Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk #8: Finishing up the Odds and Ends

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 10-21-2017 01:19 PM 1293 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Topping things off Part 8 of Charles Mackintosh Inspired Computer Desk series no next part

Even with all of the “woodworking” complete there were still a fair number of things that needed to be finished. Generally, I keep a “To Do” list throughout the project to keep track of what needs to be done and in what order. At the end of the project, I start a new list for “Finishing”. Obviously, it includes the sanding, staining, finish, and wax. But the list also includes other things that need to be completed for the project to be “finished”.

On this project, the list included installing the drawer fronts to the drawer boxes, drawer slides, drawer pulls, installing the stain glass on the legs, laying out and attaching the drawer base to the top, attaching sliders on the bottom of the legs, and gluing the corbels to the legs.

Previously, slots had been cut in the drawer frame for the top fasteners that allow the top to expand and contract. The drawer base was centered on the top and holes were pre-drilled in the top for the fasteners.

Since all of the parts were pre-finished, I did a final light sand with 2000 grit on the leg assemblies and the drawer frame then glued them together.

After letting things cure overnight I glued the corbels to the legs. Since they are decorative, I didn’t screw them to the top.

I cleaned the shop thoroughly, covered all of the equipment with drop cloth, turned on the air cleaner, set up the sprayer, and the let things sit overnight. The next night after work, I sprayed the final coat (Arm-R-Seal) on the base and drawers. The top got 2 coats on the top side and 1 more coat on the bottom. I lightly sanded everything to get any dust nubs off then rubbed in wax and hand buffed the legs and drawers. The top was waxed with Behlens Deluxing Compound after sanding it with 8000 grit. The grain came through beautifully.

After letting the finish cure for a couple of days I screwed the drawer fronts to the drawer boxes. The UHMW slides were screwed into the drawer frame.

From there it was time to set the desk in place in my daughter’s bedroom. Since I was doing all of the lifting myself, the legs and top were brought in separately. I partially attached to the top to the base since the stained glass panels aren’t finished yet. We are still looking for the perfect pulls as well.

This was the original Sketch-Up design:

Once the pulls and glass are installed I will post the finished desk in the “Projects” tab.

As I looked back at the project, things turned out mostly as expected. Designing the desk on Sketch-Up was really helpful since all of the measurements and dimensions were worked out there rather than finding them as the build went along. Spending some extra time considering how to achieve the rounded profile on the edges also worked out well. There were only a few minor design changes along the way which really helped keep things moving. Only 2 pieces were scrapped because of design changes: the drawer front and the back apron. Sketch-Up is now an integral part of my projects.

While it might seem like the project was slow, the actual time spent working in the shop was probably less than 100 hours. All in all, I’m pleased with the entire project. More importantly, my daughter loves the desk. Now she wants a chair to match…..

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

4 comments so far

View WhattheChuck's profile


455 posts in 4636 days

#1 posted 10-21-2017 02:26 PM

Awesome job! I’ll look forward to the final.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View splintergroup's profile


5097 posts in 2298 days

#2 posted 10-21-2017 02:32 PM

Home stretch, nice!

I’ve used the Makintosh hardware from this place on my bedside table project. Made in Italy and the price is not bad, especially when it goes on sale every few months.

View EarlS's profile


4447 posts in 3424 days

#3 posted 10-22-2017 12:03 PM

Splinter – thanks for the link. The Mackintosh hardware wasn’t what she was looking for but I certainly like the look so it is in my favorites. I’m also going through the rest of the pulls to see if something strikes her fancy.

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

View JimYoung's profile


407 posts in 2663 days

#4 posted 10-22-2017 11:29 PM

Very nice piece, another family heirloom.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

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