Midnight Woodworking


Adam’s desk top – day 1

The base cabinet is done and installed in Adam’s room, now it is time to start on the desk top.

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Just like the cabinet, I am pulling all of the parts from my scrap pile. The top will be from a sheet of plywood that had about 16″ cut off one end, and a large notch out of the side. I was careful when cutting the pieces away from the sheet because I had Adam’s desk in mind. I deliberately did not cut through the corner, when I removed the old project pieces. That just left a small chunk, in the corner for me to remove.

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Unfortunately, the long side is 4″ too short. Adam’s cabinet is right up against an outlet, so I can’t move it in that extra 4″. I am going to have to add a small piece. Rooting through my scrap pile, I uncovered this piece. The grain is close, so I will try to use it.

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When this piece was cut before, there was a lot of tear-out, on the bottom, from the cross-cutting on the table saw.

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To avoid this, I added a second piece of plywood below, and pressed them tightly together as I cut.

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It seemed to help a lot, no bottom tear-out.

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I determined that the factory edge on the sheet of plywood was not very straight, so I cleaned that up with my block plane.

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After cutting down the smaller piece, the grain no longer matches very well. I will get over it…

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I decided that I wanted a little extra help aligning these two pieces, so I turned to a tool that I seldom use, my biscuit jointer.

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I cut four biscuit slots on each side of the joint, then added a bunch of glue, and the biscuits.

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Since I don’t have 7′ long clamps, I had to get very creative with my clamping.

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I whipped away the glue squeeze-out with a wet paper towel, then added a few pieces of wax paper and a few wide strips of plywood to straddle the joint and clamp it flat, while clamping over and under to an additional set of boards that I clamped parallel to the joint. Weird, but it worked.

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The joint looked pretty good, once I sanded it down. You won’t even notice the seam when Adam starts piling his collection of mess onto it…

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Ironically, the short end of the “L” shape, was about 3″ too long, so I clamped down the saw guide, and cut the excess off. Since this cut was with the grain, it cut well, with no tear-out.

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In an effort to match the walnut stripe, on the cabinet doors, I am cutting some 3/4″ x 1/2″ strips of walnut to go around the front edge of the desk.

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I cut them a bit over-sized, then finished them up in the planer.

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I marked them and cut them to length, Then drilled and counter-bored some screw holes. One about every 6″.

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I applied glue to the back, then screwed them into place.

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I used my block plane to make sure the surface was flush to the top.

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Next, I cut a few 1-1/4″ x 3/4″ strips of oak, the rounded over 3 sides.

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I measured and mitered the corners, then applied glue, and attached the strips with 2″ brad nails. This will give Adam a nice lip to grab and pull in his chair. I screwed the walnut to the plywood, because I wasn’t sure the glue joint, at the plywood would hold up to pulling. I knew the oak glued to the face of the walnut would be more than strong enough though. I made sure I marked the screw locations with tape so my brad nails would not get shot into one. Those brad nails do weird things when they hit something they can’t penetrate.

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It needs a little sanding before I move on to the next step, but it’s getting late, so I am going to wrap it up for the night. I think it looks pretty good. I checked with the boss, and Adam really likes it too.

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2016 by in From the scrap bin..., furniture and tagged , , , .

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