Desktop Organizer v2.0

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Project by splintergroup posted 12-03-2018 04:51 PM 2436 views 18 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The specifics:
Walnut and Russian olive, about 11”x 11”x 5-1/4”.

I imagine most everyone here that builds a new version of an older project will think of what was good/bad and try to improve things.

I made a quick desktop organizer a while back out of necessity for a growing clutter of things on the table. My thoughts were spaces for remote controls, maybe a tablet, and a small drawer for all those little things. A place for a tissue box was high on the list.

I’ve had several visitors ask about that item so I decided make a few more. Looking back there were a few changes I wanted.

The tissue box is great to have, but ugly. I wanted this covered.
Having space for a tissue box makes the unit rather tall, make the appearance look less chunky.
Make finishing easier.
Make the drawer stay closed.

I came up with this new layout to solve several issues. The entire design centers around tissue box so I tried to minimize it’s footprint. Having a lid over the tissue dresses everything up, but without a clever way to make the lid lock into place, chances are that at some point pulling out a tissue will bring the lid with it. I decided the simplest way was to have the box load from the bottom. The inside dimensions are 4-1/2”x4-1/2” which makes for a nice snug fit. The lid is glued into place and since it is not removable, it can be thin.

The felt pads are from the big-box stores as a variety pack of different sizes. These have double sided tape to hold them in place, but I know that they will not adhere to the finish and eventually get knocked off.
I drilled a shallow 1” dia. recess after finishing to give them a place to “lock” into. A dab of epoxy in the recess backs up the tape to keep them in place.

I profiled the dividers and sides out from the center so they taper to 3-1/2” tall. This makes it appear less blocky.

The finish is simply Watco and paste wax. I wish there was an easy way to apply a protective top coat but getting into all those deep nooks is impossible. Prefinishing, which I do often, has its own issues with keeping the oil out of the glue areas (walnut just begs to be oiled).

The drawer on the original never seems to get fully shut after digging around for some lost item. I added a magnet into the side of the tissue area and directly behind a magnet inserted into the back of the drawer. This provides a satisfying “self closing” feature. The magnet is hidden beneath a layer of veneer. The handle is a simplified version of what I used on a jewelry box. The pull is Russian olive with walnut supports.

Anyhoo, here it is!

Things I already wish to change for v2.1:

Make the grain of the lid run L/R instead of front/back (oops!)
probably get rid of the divider that runs from the center of the tissue box area to the side (or make it run front/back instead).

More thought on the drawer dimensions. This one is a tad too deep.

Thanks for looking!

33 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22996 posts in 3555 days

#1 posted 12-03-2018 05:40 PM

Beautiful organizer, Bruce!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View sras's profile


5135 posts in 3579 days

#2 posted 12-03-2018 05:41 PM

Well thought out and great looking too!

Yeah – there is always something to do better next time…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View pottz's profile


5757 posts in 1434 days

#3 posted 12-03-2018 06:03 PM

wow that is gorgeous,outstanding craftsmanship.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View CampD's profile


1788 posts in 3936 days

#4 posted 12-03-2018 06:20 PM

Very handy and done beautifully!

-- Doug...

View Jerry's profile


3228 posts in 2098 days

#5 posted 12-03-2018 07:02 PM

Wow, everything you do is so classic and beautiful. Love it! Now back to work on the lamp blog. :-)

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View stefang's profile


16711 posts in 3784 days

#6 posted 12-03-2018 07:16 PM

Very cool organiser, now if you could just make a box that can clean up my workshop!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View splintergroup's profile


2771 posts in 1672 days

#7 posted 12-03-2018 07:32 PM

Thanks for the support people!

Sefang, I’d hop on a plane and help you organize that workshop but Jerry says I have to get back to work 8^)

View Peteybadboy's profile


906 posts in 2399 days

#8 posted 12-03-2018 09:40 PM

I think it’s really cool! Nice work as well.

-- Petey

View AandCstyle's profile


3216 posts in 2707 days

#9 posted 12-03-2018 10:16 PM

Splint, naturally, the craftsmanship is superb, but I really like the design because it demonstrates your creativity. However, I am curious about why you need all those little cubbies? All I have on my desk is my computer and my phone.

-- Art

View hoss12992's profile


4149 posts in 2343 days

#10 posted 12-04-2018 12:02 AM

That is freaking awesome. Love the design and the craftsmanship is top notch. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

4023 posts in 1032 days

#11 posted 12-04-2018 01:07 AM

Nicely done. I’ve been thinking about a bedside valet, and I believe you just talked me into having a tissue compartment in it since now I won’t have to worry about the top coming off with a tissue.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View a1Jim's profile


117689 posts in 4027 days

#12 posted 12-04-2018 01:08 AM

That’s a very unique project very nice work.

View Richard's profile


11291 posts in 3483 days

#13 posted 12-04-2018 02:33 AM

Very Nice & Well Done!

Rick S.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View EarlS's profile


2957 posts in 2798 days

#14 posted 12-04-2018 02:39 AM

Brilliant, as usual. The walnut looks great.

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

View Pointer's profile


449 posts in 1561 days

#15 posted 12-04-2018 03:44 AM

Every part of this looks great. I especially like the drawer pulls. Nice design.

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

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