Archive for ‘My Desk’

Drawer Pull For My Desk

By , 26 May, 2015, No Comment
Drawer Pull Made of Oak and Ebony

Drawer Pull Made of Oak and Ebony

I finished my desk about 4 1/2 years ago, except that I did not have a drawer pull for either drawer.  I have been at a loss to know what it should look like.

I wanted something that was unique, original and complimentary to the rest of the desk.  Months ago I glued together a piece of ebony and two pieces of white oak to make a sandwich.  As I began working on the piece, I realized it did not look quite right.

Drawer Pull Made of Oak and Ebony

Drawer Pull Made of Oak and Ebony

I glued another piece of ebony on the bottom (or on the backside) of the pull, and then worked it in.  That made the pull seem more balanced, and not just an oak and ebony sandwich.

Then I shaped it with carving tools, a round cabinet scraper, hand saws and sandpaper.  I tapped the holes for regular 3 inch-spaced cabinet pull screws so that I can take it off and repair or replace if I ever wish to do so.

My final desire was that it have a very soft, almost sensuous feel to it, as some other parts of the desk have.  It was sanded with 600 grit paper and finished with a spray lacquer.   Finally, it was buffed out.

It really draws the eye, and then the hand to reach out and touch it.  Man, it feels nice.  Now I need to create a duplicate for the drawer on the other side.

 

Full Figure Legs

By , 28 June, 2012, No Comment
Figured Sides

Figured Sides of Legs

So, how do you get your legs to look great?  Exercise?  Not when your legs are like a block of wood.  Maybe adding a nice lift or covering them with a faux finish?

I love quartersawn oak.  Making legs that show those quartersawn rays or figure though is problematic, because the rays only appear on two opposing sides. This forces you to make a decision about which side is going to have the exposed figure, and which is going to be plain old grain. So the question is, how do you get great looking legs from every angle?

There is of course a way to put figure on every side of the leg, and that is to rip 4 pieces of wood with a 45 degree bevel on each side and then glue them together.  That sounds a bit easier than it turned out for me, but with the help of my wife, I ran 16 strips of wood through the table saw twice, beveling each edge.

Legs From the End

Legs From the End

In this second picture you can see what it took to put these together.  Because the thickness of my wood was the traditional 3/4 inch thick wood, I was going to be left with a hollow center.  To make the leg solid, I also needed a square strip that would be glued to the insides.

This required quite a bit of dry fitting and testing until I felt that I had a pretty good fit.  You can see that it was not perfect, but I got close enough.  Actually some of the gaps on th end close up just a short distance into the core of the leg.  Next time, I think I will get thicker wood to start with so that I don’t have that plug to deal with.

The glue up is done by laying the legs flat and tightly adjacent to one another.  Run some nice heavy tape across the four sides with some extra hanging out there.  Flip, apply glue and role them back up so that the extra tape now holds the sides together securely while they dry.  I put some clamps on with some square bracing just to make sure they dried properly.

After that, each piece was run over the jointer to flatten and equalize the amount amount taken off those two sides.  Then the legs were each run through the planer twice to cut the other sides flat and consistent.

I am happy with the result, but that ended up being a lot more work than I intended — just to get the kind of legs I wanted to show off.

Say, isn’t that the case with all great looking legs?

Ready for Use

By , 27 November, 2010, 4 Comments
Front View

Front View

The desk is done.  Well, nearly done.  I need to make pulls yet for the drawers, but the right design still eludes me.  In the mean time, the desk can be used.  I moved out the other two desks in the room.  One of them, I am sorry to say went right to the trash.  I found a lot of service from that desk, but the time had come to get rid of the particle board furniture.  The other is an antique that was too small and it has gone into service for my wife.

All Extensions

All Extensions

The pictures show the desk in its new home.  The attached views show the desk’s mirror sides, with each side having a writing shelf and a small drawer.  And then the bookshelf on the one end.

As I began to move things on to the desk, I found myself nervous about scratches, and scuffs.  I had a big battle in my mind as to whether this was a functional desk or a show piece.  It really is not nice enough to be a show piece, but I spent a lot of time working on it, and protecting it over the past year.

I built the desk because I could not find one I liked.  I am blessed with long arms and long legs which do not comfortably fit most desks.  Apparently, a rule of thumb is that everyone has to use the same size furniture.   So, reason ruled, and the desk now holds all of my computer stuff, phones, and sundry.

Corner View

Corner View

So far, I am enjoying it, and loving the Greene and Greene style highlights.  I am still dreading the first bang or scratch, but that is life.

Drawer Side

Drawer Side

Ebony Highlights

By , 10 November, 2010, No Comment
Rough Ebony Insert

Rough Ebony Insert

Virtually every piece of Greene and Greene furniture contains ebony highlights.  As I prepared to add the highlights to my desk, I considered using Indian Rosewood instead due to the cost of ebony, and the scarcity of it in my area.  However, I found some in Des Moines, and I like the look.

You can see in this first picture a piece of ebony already glued into the socket and rough cut to to the appropriate height.  The ebony is not glued where it fits into the breadboard end so that as the wood in the main body of the desk top (the core) expands and contracts, it freely moves in and out.  The desk is still sitting above the frame here as I work on the ebony.

Corner View

Corner View

The effect is wonderful to see and feel, as you can see in the next photo.  In this photo, the ebony has been routed and then all four edges of each piece has been hand worked to take off the sharp edges.  Wow, that was tedious.  But, it is beautiful.

In the photo, you can see a lot of dust on the pieces yet, and you might notice that the drawer does not have a pull.  I am still mulling over the design for a pull.  However, the top is now secured to the frame and has a nice solid feel to it.

End View

End View

This last photo shows one of the ends of the desk with the ebony plugs in the smaller holes covering the screws that hold the breadboard to the core.  As mentioned in an earlier post, only the middle 4 or 5 inches are glued and the rest is screwed so that expansion allows the core to move along the rest of the breadboard.

Breadboards

By , 5 November, 2010, 2 Comments
Breadboard Cutouts

Breadboard Cutouts

The breadboards for the desk are mostly done.  They fit on each end of the core of the desk, or the main flat part of the desk. Each finished end fits on the core over a spline, and glued only in the center 4 inches.  The rest of the breadboard is not glued, but screwed on.  You can see from the picture where the sockets are for the screws.  There is enough play in the holes for the screws that the core of the table can expand and contract with changes in humidity.  That allows the core to move along the unglued portion of the breadboard which remains mostly stable.

Breadboard

Breadboard

The larger center cutout is for looks only.  Each of the cutouts will be filled with a piece of ebony and left just a little bit proud.  My layout is a bit different than the model that I am imitating, so I hope mine will still look nice.  By this time the core is about ready for final glue-up and adding the ebony accents.  I will post those pictures in the near future.