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Thread: Help me help a newbee

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    Posts
    4,944

    Help me help a newbee

    Hi,

    I live in a wonderful neighborhood---the kind where anyone will do almost anything for you. Now the rest of the story:

    The doorbell rang. Mike and son Kevin were there. Kevin has to do a school project. He has several months to accomplish it. Not knowing what he was getting involved in, Kevin said he would make a simple desk and chair. He has already turned this in and backing out would be bad.

    This is not just about the project itself but the process from beginning to end. Organizing, getting materials, building, logic, etc. Kevin knows I work with wood so that was what he thought about for a project. However, like most non-woodworkers what seems simple to him isn't as simple as he thinks it is.

    How do I help this H.S. sophmore? I need a simple plan for a simple desk and chair. No, we cannot change the project to simplify...say, make a stool instead of a chair.
    It could be a computer desk. I think that is what he really wants and that would keep us clear of drawers.

    Where is the best place to get plans?
    My shop should be able to handle anything we come up with. However, in woodworking I consider myself a novice.

    From my standpoint I would like to get this young man interested in woodworking. However, unless it is really simple, I am more apt to alienate him than entice him. His father has absolutely no woodworking or mechanical skills. I'm pretty sure Kevin has followed suit.

    They are wonderful people. Help me help them.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    wow..now yu gotr yur self a dilema jim,,, how long yu got to make this project?
    and for sake of time and ease, make as much as yu can outa of ply wood to make some of the trouble less troublesom.. as for the plans go,, yu need to tap into your sons heAD SOME ON THIS ONE AND I CAN HEAR NOW SAYING DAD!!!
    why di yu say yes to this ,,you should know better by now.. but ti will make all of you closer and better wood workers!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Well the desk is easy, I'd go with A SIMPLE Table 28" high, 4 legs tapered, no drawer 36 x 24, 3in apron. No the chair, I need to give that some thought, how about a stool ?
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    oh john, question, do you have a kreg jig ? If so attach the apron to the legs and the top to the apron using pocket screws.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
    Posts
    3,374
    Jim, this is an undertaking, but quite do-able. Try googling "desk plans" and see what turns up. If you work with sheet goods, and aim for simple, it should go well. Allen has made some good chairs, might be worth asking him for his design or plans.

  6. #6
    Jim...Plans for a VERY simple chair.........

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehou...c4&prevstart=0

    And a very simple desk....

    http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehou...b&prevstart=12

    Materials according to cutlist are going to be about 50 bucks at HD, should be very easy project

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
    Posts
    10,188
    how simple?
    all the talent here, Im not the one to offer much, but heres a simple desk out of one sheet of plywood I drew up.
    All glue and screws, the dots are cheap 2x4 cut cleats to hold it together, No complicated joinery. Cut a strip 4 inches wide from the end of the sheet and screw it halfway down the back of the leg/side panels to keep it straight and secure.
    Cut strips out of the 2x4s, glue to front edge of plywood, )or use hardwood, sand lightly and stain.
    Where the shelves need screws on the side walls, coutersink the screws and put in some plugs, wont see them.
    One sheet of oak plywood(hd-48 bucks) and one 2x4(1.97), or let him scrounge up the materials from local merchants, blemished sheets, cut offs, Im sure hed do ok and not have to spend a cent other than the plugs and screws.
    Chair is all 2x4s and screws with glue and plugs. I could draw one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bed 069 (Medium).jpg  
    Last edited by allen levine; 12-02-2010 at 03:43 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    13,364
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    How about a knock-down desk?
    I built a desk in College one time out of cinder blocks and pine 1x12's...

    My little Datsun 310 was never the same after hauling all those cinderblocks....

    But I wouldn't call it woodworking....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,099
    If I understand this correctly, it is more about the complete process instead of it being an assignment from his shop teacher to seek an experienced woodworker and antagonize his life. So my first thought is, get him to figure the cost (total cost including labor) for a handmade desk, then go to a "naked furniture" (no not go naked, but you know, one of those stores where you buy the furniture ready to for assembly and finish). Buy a kit desk and chair and then let him put it all together, same situation, less exposure to spinning sawblades. You could be the mentor on his learning to read directions, layout the parts and put together in a consice manner. Also, if they are trying to get some custom furniture out of you through the back door, you just bamboozled them!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

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