Friday 22 June 2018

Making A Huge Desk!

So even though I've been busy with everything else around here (trying to finish the extension etc) I took on a large commission a few weeks ago. 

It was to help create a new music studio for a customer. There was a list of jobs that needed doing, construct a ceiling, lay a floor, fit a soundproof door, build a massive 3.5m horse shoe shaped oak desk...

The desk really interested me. Not something you get to build everyday as a carpenter! I had some scribbles on a piece of paper provided by the customer and went from there.

The desk wasn't to be glued together so it could be removed at a later date if it needed to be. I also needed to build it in small enough sections so I could carry it and it would fit through the door into the studio.

I started by cutting all the pieces for the top into the right sizes and angles. This allowed me to lay it all out and see where I was going from there.

It was huge!

To get the picture at the top of this post I laid it out on the patio and went upstairs to take the shot!

I had decided on some thick oak worktop for the top of the desk. This is manufactured to be really stable so it won't move and is really good quality. In the end I had to order it online as my local supplier let me down.

I jointed it in much the same way I would a kitchen worktop. Using loose tenons (I have a machine that does this simply) and I routed in slots on the underside to accept bolts that would pull the joints tight together. Essential when you're not using glue and it allows the unit to be taken apart should it be needed.

Once I had this set out I started work on the back. This was to be constructed with oak legs in a frame mortised and tenoned together and a oak veneered ply back to provide stability and to hide all the wires that will be behind when music equipment is added.

I made three of these sections up that could stand interdependently so the last two sections could connect them altogether.

Adding bracing to one of the end sections
 The front legs were to be off the shelf stainless steel legs that I had to cut down using the grinder and a simple jig.

One section ready to be stood up

The completed desk in place.
The desk went together really easily. I was pleased as I hadn't been able to dry assemble ti at home as I just didn't have the space or a flat surface big enough.

When I had the desk assembled I sanded it all down ready to accept the dark finish the customer had requested.

I was pleased with the joints. I hate not gluing things together so it was good that these still came good with no glue. 
 As well as the desk I also put in a false ceiling, laid an oak floor and hung a very heavy sound proof door with a new frame.

I was really pleased with how the studio turned out. The customer has made such a lovely job of kitting it all out, with a great choice of colours as well. It feels like a proper haven now!

I was also impressed with the finish on the desk. I hate leaving something like that with the customer to finish but they've done an amazing job with it! It was great seeing it all in use, Looks like a great space to work from.

A really interesting commission that certainly made me think and tested my skills as a carpenter - just the kind of job I like!

What would be your dream workspace?


  1. Amazing - I do hope the musician is famous and you get more commissions from others!

    1. Thank you sue! I'm trying to keep all my work local at the moment if I can. Cutting travelling time is so important to fitting it all in with everything else!

  2. Brilliant to see such a great space, you are very talented, my space would be a sewing room, which would require a huge cutting out space, shelves and loads of drawers, all done in walnut.

    1. Thank you!
      You should see my mum's sewing room - it's amazing! Big cutting out table, over lockers, sewing machines the works!

  3. Looks like a fun project. Youv'e done a really nice job of it. I rarely get any like that one. Right now I am up twenty five feet of staging doing cedar clapboards in 90 degree heat ant 70% humidity, getting cooked under the sun and sweating like a pig. Getting too old for this monkey business.

    1. I'm lucky at the moment because I'm only part time I get to really pick and choose what I do and some unusual jobs come my way.

  4. That desk is a thing of beauty! And you are a true craftsman, Kev. (But you and everyone you work for knows that so give yourself all the credit in the world!)

    My dream workspace is my quilt room that my husband and I built together. Nothing as elegant as what you create, but I designed it exactly as I wanted it and have found I wouldn't change a thing . . . well, except for the book and storage shelves over the cutting table. We used what we had on hand for boards and they're rather crude and ugly. But they can easily be changed . . . when we find the time. Meanwhile, they're very functional!

    1. Thank you, you're too kind!
      I love my work space as well, I'll have to do a post on my workshop area sometime. Trouble is I've been using my empty extension as an assembly workshop- not sure what I'll do when it's gone!
      Like I said above mum has such a great craft/sewing room. When I eventually finish the woodwork in there I'll have to do a post on it! Yours sounds great, having a space dedicated to what you love doing is so important.

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