Building a Desk

Posted on November 17, 2017 by Mike McGirr
The final product

The table top starts out as maple wood boards that are then cut into strips of equal width. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive since we want the height of all the sections to be the same and we don’t care about the width. However - eventually the pieces will be rotated so that what was once the width of a section will be it’s future thickness. Doing it this way is nice since we don’t have to be stuck with what the original mill set the height to be.

Once all the sections have the same height (which was the reason for cutting the boards into strips of the same width initially.) we can arrange them and glue them together with a strong wood glue. The wood glue is strong enough that the wood will give before the glue does so we are effectively left with a single piece of wood for our table top. This method also give us a cheap way to decide on how thick we want the table top to be and what size - a piece of wood that started out this size could be quite expensive or impossible to find.

Here is one section of the top after the rough sections have finished being glued together:

A rough section of the table top

Sanding 1 The complete table top in the process of being sanded.

Sanding 2 Sanding 3 Sanding finished The table top with the sanding finished before the finish is applied.

The finish This is the finish I used for this desk.

One of the legs after being tacked together. This is one so the legs in the process of being welded together. We first did tack welds on each of the corners followed by the main welds.

I ordered the steel for the legs from online metals I opted for hot rolled rectangle tubes sized 1" x 3" x 0.12" and cut to: 96". We later further cut these down to the sizes used in the table. The steel I specifically used was Mild Steel A513 and the 2 pieces cost $61.91/piece.

Of course being mild steel this meant that it was subject to rust so the next step after welding was to have the two steel legs of the table powder coated.

table side view The table top itself sits on top of a large sheet of plywood that connects the two legs. The table top is secured in position with large dowels drilled into the table top.

Shop view 1 Shop view 2 Shop view 3 The wheels are fixed with bolts (and screws in some cases) through holes we drilled in the steel frame once it was powder coated.
The wheels are the 3-5/32" Hollow Wheel, Met. Alu. w/ Brake & Plate from Doug Mockett & Company and cost $46.60 total.

All done All done!

Happy coding :-)