Built in craft desk

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Project by Luke posted 03-06-2013 07:15 PM 2960 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I are both into our respective crafts; for her: scrapbooking and sewing. For me: fly tying, and photography. We have a loft that was set up as an ‘alternative living room’ with an old entertainment center, and couches. Well after about 5 years in our home, we realized that we had NEVER used this room, it was a wasted space. After all how many couches and TV’s do you REALLY need? So I drafted up some plans for some more storage as well as a place for our kids to do homework when the day comes for that.

I built the cabinet carcass’s out of Melamine. This being a craft desk, with things going in and out, I wanted something that would be durable. The face frames are made of poplar, and the beading was applied after the frames were put together. I used biscuit and pocket hole joinery for this project.

The desk spans nearly 15’. At first we designed it to be just one long work surface, but for more storage, we decided to build the bookshelf on the top. It was made entirely of leftovers.

My little boy really likes to watch me in the wood shop and even help when he can.

I love him being in there with me, but it really puts a burden on me to improve my dust collection, I don’t want him breathing dust. We’re not honestly in the shop very often though.

I used biscuits to assemble the cabinet carcasses along with pocket hole’s on the back for support. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up, but I thought I’d give it a try. They are plenty strong! As a matter of fact, we had our countertops in the kitchen replaced and I inspected our cabinets construction while there was no counter, and this desk is 10 times more heavy duty than what was put in my home.

The 15’ long desk top was a revolving decision… at first we wanted it to be dark, so we tried various colors on scrap but
after wards decided that natural was probably the best option. I put 6 coats of a home brewed wipe on poly. I had originally intended on building a finish of of the wipe on, but this was taking way too long. I ended up spraying shellac over the oil, and then 4 coats of General Finishes WB Poly on top. I also used my Earlex 5500 to spray the white paint.

I built the center cabinets to fit my wife’s Sewing machines, and Craft Cutters/Printer and put them on full extension drawer slides so she could easily access them as seen in the pics.

4 comments so far

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3643 days

#1 posted 03-07-2013 02:31 AM

Luke – nice project. gotta like having the little helper around too. Thats great, I remember (and have been told) that I use to “help” my dad when I was little too. Now I have his equipment.

You did a great job. I was not aware of the Earlex 5500 so I looked it up. I have a Grayco Sprayer but Have thought of getting a small unit like that for little jobs.

I see the draws go inside the frame (I’m sure there’s a name for that) I”m doing my first cabinet job over the next week. Was it hard to get the hinges set right?

I’m sure your wife was very happy with the unit.

-- Harold

View scottishbob's profile


171 posts in 2792 days

#2 posted 03-07-2013 09:01 PM

well done nice work , and its painted! I have a pic of the units i made i mdf , you commented about painting them, in my forum topics
Cheers Bob

-- Ireland, Galway .... fingers! "we dont sell them"

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3191 days

#3 posted 03-07-2013 11:20 PM

Harold, it takes some work getting the drawers and doors to fit inside a face frame, and there are some tricks to get the proper spacing. On the upper drawers I cheaped out and bought regular drawer slides, on the lower drawers I bought the more expensive ball bering slides because I figured they would have more weight. The more expensive slides not only feel better to use, but their ability to fine tune the fit is worth the added price.

Scottish Bob, those are some mighty fine cabinets!

View SYPUCK's profile


37 posts in 2356 days

#4 posted 05-04-2013 04:27 AM

nice job on the craft desk. Do you tie flies there?

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