Modern Desk #5: Still at it

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Blog entry by AandCstyle posted 01-21-2020 01:07 AM 593 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Actually Part #3 Completion (I hope) Part 5 of Modern Desk series Part 6: Finished! »

I feel like I have made good progress these past few days. I had to make the dovetails on the ends of the cross brace and since it was about 73” long I had to clamp it to the workbench and stand on the bench because I wasn’t confident I could control the router if I held it at against the end of the board at some random angle.

Sorry that the end result is a bit out of focus but rest assured that the edges are sharp. :) I included some sawdust in some of these pix because someone accused me of posting fake pix. You know who you are! ;D

Next, it was on to hogging out the waste in the legs that will receive the sliding dovetails. I use a white gel flow pen for marking on dark woods like walnut. You can see them here on the edge of the routed out area.

This is the one at the other end.

I use this jig to guide the router when using the DT bit. I put a 3/4” OD template guide and the jig is tapered from 7/8” to 3/4” over the 24” of usable length. This yields a taper of 1/16” per foot which I once read was the desired amount for sliding DTs.

My next step was to drill the holes in the cross brace so I can screw it to the desktop. My drill press has a maximum plunge of 4.375” so I drilled the holes as deep as it would permit, ripped the brace in half and finished drilling to the desired depth.

Then I drilled a pilot hole the rest of the way through the board.

I cut the DTs to the proper length so the cross brace would sit flush with the top edge of the legs.

Finally, a couple of pix of the brace in one leg. The two halves wouldn’t come together like they should have so I filled the gap with walnut wood filler. Once the excess is sanded off the joint will be practically invisible. I scribble chalk over the surface before sanding-it helps to easily identify any low areas.

I mentioned in the previous post that I might need to add another coat of the black stain but that wasn’t needed. I don’t think those boards could be any blacker.

All the smaller parts have been sanded and moved to the finishing room. I “only” have to sand the desktop and then the finishing can begin. :)

Again, thanks for looking.

-- Art

8 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6298 posts in 3788 days

#1 posted 01-21-2020 01:19 AM

Nice work Art. Got your leg workout climbing up and down your bench too!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View oldrivers's profile


2430 posts in 2541 days

#2 posted 01-21-2020 01:25 AM

Looking good, great work takes time.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1039 posts in 2267 days

#3 posted 01-21-2020 07:08 AM

The sliding dove tails came out great. Pretty good for being perched on you work bench.

I once had the same problem with the range of my drill press. I bought extra long bits and moved my drill press table upwards after I reached it’s maximum depth.

You making good progress. Can’t wait to see it finished.

-- James E McIntyre

View EarlS's profile


4217 posts in 3323 days

#4 posted 01-21-2020 12:07 PM

I will have to look for a white gel pen to mark walnut. I’m currently using a mechanical pencil with white lead but it doesn’t always leave a solid mark.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Mark's profile


1065 posts in 2949 days

#5 posted 01-21-2020 03:45 PM

Lookin’ good Art. I gotta say , ya got more guts than Dick Tracy cutting your dovetails like that with that type of router guide. But it looks like it worked well for you. Keep up the good work.

-- Mark

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


787 posts in 754 days

#6 posted 01-21-2020 09:28 PM

The most recent book case I built had to have dovetails cut into the long piece. I had to stand on a bucket to saw them, then the piece was flopping back and forth with every saw stroke. I feel your pain.

View builtinbkyn's profile


3026 posts in 1915 days

#7 posted 01-26-2020 03:56 AM

Wow lots of progress Art. I like how you did to create the ebonized components. Looking forward to seeing the end results.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View splintergroup's profile


4414 posts in 2197 days

#8 posted 01-26-2020 03:44 PM

Pshaw! I have more sawdust coming out of my nose at the end of the day than that measly amount you show for your, albeit Hurclean, efforts 8^)

You are a determined man Art! Great kudos for tackling those DTs on the end of that fine plank!

Be sure to use the wide angle lens when submitting your final pictures for the panel of LJ judges!

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