L-Shaped Desk #4: The fire, it burrrrrns!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by SauceMan posted 05-29-2017 08:09 PM 1064 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: More progress tomorrow! Part 4 of L-Shaped Desk series Part 5: Legs, snipe, joints, finish and a clever (I think) 45 degree angle jig! »

I want to keep this quick because it’s almost 1pm and I haven’t started yet. I got a new blade and a new belt to put into my table saw, but I really want to get working on my desk.

Yesterday was a pretty productive day. I feel like every time I take 8 quarter steps forward, I take 4 quarter steps back. (little woodworking joke for you guys, you can thank me later).

Last weekend I got this Diablo blade for my new table saw and spent a fair amount of time trying to square my table off and get the fence and everything lined up. I also got a riving knife for the saw because I don’t really like the splittler / guard system that’s in there. It’s very likely better than just a riving knife, but it’s so bulky and I don’t know how to push thinner parts through it. Also, it wouldn’t work on a cross-cut sled or a box joint jig I have, so it’s a non-starter.

For the life of me, I couldn’t get the riving knife set up so that it wasn’t pinching the wood HARD against the fence. The riving knife always stuck out to the right (the arbor is on the left of my table saw). Before you say “hey stupid, your blade’s too thin!”, know that I realized that I was “uninformed” and figured out my blade was too thin. It wasn’t clear to me that ALL diablo blades are think kerf and the riving knife was just too fat for the blade. No matter how much I adjust it, the riving knife will stick out on one side or another. Shame though because the Diablo blade was making super clean cuts.

So I dropped in the blade that came with the table saw. I think it’s a very expensive blade (it’s a Forrest blade), but I think it could do with a little sharpening. Also, it’s an 80 tooth blade which I think is just not right for what I want it to do.

I couldn’t move the wood quickly through it, and it was burning the wood too. This wood’s on fire! And not in a good way:

So this morning I received a brand new blade that I hope will do the trick—right tooth count and right blade thickness. Here’s the face-off of the blades. One blade’s too thin, one has too many teeth, and I hope that one is just right. Almost like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Blades.

I did power through yesterday. I dimensioned all the lumber I need for the project and cut and glued the legs. I was hoping to leave nothing but joints for today.

If you’ll read my other blog entry from today you’ll see that I got a plane tweaked and ready to use. I decided to try to use the hand plane to finish up whatever parts didn’t fit into my 6” jointer. I think it worked well, it certainly was very fast and less finicky than trying to joint something wide on the thickness planer. Unfortunately, I kept some of the pieces too long and when I ran them through the thickness planer they dropped while coming out and resulted in some serious snipe. (like, serious!). I made my pieces oversized and in all but one case was able to trim the sniped bits off completely. That last time was a newb mistake—I put the piece in in both directions and ended up with snipe on both ends—which exceeded the amount of slack in my wood (I put about 3” extra for snipe)

Here are some of the legs that I’ve glued together, and Holy Squeeze-out, Batman!

I decided for this project to let the glue dry like this and shave it off with a chisel rather than try to wipe it off while still wet. Will someone tell me if that’s a bad idea and if so, why? I like this approach because it prevents me from smearing the glue all over, and it also makes it so i don’t have to reach under the clamps for those hard to reach places. But I’m sure someone will tell me why it’s always better to get the glue out while it’s still wet.

My thought is to use mortise and tenon joints on all parts except for the aprons (and possibly stretchers) in the middle. Those I’m going to put a screw in from the side (blasphemy, I know!)
I’ve marked the ones I’m thinking about screwing in red and showing where the screws would be in green:

Why? First, because m&t joints at an angle may be challenging for me, though that’s not the biggest reason. It’s more to do with the fact that I may wish to move the desk at some point in the future and this would allow me to take it apart into 3 pieces. (the top, the right legs with stretchers & aprons, the left legs with stretcher s& aprons). I’m still debating not screwing the ones in the back and just gluing them to each other but NOT gluing them to the desk.

My most ambitious thought is to go for the mortise and tenon joints everywhere, and put countersunk screws vertically down from the top of the apron so it’s covered by the table top and you can’t see it even if you are standing behind the desk. I’m not against screws for this project, I just don’t want them to be visible except maybe if you’re laying on the ground staring up at the desk (you’ll see the screws attaching the apron to the top in any case then).

Here’s the wood waiting to be cut into aprons and stretchers:

Wish me luck! My goal is to get ALL the joinery done today and be left with nothing by finishing. This desk is for one of my kids since the two kids are now sharing a long desk and they seem to want a little distance from each other when they’re doing their thing…


1 comment so far

View SauceMan's profile


57 posts in 1091 days

#1 posted 05-29-2017 11:03 PM

I have an update on the glue.

First, even with 18 hours some of the glue still didn’t fully dry. Of course, the glue in the gaps between the wood (= thinner) is fine, just some of those beads of squeeze out are still wet inside.

More importantly, as I tried to shave it off with a chisel or plane, it sometimes tore the wood with it. It was particularly bad in one or two cases but I forgot to take a picture to share. When I finally remembered, I had one piece that had only a bit of it, but just now I see how bad the photo is. So sorry guys! Anyway, seems like trying to get that glue off the wood ends up ripping bits of the wood as well if you’re not careful.

You can see a little of it along the joint between the two pieces. Look for where it looks like the wood was ripped along that crease.

I ended up shaving it all off on my table saw anyway, but it just meant having to trim the thickness a little more to fix those issues.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics