Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Building A Desk: What to do with the bottom of the cabinets and how to cover a hole

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1368 posts in 1766 days

#1 posted 08-07-2016 05:28 PM


The floor on which the desk will set may have slight peaks and valleys. Long straight bottom edges on the desk may rock or otherwise not set just right on such a floor. Adding feet at the corners of the plywood box would elevate the long lower straight plywood edges. Alternatively routing way the center of the long lower edges of the plywood could leave corner plywood load bearing points.

The feet could be simple ¾” x ¾” maple blocks glued to the corners of the lower plywood edges of the desk at the corners. If the edges of the maple blocks are chamfered or rounded over, the maple blocks would be less likely to catch on carpet.

If the lower center sections of the plywood are cut away leaving plywood bearing points at the corners, the edges of the plywood could be sanded smooth and finish applied. I personally sand exposed edges of plywood so that the brush applying finish to the edges does not catch and drag.

Whatever direction you choose for the lower edges of the plywood, I would personally sand the edges smooth, including breaking the plywood edges. Then I would apply finish, the same number of coats as applied to the entire project, maybe even a few more. Breaking the edges would help prevent a stray plywood splinter catching the carpet and tearing at the veneer. The finish would reduce friction and provide a little protect to the veneer while at the same time adding a little protection to the plywood should a drink be spilled near the plywood edges.

I would think the speaker fabric would block a lot of air. If speaker fabric is used to cover the holes created for air flow, larger holes would probably be needed to preserve air flow. I am sure there are covers that can be purchased to cover ventilating holes, but since these are pretty ugly, making your own covers, perhaps with narrow strips of maple half-lapped together could be built and would, in my view, look nicer. Alternatively, an open louvered design, could hide the holes but would be more difficult to build.

A completely different approach to solve the ventilation problem would to be to alter the design for the back. The back could be reduced in height. The back could then be installed while holding the lower edge up from bottom shelf by ¼” – 3/8” while also holding the upper edge of the back down from the top by the same amount. This would produce an air slot at the top and bottom and promote circulation. Since it is at the back, it would go unnoticed. Even with the back exposed to view, the top would conceal the upper channel while the lower channel would be seen as a black line. No covering would be required.

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