I haven’t had much time in the shop over the last couple of weeks, but I put some time in today. I am starting on a two-level reception desk for my church. I have it mostly designed, but I still have a few details to work out. Those details will be easier to figure out on the desk than on the computer, so I decided to start, then refine my design on the fly. Here is a PDF of my concept if anyone wants a preview:
First thing I need to do, is break down the plywood. Since I want the grain to be oriented vertically, I need to make the front out of two pieces. Before I begin laying things out, I check the plywood to see if it is square. The first side was, but the opposite end was way out.
I pulled my measurements from the square end and cut the plywood to length with my track saw.
Once the two front pieces were cut to length, I ripped down another sheet to give me sides and the top.
I set the top piece aside to be figured out later, and ripped the sides to length.
I already cut the trim, for this desk, a couple of weeks back, when I was working on the statue bases. The base trim will be a three-piece layer up. I marked a line to locate where the pieces would be lined up.
I applied glue to the attachment location and nailed the trim together from the back.
I did a 2′ long section for the side and an 8′ long section for the front.
I allowed those to dry and moved back to the plywood for the front.
The right panel will be taller than the left and I want to cover the seam with a piece of wood, but the way I want it to go together, my center piece of wood won’t fall center on the seam. I cut a notch in the right plywood panel to allow the left panel to move over and center my seam. This is one of those details that is being designed as I go…
Before I can attach the trim to the front, I screwed on some temporary reinforcements to the back side of the joint. This will hold the panels together until the trim gets glued and nailed to the front.
I needed to attach a spacer to the bottom of the front panel for mounting the trim.
Next, I cut a 45 degree miter on the 8′ long trim assembly, then applied glue to the back.
I flipped it over and nailed it in place. The next step was to frame the outside of the taller side.
I sanded down and cut miters on the base cap trim.
I glued the trim and held it in place with some pin nails.
Before I frame the shorter side, I cut a 45 degree angle on the pieces that will go on the left edge. These will be part of the mitered corner.
I finished installing the trim on the left side and stood up the panel to take a look.
I grabbed the three side panels that I cut earlier. I set up my Kreg jig and drilled pocket holes to attach them to the front panel, as well as the top.
I laid the front panel, face down on my knock-down work station, then attached the sides.
I also added the spacer for the base trim. The third panel was for the side of the cabinet. It was attached 14″ away from the short side.
I cut a piece of plywood to the inside dimensions of the cabinet and used it to square up the sides so I could install the trim.
I took my time and trimmed out the side to match the front.
I am going to stop here for the day. I still need to do a bit more planning on how I want to trim the inside of the desk to ensure that it will remain square. It is also now too big for me to move by myself, so it will stay face down until I get some extra muscle to help me flip it. Oh well, not too bad for one day’s work. Hopefully I will get more time this week to keep working on it.
Nice work! Looks great so far.