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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5

    Default My first ever project.

    Hi everyone,

    I am just about to move into a new house and will finally have room to get a new desk. After looking around for a standing height desk to purchase, and not finding anything quite right I thought it might also be a good time to find a new hobby.

    Given that I have as yet unproven wood working skills (probably none) and no tools (unless you count a few screwdrivers and a pair of scissors) I have tried to design something that requires as little skill as possible to construct.

    The circles are where I am thinking the dowel reinforcement needs to go, with the patterns you can see being repeated at every equivalent location on the desk. Also, the plan is to liberally coat all adjoining surfaces with glue. -Potentially insufficient skills for weird jointing + doweling, going to just go with glue and screws.

    I am planning on constructing the desk out of this. Or something similar.

    At the moment I am planning on slotting the bottom pieces of the tray into a groove in the front and back panels.

    For finishing the plan is to just sand it down and oil it.

    Any tips or alternate suggestions for putting in a tray in the bottom of the desk?
    Are there any glaring design flaws that you can see? -Way too heavy

    Also in terms of a tool list at this point I am thinking that I will need:
    • A saw
    • A drill
    • A router
    • A level
    • A square
    • A sander
    • A hammer/mallet
    • Some clamps
    • A plane (optional?)


    Have I forgotten anything? Is there anything that I can skip?

    *revised plan a couple of posts down.
    Last edited by Nic.R; 2nd May 2012 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Huge revisions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    287

    Default

    I'd make some suggestions....

    Start smaller and simpler - just make a table-top out of ply, and put four legs and an apron under it....

    Why not look up some desk plans online, the design you have looks well - strange, and hard to make for a beginner.....

    If you are going to use the 200x50 timber, you had better add table saw or band saw, jointer and thicknesser to your list, because you will need to break it down.... unless you want a 200kg desk to sit a car on....

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hmm...
    Thanks Astrodog, I really didn't think about weight at all. I was just concerned about it being stable enough despite being fairly tall and skinny.
    I suppose this makes it time to go back to the drawing board. Super glad that I posted this before going to buy some timber. I will be back in a couple of days or so with a revised plan.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    287

    Default

    Don't forget - those messmate beams were probably floor bearers, holding up a large house.... *way* too big for what you need....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Ok, so after quick look around the house to see how big or little different bits of furniture are I have drawn up a new, much lighter, much simpler plan.
    This time the plan is a sheet of ply glued and screwed on top of four legs. The four legs will have a 8 pieces of wood screwed around them to hold them in place.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Have you seen this workbench which might give you some inspiration too.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,183

    Default

    Your revised plan looks good.

    As a skill builder, you could cut & chisel out the legs where you apron & lower rails join. If you get a nice tight fit. this will tend to reduce any racking in the finished structure.

    If you do get racking a bit of 3mm ply on the back will prolly sort it out.

    You have picked a good first project... Good luck

    Steve
    The fact remains, that 97% of all statistics are made up, yet 87% of the population think they are real.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Alright, so I decided you all deserved an update after the help that you gave me working on the design. I ended up mostly stealing the design that Noddy and crwdtb linked, but using twisty, crooked 1200x90x19 pine from bunnings for the frame. Also, I used a power saw, which I struggled with... though I did get a lot better as I went along.

    I am now gluing the side planks in while I wait for another weekend to roll by so I can make a mission to go and grab some more 90 metal brackets (I messed up counting to 8 ) to secure the front and back planks to the bottom.

    I am not super satisfied with the work so far, but I have enjoyed it, I think that I might just end up calling this one a work bench and making another to call a desk, but being a bit more careful with my timber selection and sawing. (definitely going to go buy a hand saw...)

    Also, once I go get my hand saw, I am thinking that I will cut a few thin slices of wood to pack into the gaps in the frame, is that likely to work or am I just wasting my time?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,183

    Default

    If you have movement from side to side, glue & screw a 4mm ply wood panel on the back.

    If you have movement front to back, the do the same to the sides.

    This movement is called "Racking". The panels should stop the racking. make the panel from the top of the bench to the bottom of the bottom shelf. This will likely do more than slithers in the gaps. It will also add some weight to your bench which is not a bad thing as it looks a little light. If you decide to use it a a desk, you can simply add a couple of shelves , doors etc.

    if you want to get nice straight cuts with a circular saw, try using a straight edge clamped to your work. I started wood working with a CS about 12 years ago, & I made 2 straight edges from the edges of a sheet of 19mm MDF. Still got them & on occasions, I still use them, mainly for breaking down sheets into manageable one man sizes.

    I found this on a quick Google search, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUZiSPBvlaA&feature=related but I think you could find a lot of simple to build jigs to help get you cuts a little closer to the line.

    Good first effort

    Steve
    The fact remains, that 97% of all statistics are made up, yet 87% of the population think they are real.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    287

    Default

    I never, ever use a circular saw without a guide.... with a guide, what was a rough chippies wood axe, becomes a precision tool....

    I used a piece of ply as a guide until I found these babies....
    ProGrip Fences : CARBA-TEC
    They self clamp down, and have a nice low profile so the saw motor can clear it....

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5

    Default

    All finished... sort of.

    So after gluing and bolting it all together, there are a few too many defects for me to accept this as a permanent part of my living room. But, I am still pretty happy with it for a first crack, and it will make a decent enough work bench when I get around to building a better desk.

    I'd like to thank you guys for the help, this would have ended much worse if it wasn't for your feed back.
    Attachment 208993

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Nowra, NSW, Australia
    Age
    64
    Posts
    3,003

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nic.R View Post
    All finished... sort of.

    So after gluing and bolting it all together, there are a few too many defects for me to accept this as a permanent part of my living room. But, I am still pretty happy with it for a first crack, and it will make a decent enough work bench when I get around to building a better desk.

    I'd like to thank you guys for the help, this would have ended much worse if it wasn't for your feed back.
    Attachment 208993
    I've been sitting in the background waiting to see how it turned out. Came up well, especially for a first attempt.

    Pretty sturdy looking - it'll make a good little workbench if you go that way.
    (Better than mine - I use an old desk.)
    Hmm, perhaps we could trade. Kidding - I like my old desk.
    ... Steve

    -- Monkey see, monkey do --

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Macedon, Victoria.
    Age
    63
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrodog View Post
    I never, ever use a circular saw without a guide.... with a guide, what was a rough chippies wood axe, becomes a precision tool....

    I used a piece of ply as a guide until I found these babies....
    ProGrip Fences : CARBA-TEC
    They self clamp down, and have a nice low profile so the saw motor can clear it....
    Hey!! Are you implying an axe isn't a precision instrument??? Burn the heretic

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