Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk #1: Getting Started - Design and SketchUp model

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 07-25-2017 10:53 PM 1426 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk series Part 2: Getting started takes longer than you think »

My youngest daughter asked for a computer desk for her 17th birthday. Well, it was last week so I’m already behind.

She wanted something that had Japanese influences. After looking at countless pictures over the past several months I was looking at a side table on Kevin Rodel’s website and she saw it and immediately decided that was the look she wanted. The table is described as a “contemporary Asian inspired Arts and Crafts with roots in several old masters”.

The site also has a desk with similar details that was inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of my favorite styles.

She was sold on the idea. Meanwhile, I’ve been learning just enough SketchUp that I can draw up a 3D model and generate the necessary drawings to build the desk.

I must say I’m very happy with SketchUp. The basics were easy to learn, certainly easier than when I learned CAD. Part of the process of making the model is creating the joinery so it will all fit together. I was able to find and correct numerous little details that normally would get missed, only to cause problems in the shop. I was also able to adjust and correct details that didn’t look right with a few clicks of the mouse rather than getting it built only to realize the proportions were off and the piece doesn’t work. Lastly, I was able to show her what it would look like before I start building.

There are some tricky parts including the inset chamfered edge detail on the top and the rounded leg posts. I’m also going to make my first major foray into inlay (after I watch Kevin Rodel’s videos).

Kevin Rodel – Thank you again and again for all of your helpful online writings and videos as well as some magnificent furniture designs.

Dimensions: 50×24x30, ebonized walnut, satin clear coat, with glass panels from my friend Alex at Glass Heritage that will be inspired by some more of Kevin Rodel’s glass work.

I have a large stack of walnut planed and waiting for me to start. I’ll be starting with the side lattice/grid, then move on to the legs, drawers, front and back panels, then the top.

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

3 comments so far

View WhattheChuck's profile


455 posts in 4636 days

#1 posted 07-26-2017 01:28 AM

I made a simplified version that captured the form without the glass. Check it out here:

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4634 days

#2 posted 07-26-2017 02:24 AM

Love me some Rodel & Mackintosh so am looking forward to this project! You’ve also obviously done something right if your 17 year old has such a great aesthetic. Make sure to send her some coasters for her roommates in college…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View EarlS's profile


4447 posts in 3424 days

#3 posted 07-26-2017 05:05 PM

Chuck – I found your version a while back when I was first looking to see if anyone else had built it. Even with the simplified design, it still holds true to the original design.

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

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