[Advice needed] Portable wood desk for registration studio - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
Finger cutter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Italy
Posts: 3
View woodPheasant's Photo Album My Photos
Question [Advice needed] Portable wood desk for registration studio

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and (almost completely) new to woodworking, having only some experience at rough log cutting in a boyscout company some year ago.

Why I'm here
Lately I've seen my registration studio desk, bought by IKEA and modded with a hand made shelf for added space, doesn't have quite the right proportions (I have a 24-pounds, 88-keys digital piano laying on the desk behind the PC keyboard, and having it too high and far from the shoulders makes it uncomfortable to play). Moreover, as my partner is thinking about moving abroad, I wouldn't mind having a desk that can be reassembled "indefinitely" so that it's easy to disassemble and move.

The proportions of the ideal desk would be similar to this one: https://zaorstudiofurniture.com/index.php?page=mizaz (image below)
It doesn't have to have a sliding sub-desk and I'm not particularly interested in the sleek design, but the drawer slot is a central piece of the design, as the 24-pounds piano would sit there, under the desk board, ready to slide out when necessary and at the right height for me to play it comfortably. On the desk board would sit my PC equipment, with mixers and speakers.

The main downsides to buying this desk are:
  • I'm not sure whether this can be safely disassembled and reassembled, and if so I'm not sure how many times can I do this;
  • 650€ is a bit steep a price for what I would be gaining by changing the desk;
  • I'm not sure that the desk matches my proportions and how much can I modify it to suit my needs.
Considered all of this, and considered that I would probably enjoy learning woodworking and applying the techniques to something useful to me, I decided to investigate how to build my "dream desk" myself. Obviously I'll start low and tackle lesser project first, but this would be my grand goal.

Project dimensions and projected weights
The dimensionsI seem to be comfortable with are about the same as the "professional" desk above: the desk board should hover at roughly 32 inches from the ground, while the drawer under it should sit at 25.5 inches. The overall depth is supposed to be around 24 / 25 inches as well, while the drawer should be around 12 inches deep. Minimum width for the drawer is 53 inches, but could go up to 63 depending on considerations about future purchases.
The drawer is supposed to only support the piano and some additional weight from playing, so from 24 pounds up to probably 30 or so (I'm not even sure how to measure the additional weight from body pressure). The desk board should support at most the same weight of the drawer, as the items I would put there are considerably lighter than the piano itself.

Project Materials
I've seen wood-and-pipes projects on Pinterest (example below), but I'm not sure where (and whether) I can find the right pipe components and how much customizable they can be without buying additional equipment (like metal pipe cutters).

So, I'm leaning towards full-wood projects.

Joining the pieces
Building a desk is a relatively easy task, but I think the thing that makes it interesting is my requirement for ease of assembly. Having to be able to disassemble the desk, many joints that are designed to last are not usable in this project.

Because of this requirement, I almost completely ruled out glue. It could however be used to join lesser pieces as long as they are reasonably small and it makes sense to pack them together. As an example, if I think of a desk with separate legs on four angles instead of two wood slabs, the structure keeping together the legs on the shorter sides could be joined together with screws and glue. I have no problem in glueing or screwing pieces together as long as the complexive size is less than the largest piece (i.e. the desk board).

I talked with friends more "manually skilled" than me and confirmed that screws can, in the long run, ruin the wood. Therefore I would prefer not using screws, or at least use metal screw guides to be inserted in the wood so that the wood itself is not ruined by the screw and if the guide is ruined it can be safely and cheaply replaced. A friend of mine described this system, but I wouldn't know how to name these "guides" and my friend didn't remember the name as well.

I read a bit about wood joints in general. I'm inclined towards using mortise and tenon joints, maybe wedged M&T joints for added stability. I'm not sure about dovetail joints because of the usual requirement of disassembly and my inexperience in woodworking. For what I've seen, other joints all requre some degree of glueing or screwing so I didn't investigate them in depth.

Limits
Since I'm limited in budget, (free) time and (free) space I'm not planning in building a full-fledged workbench and purchasing all woodworking tools. This extends limits to which operation I can do on the wood, as specialized tools may be required (or highly recommended) for some techniques.

Seen my inexperience and the lack of specialized woodworking experts around me, I decided to come here and ask advice.
Am I thinking the right way? Am I missing something? Are there solution that I, in my inexperience, have overlooked? Do you see obvious flaws or errors in what I exposed?

Thank you for your time
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	mizaz8.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	91.7 KB
ID:	352097  

Click image for larger version

Name:	ad3c8d45ea08bf2f0d615933516fa209.jpg
Views:	116
Size:	31.9 KB
ID:	352105  


Last edited by woodPheasant; 03-30-2018 at 06:26 AM.
woodPheasant is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 06:15 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 12,099
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
There was a lot to try to read there, but I do not think that I ever saw any dimensions. Just what size do you want? I saw two pictures that were entirely different. One was a simple table and the other a, I guess, a "desk."

At this point it is not at all clear to me just what you want.

George
GeorgeC is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to GeorgeC For This Useful Post:
woodPheasant (03-30-2018)
post #3 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
Finger cutter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Italy
Posts: 3
View woodPheasant's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
There was a lot to try to read there, but I do not think that I ever saw any dimensions. Just what size do you want? I saw two pictures that were entirely different. One was a simple table and the other a, I guess, a "desk."

At this point it is not at all clear to me just what you want.

George
Thank you George,

I updated the post with a paragraph for sizes and weights. I didn't think they were important, as my main concern was about joints. Thank you for pointing out the missing information.

The "desk" I posted would be a reference of a commercial solution, roughly equal in terms of functionality. The "simple table" is a reference of what would be a possible "structure without screws in the wood" made with pipes, in case anyone did something similar and was able to comment on the particular solution.

My main concern are about:
  • feasability: is it possible to build a stable desk without glueing or screwing all the structure?
  • joining techniques: if the answer to the question above is yes, what joining techniques are available to me (e.g. mortise and tenon)?
  • general tips: e.g. are there structural differences between having 4 separate legs or 2 wood slabs to hold the structure?
  • warning about how I'm approaching the problem: am I trying to solve something different without realizing it? Am I overthinking the problem, as there is a simpler solution to what I'm trying to do?
Did I explain myself better? It's rather difficult trying to explain a project without "being in the business", so if I can improve what I wrote in any way please feel free to correct me!
woodPheasant is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 06:42 AM
johnep
 
johnep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Anglia UK
Posts: 1,954
View johnep's Photo Album My Photos
The net suggests using suitable drain flange.
johnep
johnep is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 07:28 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 26,550
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
General advice on a "portable" desk ...

You can use wood thread inserts, to eliniate wood screws. These accept common size threaded bolts or machine screws. I use them on a bench top when I want to move my vises and press around or remove them.
https://www.amazon.com/wood-threaded...aded%20inserts

A pipe flange, not a drain flange, comes in sizes for standard water or gas pipe in 1/2", 3/4" or 1" and can be screwed up into the bottom of a table top. The screws can be left in place and the pipes unscrewed from the flanges IF you design it with pipe couplers to connect them. Other wise in the table photo above, you will need to remove the screws. The couplers are probably about $2.00 a piece X 4.



The piano keyboard can be on a slide out shelf mounted below the table top surface on drawer slides. You can use mounting cleats of wood or metal brackets, angle iron/aluminum to attach the vertical wooden pieces that will hold the drawer slides to the table surface below.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-30-2018 at 08:34 AM.
woodnthings is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
woodPheasant (03-30-2018)
post #6 of 6 Old 03-30-2018, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
Finger cutter
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Italy
Posts: 3
View woodPheasant's Photo Album My Photos
Hi woodnthings,

Thank you for your reply. I'm glad to find some evidence that flanges are actually parts of common designs. Thank you also for the idea of keeping flanges attached to the board, it didn't strike me at first but alongside the couplers it seems an idea that works well.

About the keyboard shelf, I guess both solution work roughly the same (maybe depending on the hardness of the desk board) so it's really only a matter of which solution is easier to implement.
woodPheasant is offline  
Reply

Tags
desk, diy project

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wood expansion and contraction desk cck Design & Plans 18 03-03-2016 05:51 PM
Looking for ideas to make a portable wood vice. Sleeper Design & Plans 16 02-12-2016 05:45 PM
Basic Techniques Wood Engraving purnomoadi General Woodworking Discussion 0 11-16-2015 01:43 PM
Reclaimed wood desk help jkjod Wood Finishing 2 10-21-2015 07:35 AM
Simple Smartphone and Tablet Wood Desk Stand virtu Design & Plans 3 08-24-2015 12:58 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome