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My Boys Desk


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So I figure it’s time for my son to get a desk in his room since he’s about to wrap up kindergarten and start to get actual homework and stuff. 
 

just a quick sketch of the overall look I am thinking about … (Not sure why the sketch wont upload not sideways, tried flipping it and saving again haha)

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This will have some CnC work in it as well ... the #99 (his sports number) and bobcat logo ... 

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For the legs, I was thinking bigger rectangle type legs, like this: (could not find wood versions quickly)

image.png.2296635594fd6643cf4aa0e847a4985e.png

 

The top it might be a little hard to figure out what is going but basically like 3 cubbies to push stuff back in and then a little top to store stuff as well. Something along the lines of the below cubby build out:

image.png.6e469bb0cf34e6ee122977b7bfaf776d.png

 

 

Questions I have at the moment ...

 

1) Wood ?? I was thinking White Oak top and walnut legs. Will that combo look off? Main reason for going white oak was the butcherblock build I have left over 6/4 and it actually looked better than I thought for Oak .. never really worked with white oak before.

I am curious how the combo would actually go together though ... I am not sure I have seen much white oak/walnut out there and maybe thats for good reason haha. I could always just go the standard Maple, but was trying to do something a little different. 

 

2) Legs and stability ... 

I am not sure which orientation the legs should go for best stability ... does this drawing make sense?

 

 

a2.jpeg

Edited by Bushwacked
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26 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Questions I have at the moment ...

1) Wood ?? I was thinking White Oak top and walnut legs. Will that combo look off? Main reason for going white oak was the butcherblock build I have left over 6/4 and it actually looked better than I thought for Oak .. never really worked with white oak before.

I am curious how the combo would actually go together though ... I am not sure I have seen much white oak/walnut out there and maybe thats for good reason haha. I could always just go the standard Maple, but was trying to do something a little different. 

2) Legs and stability ... 

I am not sure which orientation the legs should go for best stability ... does this drawing make sense?

a2.jpeg

1.  You could get away with that combo.  Especially considering it's a personal choice

2.  This may depend on your choice of joinery.  M&T would drive you to the choice on the right IMO.  Something to consider here is racking.  Especially with a young boy, he's probably going to crawl all over this thing..🤣  

Just now, Bushwacked said:

does it show up now?? I added it below here:

a1.jpeg.87044b806d3842d0942174844a5ad54d.jpeg

Shows up in this post but, not the original

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I think the white oak would look ok with the walnut although maple would look better imo. Something to think about on your leg choice is the type of floor it will sit on. Hardwood or carpet is ok, tile, maybe not. Your second option where the end grain of the horizontal piece is covered by the vertical leg would look better. I’m like Kev on the racking. May aprons to secure the legs to each other. 

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

1.  You could get away with that combo.  Especially considering it's a personal choice

2.  This may depend on your choice of joinery.  M&T would drive you to the choice on the right IMO.  Something to consider here is racking.  Especially with a young boy, he's probably going to crawl all over this thing..🤣  

Shows up in this post but, not the original

Yes, I was thinking about racking ... It will have 1 brace between the legs on the back side ... mainly so I can screw this to the wall. Was not sure if that would be enough or if I need something on the front as well?

5 minutes ago, Coop said:

I think the white oak would look ok with the walnut although maple would look better imo. Something to think about on your leg choice is the type of floor it will sit on. Hardwood or carpet is ok, tile, maybe not. Your second option where the end grain of the horizontal piece is covered by the vertical leg would look better. I’m like Kev on the racking. May aprons to secure the legs to each other. 

it will be in his bedroom on carpet ...

gave my thoughts on racking above ... what ya think?

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Just curious as to why you will be screwing it to the wall? I realize this can’t be useful to him for too many as he will outgrow it but I would add some drawers to hold his art supplies, big chief tablets, etc. for the next few grades of school. 

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17 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Yes, I was thinking about racking ... It will have 1 brace between the legs on the back side ... mainly so I can screw this to the wall. Was not sure if that would be enough or if I need something on the front as well?

it will be in his bedroom on carpet ...

gave my thoughts on racking above ... what ya think?

What I did for my kid's desk is similar, I put a stretcher high across the back as well as near the bottom.  I didn't secure either to the wall.  This secures the back very well but, does nothing for the front corners.  My kid's desk had independent legs so, I added this lower rail on the sides as well.  For what it's worth, I didn't have any racking issues but, my son was a teen when I built it so, it was just homework and computer stuff and not the stuff a younger child may do.

If you put a stretcher across the front, the height becomes an issue to get a standard chair under it so, this is tricky!  It's compounded if you decide to put a drawer there.  Additionally, the lower front corners are still a liability if they get knocked hard.  Plus, your son is going to go through a lot of physical changes as he grows and I'm sure you'd like this to be a long term desk for him.

Another consideration, if you're really concerned with racking, is to add an x brace in the middle of the legs.

Overall, I think your design is solid enough for a desk but, would add the lower stretcher in the back.  Think about the placement of it!  Should be high enough to be above floor trim but, low enough to not interfere with any wall outlets.

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5 hours ago, Coop said:

Just curious as to why you will be screwing it to the wall? I realize this can’t be useful to him for too many as he will outgrow it but I would add some drawers to hold his art supplies, big chief tablets, etc. for the next few grades of school. 

Mainly in case he decides to climb on it and jump off ... making sure it wouldnt flip. He is almost 6 yo so he still does a lot of not so smart things in his room alone haha

5 hours ago, Kev said:

What I did for my kid's desk is similar, I put a stretcher high across the back as well as near the bottom.  I didn't secure either to the wall.  This secures the back very well but, does nothing for the front corners.  My kid's desk had independent legs so, I added this lower rail on the sides as well.  For what it's worth, I didn't have any racking issues but, my son was a teen when I built it so, it was just homework and computer stuff and not the stuff a younger child may do.

If you put a stretcher across the front, the height becomes an issue to get a standard chair under it so, this is tricky!  It's compounded if you decide to put a drawer there.  Additionally, the lower front corners are still a liability if they get knocked hard.  Plus, your son is going to go through a lot of physical changes as he grows and I'm sure you'd like this to be a long term desk for him.

Another consideration, if you're really concerned with racking, is to add an x brace in the middle of the legs.

Overall, I think your design is solid enough for a desk but, would add the lower stretcher in the back.  Think about the placement of it!  Should be high enough to be above floor trim but, low enough to not interfere with any wall outlets.

what if the front stretcher is oriented horizontal instead of vertical? That way it shouldnt really effect the height since its only taking like 3/4-1" or so ... not sure how good that would actually look, but I think I could set it back a few inches so it isnt super noticeable ?? 

I think a lower stretcher on the back would help stiffen things up quite a bit too. Will add that in ..

 

Now, one question I wanted to pick yalls brains on ... the top is coming from 6/4 white oak, so final dimension hopefully 1 - 1 1/4" thick ... would it look weird if the legs were 3/4? or should they be the same thickness roughly as the top? Not sure if that would make everything too bulky looking or silly if you have skinny legs ...

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11 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

what if the front stretcher is oriented horizontal instead of vertical? That way it shouldnt really effect the height since its only taking like 3/4-1" or so ... not sure how good that would actually look, but I think I could set it back a few inches so it isnt super noticeable ?? 

Now, one question I wanted to pick yalls brains on ... the top is coming from 6/4 white oak, so final dimension hopefully 1 - 1 1/4" thick ... would it look weird if the legs were 3/4? or should they be the same thickness roughly as the top? Not sure if that would make everything too bulky looking or silly if you have skinny legs ...

You could do that with a front stretcher to help tie the legs together.  You could also to a wider one and just "arch" it where the chair would sit in it's normal position.

As for your questions on the legs, you're essentially making a box where the thickness isn't really going to be seen.  3/4 should be fine.  I think if I were doing them, I would start with 4/4 material and keep them as thick as possible with 3/4 being my lower limit.

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3 hours ago, Kev said:

As for your questions on the legs, you're essentially making a box where the thickness isn't really going to be seen.  3/4 should be fine.  I think if I were doing them, I would start with 4/4 material and keep them as thick as possible with 3/4 being my lower limit.

The legs will be seen on the front and sides, unless I’m missing something? If you need to limit yourself to 4/4 material for the legs, I would laminate two pieces together and make the legs 1 1/4” - 1 1/2” square and taper them down on the insides to 1”. JMO 

I’m also in favor of Kev’s idea of arching the front apron.

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At first glance, the thought of a locking miter would work for the legs.  Have used them in the past, a little tricky to set up but once you find that sweet spot they really make for a strong joint.  

My only concern with the top cubby is leaving enough working depth.  The desk I made for my daughter out of a walnut slab is like 22" at its widest.  With her laptop and papers on the top, it doesn't leave much working room.  

I also added a strecher across the back, which she uses as a foot rest.  I think with your leg style you would want one going on 3 sides of the desk for sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Getting ideas and marking things out

22B20C66-CD90-431C-A129-67A35FF7B7C5.thumb.jpeg.637902054bf50d5d00e54db520a307c8.jpeg

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Got the top out of the glueup and my boy wanted to help scrape some glue … so heck ya I’m letting him help! 

2BFB2CC1-3F51-41DF-9DBF-A83969445FBC.thumb.jpeg.d4f0a891a5ae134073c501c97ca3da7b.jpeg
 

and he learned any mess we make we clean 🤣

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random question… can you leave something in clamps too long? His top was in clamps for 2 days because I didn’t have time to take it out. I don’t see anything wrong was just curious … 

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50 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Getting ideas and marking things out

Got the top out of the glueup and my boy wanted to help scrape some glue … so heck ya I’m letting him help! 

and he learned any mess we make we clean 🤣

random question… can you leave something in clamps too long? His top was in clamps for 2 days because I didn’t have time to take it out. I don’t see anything wrong was just curious … 

Awesome!  Teach them young!

Technically, no.  There's not "time limit" for how long you can leave them in clamps.  However, IMO, keeping stress on a panel may tend to warp a panel over time.  Any misalignment in the clamping creating stress on the lumber itself could show up.

Panel glue ups like that I generally leave over night.  If it's going to be a few days before I get to it, I usually pull them out of clamps after about 12 hours.  Obviously, you could pull them much sooner if needed.  For the record, the glue ups that I did on the small book shelves were only left in clamps for about 40 minutes before being worked.

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Always great to have shop help! 
 

I’ve never ran into an issue by leaving a panel in the clamps for a few days. I do get what the guys are saying that it could be added stress. I will usually give the glue at least a couple hours to dry before hitting the planer. Seems like any sooner than that the glue is a little sticky yet and will smear on the planer bed if not completely cleaned off. 

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Got some work done today … might lose a few of y’all after this update 🤣 

moxon vise coming through again to help! 
 

so design change .. I was thinking maybe dowels but decided on through dominoes for an accent to the legs on the front faces … 

BB503952-46B1-45CF-B179-18957DA4120E.thumb.jpeg.fdc34792c713cc98004a390b5bb75c34.jpeg
 

test fit to get an idea on length of aprons and to see how the legs look overall. Happy so far .. 

E90BC06D-7ED0-4B29-A73F-B8931EA65A80.thumb.jpeg.7a6c422c0ee98847e97786ab804a131f.jpeg

 

there’s one of my PECs double squares off the Epstein site … going 1” in from every edge

F127F292-EF45-4292-850A-3DAFDAC73DAC.thumb.jpeg.fdf62c4c30c9a18b5905aedc062105ac.jpeg

 

gluing up legs .. 

7E55EE3F-952F-4CFB-9385-D5B15EEA2441.jpeg

 

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12 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Got some work done today … might lose a few of y’all after this update 🤣 

so design change .. I was thinking maybe dowels but decided on through dominoes for an accent to the legs on the front faces … 

there’s one of my PECs double squares off the Epstein site … going 1” in from every edge

 

I did through dominos on the router bit storage cabinet, worked fine!

Gotta love them squares!

Looking good!

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57 minutes ago, Bushwacked said:

Got some work done today … might lose a few of y’all after this update 🤣 

moxon vise coming through again to help! 
 

so design change .. I was thinking maybe dowels but decided on through dominoes for an accent to the legs on the front faces … 

BB503952-46B1-45CF-B179-18957DA4120E.thumb.jpeg.fdc34792c713cc98004a390b5bb75c34.jpeg
 

test fit to get an idea on length of aprons and to see how the legs look overall. Happy so far .. 

E90BC06D-7ED0-4B29-A73F-B8931EA65A80.thumb.jpeg.7a6c422c0ee98847e97786ab804a131f.jpeg

 

there’s one of my PECs double squares off the Epstein site … going 1” in from every edge

F127F292-EF45-4292-850A-3DAFDAC73DAC.thumb.jpeg.fdf62c4c30c9a18b5905aedc062105ac.jpeg

 

gluing up legs .. 

7E55EE3F-952F-4CFB-9385-D5B15EEA2441.jpeg

 

BW , didn’t loose me. I think that’s a neat deal! 

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