of the front edge of the desktop. I have added an extremely crude visual model of what it would look like, below.
Crude, but it should communicate the basic idea. The piano is suspended across two surfaces at either side, while the desktop is placed right above. The purple arrow represents the height of the structure the piano will rest on, which I estimate to be 25”. The red arrow represents the vertical space that the piano will occupy, which is a 5” gap between the higher and lower surface. The blue arrow represents the final height of the desktop, at around 30”.
This was not represented in the sketch, but I would like the piano to slide in and out from under the desktop. This way, when I am not using the piano, I could slide it into relative safety under the desk, and pull myself closer to my computer. That would seat me somewhat between the two lower surfaces, as opposed to just in front of them. I have not worked out exactly how this “rolling mechanism” will work. Any ideas? The piano is not very heavy, only about 20 pounds. I already decided against a “keyboard drawer” similar to those that you see on ready-to-assemble furniture. While they would hold the weight, they never “lock in place” and are not stable enough for serious piano.
That should describe what I would like the desk to be like. My question to you is this. What methods, tools and materials would best produce this desk for a beginner? My requirement is functionality, not aesthetics. I’m not looking to create a multi-generational heirloom, just something that will put up with me for a few years while I’m in University. I have no tools, limited workspace, and only simple experience (a few days handy work every once in a while, shop class in school). I hope to find some sort of service for the sawing; I think Home Depot offers table saw cuts. I am willing to buy a small assortment of tools and equipment.
Which tools I purchase depends on which joinery method would be best. To save on equipment costs, I would like to limit myself to one joinery method. I’ve heard good things and bad things about biscuit joining, but it’s the main method I’m looking at right now. Claimed to be fast, easy, and reasonably strong. Needs only one power tool. Is it possible to build a reasonably sturdy desk using just this method? I have also looked into dowel joining. It seems to require more time and precision, with results similar to biscuits. On the upside, a drill is a multi-use tool, and I’m sure it would make this project easier in more ways than a biscuit joiner. Any other beginner joining methods I should check out?
I’d like to use plywood and basic stock timber for this project. Would small (2”x 2”)square posts hold up a desk such as this? How thick should the timbers be? Is plywood appropriate for a functional tabletop? An additional concern is the “apron” on the tabletop. I want the desktop to be as close to the top of the piano as possible. That makes it difficult to find room for an apron. Are there other ways to square/support the table? Is an apron necessary?
In the interest of… reality, I would like to compose a list of tools and materials I will need for this project. Please verify that this is realistic.
Biscuit Joiner / Drill & Dowel Jig
If I want any sort of shelving, do I need a router for dadoes? Or are biscuits ok for shelves?
Any tips before I nail down a more specific design? I will soak up your information and advice like a sponge. If you have read to this point, I’m betting you have some wisdom to impart. Please let me know! Thanks for your time.