Kyra's Desk

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Project by greg48 posted 09-30-2020 11:51 PM 906 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I ran into an old client (grand daughter) and was asked to consider taking on a desk project (I’ve yet to learn the word “No” around her). Kyra is entering high school this fall and would like to move off of the kitchen table for her studies. It seemed like a reasonable request and I asked her for some styles that she might like. Being way ahead of me, she texted some pics of a Hemnes desk she saw at IKEA complete with overall dimensions. I somehow get the impression that this build was not a spur of the moment decision on her part. It seems like it was not long ago that I was building cribs and doll furniture

I started off importing the pictures into Sketchup and scaling them into the model to acquire additional dimensions when I thought to make a search into the 3D Warehouse. Voila!, there it was, several models with everything but the joinery detail. I downloaded one of them and half of my design work was done.

For the cabinets, I decided on frame and panel construction using 6/4 alder for the frame and ½” plywood for the panels. On the frame, I incorporated mortise and tenon joinery with dadoes to hold the panels in place. The drawers were constructed of ½” Baltic birch plywood with simple box joints to assemble and added fronts with 3/8” round over drawer lips. The top drawer has an additional sliding tray in it for smaller items. The cabinet door was likewise made with M&T joinery using ¾ alder and ¼” plywood panel, again with a 3/8” round over door lip. The “client” wished to have the door cabinet divided with a shelf, so I made it a pullout shelf with short rail since the cabinet depth was too deep for the opening.

The desk top is simply a piece of ¾” particleboard with a Formica laminate added to the top and built up edges which I thought would wear much better than a painted wood top (client agreed). Beneath the top, situated in the footwell, is a shallow shelf to hold a plug-in strip and cables off the floor (sorry, no pics). Access to the top surface is through two 2” cable holes with plastic grommets. The top is attached to the cabinets with wooden clips that fit into the ¼” dado around the top of each cabinet frame.

The top shelf unit is made of ¾” sanded ply using dadoes, screws, & glue for the stationary parts and pins for the floating shelves. The small drawers on the bottom of the unit are constructed of ½” Baltic birch using box joints similar to the desk cabinet drawers.

Both units were “rattle can” sprayed with gloss white enamel (per clients wish) and the drawers were shot with a couple coats of lacquer. I’m sure that I would have been money and time ahead if I had just bought the IKEA unit but this build kept me off the streets (and out of the wife’s hair) for a time. I am glad I am only a hobbyist, it would be difficult to make a living with “clients” like mine.

Thanks for look’in in, all comments are welcome and I will return in a few months providing I’m not evacuated again due to fires and/or floods.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

5 comments so far

View Randy's profile


397 posts in 4658 days

#1 posted 10-01-2020 12:28 AM

Nice work, and good score for kyra.

-- RKWoods

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


7933 posts in 2426 days

#2 posted 10-01-2020 02:07 AM

+1 especially the joints…

-- Desert_Woodworker

View BigAl98's profile


284 posts in 4250 days

#3 posted 10-01-2020 02:45 AM

Best clients they are!

-- Al,Midwest -To thine own self be true

View Eric's profile


1796 posts in 1084 days

#4 posted 10-01-2020 11:09 AM

Great job, and in the way it was built, it would last for many years. Much better than what can be bought in the stores.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Bstrom's profile


360 posts in 385 days

#5 posted 10-01-2020 12:20 PM

Since IKEA furniture is known to ‘fall apart’ at times, Kyra was wise to get a seasoned woodworker to build her desk. Either that, or she just has you wrapped around her finger!

-- Bstrom

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