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Desk rebuild

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Blog series by Ben updated 09-28-2009 06:40 AM 6 parts 11229 reads 14 comments total

Part 1: Desk destruction

08-13-2009 07:35 AM by Ben | 1 comment »

So I took the desk apart and stripped the paint. Oddly enough, this entire desk was built without a drop of glue (except the top). Screws, nails, and other hardware held everything together. This made it pretty easy to pull everything apart and salvage for future use. Here is what I think I have: Legs: 4 in decent shape minus a few small cracks that I should be able to fill with epoxy. Aprons: The rear apron is still a pretzel, but otherwise OK. Side aprons look fine. The front was ...

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Part 2: Apron construction, etc

08-16-2009 05:51 AM by Ben | 3 comments »

Since the last blog entry I have made some good progress on building new parts for the desk. The apron and legs are nearly ready to assemble. This was my first attempt at building curves into my work. To curve the front and sides I built up layers of laminate and formed it in an mdf forms. I used poplar as the base for these curves, and cut the original mahogany down for the outside faces. Not having a drum sander to smooth each layer, I had to rely on my bandsaw to cut true, which it ge...

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Part 3: Starting to take a new shape

08-20-2009 05:50 AM by Ben | 4 comments »

I pushed through on my last vacation days and got the base of the desk re-assembled. I assembled all but the back strip with pocket screws. It is pretty strong right now, but I think I will back it up with some corner braces just to keep it from pulling apart over the years. The original desk had one drawer, so you can see one mahogany drawer slide and one poplar. I am a little nervous that the front of the desk will not have enough strength, especially with people pushing off of it t...

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Part 4: Set backs

08-25-2009 04:50 AM by Ben | 1 comment »

So I moved on to making drawers for the desk this weekend. I had some extra Macore stock that I had already cut up and turned out to be just the right size for the sides and back of the drawers, so I was in luck! Since I couldn’t find the directions for the dovetail jig, it took me a little while to set it all up correctly. I finally got everything set up OK. Unfortunately, as I started up my router for the second dovetail I heard the sound of something shattering and pieces of pl...

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Part 5: Drawer construction

09-14-2009 06:33 AM by Ben | 0 comments »

So I overcame the router issue with a new router. I bought a Triton 2 1/4 HP model. It seems to work OK so far, although all of the accessories are different than the Porter Cable versions, so I am slowly building up what I have for it. Some of the attachments are a bit awkward—the plate to support bushings didn’t line up quite right with the bottom of the router, and the hose connection requires a threaded 1 1/2 hose. Fortunately, I could work around both these issues. On ...

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Part 6: Finish Applied

09-28-2009 06:40 AM by Ben | 5 comments »

So I now have my first experience with Waterlox finish, and am reasonably happy with the results. I brushed it on, but eventually gave up and shifted to a rag. It is a bit unforgiving with drips and streaks, but I think I fixed a few bad layers with some sandpaper. Only time will tell if it will be durable enough to protect from scratches. One question remains – what type of wood comprises this desk? This desk was once in the Swedish embassy (40-50 years ago), and had since been ...

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