Building a desk, could use some advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-31-2013, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Building a desk, could use some advice

Hi, I could use some advice on a project I'm planning. I've never really done a woodworking project before, but I'm considering building my own desk. Partly to make it just how I like, and partly as a fun project to do in my down time.

I originally thought about using MDF, as it's cheap, strong, and is pretty common for desk building. However, I've decided that I'd like something with a grain that I can stain and make look nice. I'm on a budget, so I was considering using plywood. I was thinking after I sand it down smooth and put a stain on it, it could still look nice, even though it's a less expensive wood type. I'm wondering if that's a good idea or not? And, if so, what kind of plywood?

Also looking for any other tips for someone that's new to woodworking, or any "gotcha's" that you've run into when building a desk.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-31-2013, 02:33 PM
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You could use cabinet grade oak plywood with solid oak trim.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-31-2013, 07:16 PM
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If you are looking for cheap you might use sandeply plywood and trim it with pine. If you could post a picture or a sketch of what you have in mind we might be able to give you more info.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-01-2013, 12:05 AM
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I built two desks in 1992 using oak plywood with solid oak trim. They are well used but holding up nicely. They are stronger than if mdf were used.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-01-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmiller1980 View Post
I originally thought about using MDF, as it's cheap, strong, and is pretty common for desk building. However, I've decided that I'd like something with a grain that I can stain and make look nice. I'm on a budget, so I was considering using plywood. I was thinking after I sand it down smooth and put a stain on it, it could still look nice, even though it's a less expensive wood type. I'm wondering if that's a good idea or not? And, if so, what kind of plywood?

Also looking for any other tips for someone that's new to woodworking, or any "gotcha's" that you've run into when building a desk.
Whatever plywood you decide to purchase will have a very thin veneer of the relevant wood species. You need to be very careful in sanding. I would only sand by hand. Power sanding can easily take off the face veneer.

As for "gotha's" just about any details of how to attach the trim mentioned in other replies, how to join the pieces, how to avoid tearout when cutting the plywood across the grain, how to get the stain to apply even colour between plywood and the solid wood trim, how to apply the final finish, e.g., polyurethane.

You do not mention the tools you have available, which could add to the list of "gotcha's".
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-01-2013, 10:18 AM
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If you're new to woodworking, you may not have all the tools.

For beginners, I like to recommend something like this:
http://ana-white.com/2012/10/plans/s...l-trestle-desk

Once you have the woodworking bug then you'll be using hardwood and mortise/tenon joints.

I hope that helps.

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Videos to fill your wooden soul.
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