Roll Top Desk Build - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Roll Top Desk Build

Well I've been thinking about making one of these things forever and a day and I thought that it was time to stop thinking about it and start doing it. I actually started the project weeks ago and only thought to take photos and start a thread today. There is a lot of hours invested here already but not much progress. More to come.
Roll Top Desk Build-img_7587.jpg

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post #2 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 10:45 AM
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Well, this will be interesting. I was expecting a scale model !!!
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post #3 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 10:54 AM
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After making furniture for my family and friends for several years, I started my roll top desk a few months ago. Something I also have wanted to do for a long time. Googled images and came up with my own plans . Are you using purchased plans? I'm up to making the tambour slats, .70" x .40" x 60". Do you think they will sag in the middle? Anyway I hope you enjoy your build. Here is my flickr album of the build so far.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/146474253@N06/8NXq6Y

Dan
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post #4 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 10:57 AM
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Kenbo, looking forward to seeing photos of this build especially the tambour construction.
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post #5 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Gal View Post
After making furniture for my family and friends for several years, I started my roll top desk a few months ago. Something I also have wanted to do for a long time. Googled images and came up with my own plans . Are you using purchased plans? I'm up to making the tambour slats, .70" x .40" x 60". Do you think they will sag in the middle? Anyway I hope you enjoy your build. Here is my flickr album of the build so far.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/146474253@N06/8NXq6Y

Dan
I am using a set of plans but so far, I'm not too impressed and will be emailing the company. I have found several discrepancies between the prints and the cut lists and there are several areas where they didn't allow for the extra 3/4" length on the rails and mullions. I have to say it's been a little frustrating and I'm not a fan of spending an hour of my shop time, trying to figure out plan errors instead of working on the project. Your build was actually what inspired me to get off my lazy butt and start working on mine. Thanks for that. As for the tambour sagging, I think they might if your thickness of the tambour is .4". I would be going with a minimum of 1/2", if not 5/8" thick. If they are .7" thick, then I don't think you have anything to worry about over the 5' span. Loving the progress of your desk by the way.

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post #6 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 04:21 PM
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Another builder had the same problem with needing to add 3/4"to rails and mullins. Here is his website:

http://www.van-vliet.org/dempseywood...ltopdesk.shtml

He has some helpful ideas.
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post #7 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 09:49 PM
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I built a small roll top desk for my son several years ago. He is 32 now and it is still down stairs in his old bed room. I built off the top of my head with a few pictures in magazines. It is made of wormy chestnut. As a lot of my furniture. Your build is looking looking good so far Kenbo. (As always)
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post #8 of 139 Old 03-26-2017, 10:08 PM
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This is going to be really nice, Ken, really nice! Looking forward to seeing it progress through the steps.

David

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post #9 of 139 Old 04-02-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Made a little more progress on the desk over the past little while. Managed to get the back panel of the desk completed and glued together and I also got the left and the right face frames cut and glued up. I still have one more face frame to complete and then I can start assembling the lower body of the desk. Hopefully.

Roll Top Desk Build-img_7592.jpg

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post #10 of 139 Old 04-02-2017, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 139 Old 04-02-2017, 06:26 PM
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Plot twist - the desk is actually only going to be an inch and a half tall. Kenbo just built a miniature shop to screw with us

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #12 of 139 Old 04-02-2017, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Plot twist - the desk is actually only going to be an inch and a half tall. Kenbo just built a miniature shop to screw with us
The big question is this........can you find the lighter in the pictures?

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post #13 of 139 Old 04-04-2017, 10:57 AM
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Very nice work Ken. I'll be watching for the updates.
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post #14 of 139 Old 04-04-2017, 12:14 PM
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What a great build!!

Following along too.

~ Bear

I am here to learn.
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post #15 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Worked on the desk again today. Got the spline grooves all routed and the dry fitting done. Ended up snapping my 1/4" straight bit so a trip to Lee Valley was in order to get a new router bit. (oh the hardships) Also got the face frame for the middle drawer finished an dry fit together. Finished off the day with gluing up the drawer assembly on the left side of the desk. This will sit overnight and I will do some more work on it tomorrow.


Roll Top Desk Build-img_7602.jpg

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post #16 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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post #17 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 07:29 PM
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That looks really good, Ken! Forgot to ask but is this for you or are you building this for someone? My assumption is that it will be yours but just curious. What stain/finish will you use?

David

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post #18 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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That looks really good, Ken! Forgot to ask but is this for you or are you building this for someone? My assumption is that it will be yours but just curious. What stain/finish will you use?

David
This one is definitely for me. I've wanted one for years and years and I have just procrastinated on making it. I haven't fully decided on the finish yet but I'm thinking a sanding sealer and then a clear finish. I really don't want to stain the wood as I like the colour of red oak and I would like to keep it as natural as possible.

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post #19 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 08:07 PM
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This one is definitely for me. I've wanted one for years and years and I have just procrastinated on making it. I haven't fully decided on the finish yet but I'm thinking a sanding sealer and then a clear finish. I really don't want to stain the wood as I like the colour of red oak and I would like to keep it as natural as possible.
Ken,
This desk will be beautiful regardless if it's stained or left natural. Even the knee-hole has raised panels! Your one of the best in documenting your builds. Thanks for sharing.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #20 of 139 Old 04-08-2017, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ken,
This desk will be beautiful regardless if it's stained or left natural. Even the knee-hole has raised panels! Your one of the best in documenting your builds. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the kind words on the project and on the build thread. I am filming the entire build for my youtube channel as well and there will be a multi part build series on the channel, sometime in the fall of 2017. Once again, thanks for the kind words. I'm loving this project so far.
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