massive corner desk

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Project by Von posted 09-05-2012 11:13 PM 9494 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My oldest starts homeschool any day now, just waiting for his textbooks to arrive. My lovely Mrs. pointed out that he would need a real desk for school and such. Well, we have a small house and space is kinda tight. I surmised that a large corner desk would better suit us versus adding a 3rd small desk to our living room. After a bit of thought I pulled a real simple “table-like” design outta my head, from scratch. The base is made from Norway Pine 4S 2×4, stained with rosewood to hide the “ugly” caveman-ish construction work. 3 of the legs are from a 5” diameter birch log that I felled and skinned some time ago. (same log that I made the most recent wood carving from) 2 of the brich legs are a “clamp on -flaoting” kinda thing. Hard to explain, but they are carved in such a way as to pinch and clip onto the frame like a closepin. Depending on where the heaviest load on the tops is set, the legs can me moved to support the weight.

The table-desk tops, are made from a mix of Norway, Red, White, and Jack pines. All of them locally cut and milled from trees in the area around me. (northern MN) I ran them thorugh my jointer to flatten them a bit. The boards were all rough-cut 7/4×14’ I ripped each board at their middle, and ran em through my jointer on all sides to an average of 5/4. I wish I had a thickness planer. ooooo I wish I had a thickness planer! Each wing is assembled with 3 batens, no glue -just a whole lot of pre-drilled holes and screws to allow for seasonal movement. The center miter is a true 45 deg. cut. (done with a skill saw & a home-made jig—they came out almost perfect) I opted not to join each wing, they just float on the base frame.

My random orbital hand sander literally grenaded in my hands as I went to use it on the tops. So I was forced to use a hand plane and a block sander knock out most of the high edges on each top. I gave each side a couple hours of work and called it “good enough for now.” Then I slathered on a coat of linseed oil finnish on each top and let it cure.

Despite a not perfectly-flat finnish on each top, you can drag an optical mouse on it just fine, without using a mouse pad. So I guess I got it pretty fair with just the hand plane. I like how it came out but I can’t say this is my finest work, and I am only posting it because my lovely wife is so enamoured with it. She keeps buggin me to post this. From design to install: about 4 days.

8 comments so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3267 days

#1 posted 09-05-2012 11:36 PM

great job on the desk.everythings better when you keep the boss happy.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View deepsleep's profile


22 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 09-05-2012 11:37 PM

I like it! No small challenge to get that large of a landscape flat!

-- Steve, Southern Oregon. So many tools, so little time....

View Von's profile


238 posts in 3290 days

#3 posted 09-05-2012 11:48 PM

huh, i forgot to say how big it is. It measures 7 foot on the outside edge on each wing. The inner sides are 5 foot, and the width is somewhere around 25 inches. Stands 31 inches tall. The majority of the design was to allow room for chairs, and a vaccum cleaner underneath. My kids love playin under it like it’s some kind of “fort” or somthing.

Ya, hand planing that much realestate was a daunting effort. I almost cried when the sander blew up—knowing just how much work I had suddenly taken on. Function over form right? lol

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3767 days

#4 posted 09-06-2012 12:31 AM

The top looks like it came out just fine to me. Any pics of the legs and their attachment?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Von's profile


238 posts in 3290 days

#5 posted 09-06-2012 03:43 AM

I didn’t shoot any pics of the assembly or individual parts. However, if you can, imagine a 4 inch open mortisse on one end of the leg across the full diameter of the log. Each mortisse was hand cut so that the top was slightly narrower than the the root/bottom. The mortisse was cut in an “open” fassion so that the frame (wich is 2×4 construction) can be dropped into it. Since the upper part of the mortisse is narrower by a small margin, the leg “clamps” itself to the 2×4 the same way a one-piece wooden clothsepin works, that is if a you had a clothsepin that needed to be clipped onto a 2×4. heh.

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 3183 days

#6 posted 09-06-2012 04:10 AM

I really like this. This too has just been added to my wife’s “you need to make one of those” list. Will have to go oak in our home, but I like that natural wood look even better, it would just mean even more work for me if I did it that way. My wife would have me tearing out all the oak for natural wood.

I keep trying to help her understand, “ecclectic” is a style

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8049 posts in 4430 days

#7 posted 09-06-2012 04:44 AM

Great job on that project! I’m glad your wife made you post it. It reminds me of one I build a long time ago. Sorry to hear about the sander exploding in your hand. Hope you dind’t get hurt! Get a jar and strart putting your change in it and soon you will see it turn into a thickness planer!! l

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Von's profile


238 posts in 3290 days

#8 posted 09-07-2012 11:02 AM

my reward for bein a good hubby is power tools

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