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Discussion Starter #1
'Evening. I hope you guys can guide me with a desk I'm designing.

I'm sure it's simple, but I can't figure out how to join this thing.

Overall sketch:


Detail of problem area:


I'm planning to use a tongue and groove to join the main panels. I'm going to use rail and stile construction for the pedestal drawers, but I can't figure out how to join in the rails for the center drawer. A moulding will be applied the full width of the desk on the lower center drawer rail.

This is going to be stained. 3/4" oak plywood cases with solid oak mouldings and top.

Thanks. And feel free to tell me to do this some other way entirely. I've never built a desk before.
 

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Old School
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'Evening. I hope you guys can guide me with a desk I'm designing.

I'm sure it's simple, but I can't figure out how to join this thing.

Overall sketch:


Detail of problem area:


I'm planning to use a tongue and groove to join the main panels. I'm going to use rail and stile construction for the pedestal drawers, but I can't figure out how to join in the rails for the center drawer. A moulding will be applied the full width of the desk on the lower center drawer rail.

This is going to be stained. 3/4" oak plywood cases with solid oak mouldings and top.

Thanks. And feel free to tell me to do this some other way entirely. I've never built a desk before.
I would first use a lock miter bit for joining the main panels instead of tongue and groove. It will leave a clean looking panel in both directions, whereas a T&G will leave a raw edge of ply.

The top edge of the panel next to the drawer opening is cut/notched to let in a full rail across the end panels and the opening. The width of it can allow the stiffening of the panels and a way to secure a desktop, by screwing from beneath. The lower rail on the drawer opening can be installed by way of a stub tenon on the ends of the rails.










.
 

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You might consider a frame and panel for the pedestals. Then you can use traditional mortise and tendons with solid wood, and avoid the plywood edges all together. Also, if you use oak for the frame, the panel could be ¼ inch plywood, which will save some weight and cost. Since the drawers on the left have a style and rail system, the right pedestal (looking from the front) might look more balanced with the frame rather than an un-framed piece of plywood. The joint that connects the middle rails to the pedestals on either side will be handling a lot of weight when the piece is moved around, so those joints have to be good.
 

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hey im to new to the trade to give any advice, but wow i really love the drawing, that thing will knock some socks off, please show some pics when its done. Goode luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the input. It made me begin thinking of many things an experienced furniture designer would take for granted. For instance, I had to nail down drawer sizes, which impacted construction methods of the drawers, which was impacted by the physical measurements of the desk, which impacted drawer slide mounting methods, which all impacted internal space of the drawers, which was important because I was hoping to legal-sized file drawers. Which turned out to not be aesthetically pleasing.

Anyway, I've spent the last 10 days learning lots about drawer construction, cabinet construction, and waaaaaaaaaay more than I ever needed to know about ball-bearing slides. I've also fleshed out some decorative details.

Info:
http://www.taunton.com/promotions/excerpts/DrawerBuildingBasics.pdf
http://books.google.com/books?id=OGSFAAAAMAAJ&dq=cabinet%20making&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Work:

Version two of the whole desk. Dentil, fluting, edge routing, drawer added. Much detail work.

Corner pieces have become solid due to fluting. Face frame will also be solid. Case still 3/4 oak ply.


File drawer. Inset. Standard US letter size for hanging files. Dovetailed front/back, 1/2 poplar, bottom 1/2 poplar in a groove, open to the back. Front 3/4 oak, glued and screwed.

Will use Accuride 3832 slides, with the face-frame mounting option.
 

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John
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You could dedicate one drawer to legal and the others to letter, just file the legal front to back instead of across the width. I think most atty's though simply fold the bottom 3 inches of the papers up. :icon_cool:
 
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