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Designing a large desk

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Forum topic by TrakeM posted 03-16-2015 02:45 PM 560 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TrakeM

4 posts in 637 days


03-16-2015 02:45 PM

I am working on a desk with the following specs:

Must support 400 lbs on top
11.5’ wide
50” deep
30” tall

I have decided to use maple butcher block for the top. I am thinking about making the base in 3 pieces. The piece to the left and right side would have shelf space on the bottom and middle. It would be a basic box design using dado joints and made from either 3/4 plywood or 1.5” thick southern yellow pine. I have a few questions for anyone who might be able to help.

Do you think this would be strong enough to support the necessary weight? Should I go with 3/4 plywood or 1.5” SYP? If 3/4, what type of plywood?
How deep should my dados be?

I appreciate any help anyone can give me on this design. I am including a few pics of a drawing I made of my
design.


5 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile

HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 682 days


#1 posted 03-16-2015 03:16 PM

1/4 dados in 3/4 material will generally make a strong construction joint. The load is actually being carried by the vertical sides straight to the floor, this means you are only worried about crush strength and not shear strength. I have no idea what it would take to crush 3/4 on edge but it is well north of 400 pounds. Because of the size of your panels the 3/4 ply is a better option in that you get the parts faster and with better consistency than with the live board. You also have fewer cross-joint issues to work with. If you are using maple for the top, use maple ply for the sides and live boards for the face frame to cover joinery and plywood edges. Quick questions, how are you attaching the top to the three boxes? Are you atttaching the boxes to eachother?

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2699 days


#2 posted 03-16-2015 03:23 PM

50 inches deep? Why so deep? You won’t be able to reach in that far. I am sure you have a good reason. I just had to ask.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View TrakeM's profile

TrakeM

4 posts in 637 days


#3 posted 03-16-2015 08:17 PM



1/4 dados in 3/4 material will generally make a strong construction joint. The load is actually being carried by the vertical sides straight to the floor, this means you are only worried about crush strength and not shear strength. I have no idea what it would take to crush 3/4 on edge but it is well north of 400 pounds. Because of the size of your panels the 3/4 ply is a better option in that you get the parts faster and with better consistency than with the live board. You also have fewer cross-joint issues to work with. If you are using maple for the top, use maple ply for the sides and live boards for the face frame to cover joinery and plywood edges. Quick questions, how are you attaching the top to the three boxes? Are you atttaching the boxes to eachother?

- HornedWoodwork

I’m planning on cutting a groove of some kind into the top and having something stick up out of the base and go into the groove.

I’m not planning on attaching the boxes together.

View TrakeM's profile

TrakeM

4 posts in 637 days


#4 posted 03-16-2015 08:22 PM



50 inches deep? Why so deep? You won t be able to reach in that far. I am sure you have a good reason. I just had to ask.

- MT_Stringer

I probably should have mentioned this in my original post. My bad. I’m using this as a computer desk. I went with a triple monitor setup. More specifically, 58” 4k TVs as my monitors so I need a little desk space.

View Lucasd2002's profile

Lucasd2002

124 posts in 820 days


#5 posted 03-16-2015 09:09 PM

Three 58” monitors?!

Sweet Lincoln’s mullet.

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