Ambitious newbe with desk plans - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-01-2020, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Ambitious newbe with desk plans

Hello woodworker peeps, I'm hoping to pick your brains as I'm new to woodworking. Over the past two or three years I've been obsessed with learning about all kinds of woodworking; especially dovetails I've been practicing my angles and think I almost have it down with my Dozuki. Still making friend with my Royba as it totally bites fingers if you happen to misjudge how fast it goes through wood



In any event, I'm planning out a whopper of a first "real" project; desks & cabinetry for a new home office. I included a pic of one side of the room for reference, other side is way bigger, but I'm still finalizing the design. As an unfortunate note, I'm in Alaska so it's pretty hard to get wood up here [read it'd be cheaper to buy a truck in the lower 48, fill it with wood, and drive it home, than to barge it up here] so I'm kind of limited. I'm planing to use 1/2" and 3/4" birch or maple plywood (depending which takes locking miters and dovetails better) with 1" solid walnut or dark stained hard maple accents.



My question at the moment is about the "legs" and desktops. I want to get those parts to around 2 1/2" wide, (half blind dovetails on the faces - with the sides, bottom, & back mitered ply) but I'm not sure which way to go about it given the plywood situation. My original thought was to face a 2 x 4 frame with 1/2" plywood, but I read on some site somewhere that it's better to sandwich MDF or particle board for structural stability; especially on the desktop and keyboard drawers. I was wondering what ya'll's thoughts were on it?



Also, as a note, I do plan on doing bar-top epoxy on the desktop & keyboard drawers, the rest of the desk will get either a wipe-on poly or home made shellac depending on how "yellow" super blonde and platina flakes turn out on the plywood.
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Last edited by Mystri; 07-01-2020 at 07:58 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-06-2020, 11:19 AM
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If it's a cabinet-quality plywood, I don't think the blind dovetail will be an issue. What you're describing (facing the sidepanel/leg edge with 2.5" trim) is pretty much how my old desk was, and it was only particle board. Actually, mine was more of a dado than a dovetail but if that held up I'd think your idea would be fine. I'd probably go 3/4" for that side leg panel for stability and have a brace at the back of the desk connecting it to the other side.(dont see any in the model) Otherwise it'll just snap with any lateral pressure, such as leaning against it)
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-06-2020, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaelax View Post
If it's a cabinet-quality plywood, I don't think the blind dovetail will be an issue. What you're describing (facing the sidepanel/leg edge with 2.5" trim) is pretty much how my old desk was, and it was only particle board. Actually, mine was more of a dado than a dovetail but if that held up I'd think your idea would be fine. I'd probably go 3/4" for that side leg panel for stability and have a brace at the back of the desk connecting it to the other side.(dont see any in the model) Otherwise it'll just snap with any lateral pressure, such as leaning against it)

hmm is there a "number of plys" that makes "cabinet" quality plywood? I'm very limited in what makes it up here to Alaska - other than the limited selection at HD and Lowes there's one store within 500-600 miles that carries any sort of furniture sized wood :(



I didn't realize it, but yeah the "modesty panel" that goes across the entire back of the desk isn't really visible - it's actually fairly tall, going from the top few inches of the computer case all the way up to the top of the monitor stand - keeps the keyboard and mouse from falling off the back of the keyboard drawer and keeps papers in the cubbies too. I've planned to miter that into the "face" of the legs to integrate it for stability. I def. want stable and strong. I figure there is no point in going through my effort to build it if it's gonna break because I stand on it to install ceiling speakers or whatever heh

Last edited by Mystri; 07-06-2020 at 05:43 PM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-06-2020, 06:41 PM
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By quality I mean not the kind you lay for floors. The stuff I'm thinking of is like $50 a sheet a lowes. But I'm not expert, just giving my opinion.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-07-2020, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by phaelax View Post
By quality I mean not the kind you lay for floors. The stuff I'm thinking of is like $50 a sheet a lowes. But I'm not expert, just giving my opinion.

Ah! I think I'm looking at what you're talking about as one of my picks.



I was looking at Baltic Birch that I can order from the specialist wood store, or HPVA Maple from Lowes - https://www.lowes.com/pd/SoyStrong-N...x-8/1000096506



The "filler" plys on the Lowes wood is less than desirable from the look of it though. I'm going to special order a chunk to test it out. Same with the Baltic Birch. Just waiting for CV19 lock-downs to chill out so the Alaska delivery peeps can get back in gear.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-07-2020, 01:31 PM
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I had a similar project, somewhere lost, only everything is made of oak, very beautiful.
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