'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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'Ol Dave's office suite project

One of my all time favorite woodworking projects so far in my short woodworking career is the birch computer desk that now occupies my home office. 

Actually, the desk was among a three component set of plans that I got from Workbench Magazine (Volume 61 - No. 2, Issue 288, April 2005).  I completed the 3/4 view of finished computer deskFront view of completed computer deskdesk in 2006 and got pulled off the project by orders from the "boss" to build some Shaker styled cabinets for our kitchen.  I have not gotten back to finishing the other components of the set.   Guess I'll do that when the kitchen cabinets are done. 

There is still a lateral filing cabinet and printer stand to build in order to complete the office set.  You can see from the photos that the desk turned out fairly well and if I'm lucky enough, the other two pieces will be at least as satisfying to me as the desk was.

Desk drawer slide viewDuring this project, I got my first experience at mounting full extension drawer slides and I'll have to admit, it wasn't the easiest thing to do for someone who had not attempted this before.  It may be a piece of cake for those of you who have done this several times.  In fact, it was easier for me as well when mounting these slides in my lower kitchen cabinets.  The feel of the finished desk drawers (when pulling them out and pushing them back in) is not as smooth as the ones that I mounted in the kitchen cabinets.  I paid a lot more attention to the clearances the second time around than I did the first time I tried this.
Desk drawer view with dawers closed
The drawers in the desk are not really binding up anywhere, they are just not as smooth as those in the kitchen cabinets.  After I get the lateral file cabinet and printer stand finished, I may elect to investigate what is causing the difference in feel and try to fix it.

Heyboard drop-down dawer hinge detail
Even though the outward appearance of the finished desk is excellent, there is one thing that you can't see that I also had a problem with and that is the mounting of the hinges to the flip down keyboard drawer.  I tried following the instructions on how to do this that was in the article (plans) from the magazine.  Sometimes these types of articles and/or plans have areas that are vague in the descriptions (or maybe my brain conceives them as being vague) but in either case, I didn't get the mortises cut correctly and had to use filler around the hinges.  It doesn't really look that bad as you can see in the photo, but it isn't correctly done for sure!  There may be a point where I'll redo this as well.

But as you know, this is how you learn and that is what this web site is all about.  We make the statement that 'Ol Dave's Woodshop is "Where woodworkers are not all Pros" and after all, we sometimes need to illustrate that within some of our projects!!
Desk top corner detail
Getting back to the desk, the close-up of the solid edges on the top turned out very well (see photo).  I put a 3 inch edge of solid maple around the desk top and used a 1/8 inch groove cutting router bit to make a tongue and groove effect to hold the edge to the veneered plywood top.  After the edge was mounted to the top, I routed a 1/2 inch bevel around the perimeter.

There are a couple of other features that I like about the design of this computer desk:
Desk monitor perch detail
(1) There is very good management of the wire and cables coming from the computer CPU in the right hand tower.  This may all be a mute point down the road however as computers are migrating more and more to wireless components and/or hardware.  At any rate, with my older computer with all the cables attached, this is a plus because you cannot see them spread all over the place.  The design provides for an open slot at the rear and top of the right side tower to run them through and they terminate in a PVC channel mounted up and to the back of the center of the desk.  I routed a 3/4" wide slot just beneath the monitor perch at the rear of the desk and these cables then can be fed through the PVC channel and up through the slot to give the monitor a wireless appearance.  Very Cool!
Desk wire managment access panel
(2)  The other thing is, the right side tower has a removable bar-type panel to allow the CPU to get ambient air to the back side helping it to run cooler.  This removable panel also allows for easy access to the ports, etc at the rear of the box.  To remove the panel, all you really need to do is raise it up slightly and it slides right out of the cavity at the rear of the "box" better known as the right side tower.

There were really no other outstanding challenges beyond getting good square cuts on everything.  I enjoyed making this desk and am looking forward to finishing the other two pieces in the suite.  I would be interested in any comments you viewers have about this project.  You can e-mail me the comments or if you have a project of your own that you would want me to post to these pages.


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