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Thread: small walnut desk design

  1. #1
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    small walnut desk design

    Well, I've been convinced that I should pull back from randomly making bits of wood and hoping they work together and instead make a cogent plan and then execute it. This way maybe I'll have a small walnut desk instead of a bunch of wood pieces glued together.

    The purpose of this desk is to be a private space where I can use the laptop and maybe even refer to some books while doing so when my wife's mother is here staying with us for a bit of an extended time. Right now I use the laptop on the dining room table. As an ironic aside, my wife urged me to get the laptop so that I wasn't down in the basement office area all the time and now she's giving me the boot again.

    The tabletop dimensions (16" by 38") are to accommodate the other objects in the room where the desk is going. The two outside drawers need to be able to have manila folders, hanging files or even three ring binders placed inside, thus these drawer may be larger than the center drawer.

    I had the chance to receive some Sketchup tutoring from our very own Dave Richards and we came up with this for a revised desktop assembly with three drawers instead of 2 big oddly long drawers.

    Attachment 33492

    I still don't know how to hold the beast up. My thoughts are to maybe make some sort of pedestal sides (likely a simple 45 degree angle from wide to narrow parts). Maybe add a gentle curve to the bottom of the pedestal to give four feet rather than two bottom sides.

    One of the things I'd like to do is hang a bookshelf off the left side. The desk is going in a corner and the top dimensions are limited by a window to the left and a closet accordion door to the front right corner. I had thought to add a french cleat to the left side, but then didn't want to clutter the side in case we move and the desk gets situated differently.

    Maybe I should either make a free standing small bookcase or just install some strip shelving above the desk.

  2. #2
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    if you want mark, i'd be more than happy to help you take a whack at this. with the dimensions of the top, we have the width and depth. an over all height of about 29-30 inches is pretty much a comfortable height (granted the user isn't 4' 7" or 7' 4").
    benedictione omnes bene

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  3. #3
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    Dan, I'd be happy to see what you come up with, but I'll be doing this from scratch again at some point to learn Sketchup better (just downloaded it earlier this week), so don't be offended when I reinvent the wheel.

    If nothing else, seeing what you come up with will give me ideas for what I want or don't want.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    cool! this ought to be fun! i'll figure around hanging files as they are bigger than a manilla file. i don't think that a book shelf below the table would be feasable, as one would still need to get one's knees under the desk.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  5. #5
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    here you go mark, i knocked this together after i got home from work. hope it gives you some ideas. i went with your top size, and that you wanted to go back 2" from the edges. i made the legs 2" square at the top, and tapered them to 1.5" from a point 4" down from the top. the braces all around are 4" high. the dimensions of the drawers are 13" wide, by 10" deep, by 3" high. you could go a little wider, but i thought that this was easier to the eye. i didn't add things like the supports and guides for the drawers. i've included the sketchup file, so you can rotate it around, and check all the angles.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mark table idea.jpg  
    Attached Files Attached Files
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  6. #6
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    here ya go, the idea with the corrected top thickness.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mark table idea 2.jpg  
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    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  7. #7
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    Dan:

    That looks nice!

    I don't know if I will be able to execute the taper for the legs though. I do have some 8/4 maple in the air-drying pile. Would 1 7/8" or 1 3/4" untapered legs work? Would maple legs work as a bottom to a dark wood top? Should the legs have stretchers near the bottom for the sides and back?

    I'm committed to a walnut tabletop, and am thinking to make the apron from walnut with cherry drawer faces. Not sure how well three woods will work together. Trying to do this with materials on hand.

    Some things I need to do to refine the design parameters: Measure the protrusion distance of the drawer pull hardware - I want the drawer pulls either flush to the tabletop edge or for the tabletop edge to be proud of the drawer pulls. I'll be using pulls like the one I used for this shop drawer.

    I also need to sit down and measure how high I want the bottom of the apron to be so I don't hurt my fragile knees every time I sit at the desk. Is a 3" gap between leg and apron reasonable?

    Lastly, I should measure the binders and hanging files I want to put in the drawers. Maybe I could orient them depthwise if I made the apron flush to the tabletop in the rear and squeeze out a middle drawer for pens, staplers and things like that.

    Thanks Dan - I do have a lot more to think about, but better to do the thinking now than cussing when I have it built and realize I could've done better.

  8. #8
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    Mark, is there any chance this desk could be cantilevered off the wall?
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  9. #9
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    imho mark, stick with the same material for the aprons and door faces. hmm, if you're worried about banging yer knobby knees, what i suggest is to sit in a chair you'll be using at the desk, and measure up from the floor to the top of your lap, then you can adjust accordingly. if those pulls are more than 2 3/8" from the face, you'll be in trouble, if not, you should be ok. here is the table with straight 1 3/4" legs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mark table idea 3.jpg  
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Mark, is there any chance this desk could be cantilevered off the wall?
    Do you mean attached to the wall? Just reviewed the wiki for cantilever and I'd feel safer with a more traditional design that supports the front directly too.

    I measured the drawer pulls, and they protrude 1 1/4".

    A big reason why I'm wanting to use cherry for the drawer faces is that I have a pile of 20" cherry shorts that I'm interested in using. I do have walnut offcuts from the table top that I'd use for the side apron pieces though - I don't like the mixed look in the sketchup pic that Dave made while giving me some instruction.

    I went looking for drawer slides today, and the shortest ones I could find locally are 16". I need 12" (I calculated 13 1/4" theoretical maximum drawer slide length: 16" depth - 1 1/4" drawer pull relief - 3/4" back apron - 3/4" drawer face; this assumes an apron flush to the rear of the desk) slides. So I am thinking to just use a traditional wood slide in the middle. Still need to measure the green hanging files - if 13" works, I could place them in depth-wise, which would open up some space for three drawers.

    After getting something to eat now, I'm going to sand the tabletop piece some more. After doing that I'll come in and play with Sketchup some more to try and give my ideas form.

    Thanks for the help, seeing the new pictures is helping me realize what I want.

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