Modern Computer Desk #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by Ron Stewart posted 04-27-2017 08:59 PM 1447 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Modern Computer Desk series Part 2: Leg Alternatives »

This series of blog posts describes a modern computer desk I started building recently.

A few months ago, my wife and I decided to replace our old Sauder (knock-down furniture) executive-style desk with something newer and a bit smaller. After a lot of research and SketchUp modeling, we settled on something similar to desks designed by Milo Baughman and others likely inspired by him and his contemporaries.

Our design includes these elements:
  • Simple, clean lines.
  • Waterfall grain pattern (mitered corners, where the wood grain flows up one side of the cabinet, across the top, and down the other side).
  • Three full-extension drawers to maximize storage in a small cabinet.
  • A finished back in case we decided to place the desk out in the room.
  • Cable management to reduce clutter.
  • Open framed legs.

For the cabinet wood, we chose quartersawn American Sycamore. We found some interesting, beautiful boards at a local lumberyard. The wood is full of character, and parts of the grain resemble lacewood (or snakeskin).

Here are some renderings of our final design.

Upon starting this project, my main concerns related to the mitered cabinet corners and waterfall grain, as well as with working with solid wood in general. (Most of my experience is with MDF and veneer, and MDF is nice and flat.) As this blog series progresses, I’ll highlight the problems I encountered and describe how I dealt with them.

Before I start to cover the actual construction, I’ll present some alternate leg designs.

-- Ron Stewart

2 comments so far

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1551 days

#1 posted 04-27-2017 10:09 PM

Not MCM to my eye, FWIW.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

178 posts in 3279 days

#2 posted 04-28-2017 01:05 PM

Thanks for your comment, gargey. I’ll admit to not knowing the finer details of MCM, and I certainly do not want to misuse any terminology. So I just drop the “mid-century” part to avoid any confusion or contention.

-- Ron Stewart

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