[PROJECT] bumzilla's new his n' hers Desk.

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by Ratzz, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    A little project I'm working on for bumzilla.

    He wanted a 2m/+ his and hers desk, but the nearest he could find to what he wanted was a chipboard thing in Officeworks for 400 bucks, and only 1600 wide so not long enough for two people.

    I like to build things nice and chunky. Strong and simple.
    This desk features a simple box joint construction, using builders adhesive on the joints, and expanding glue on dowels. No screws or nails at all.

    Heres the initial plan. Its made from 2x 2100mm L x900m W x30mm thick laminated pine benchtops. Some minor changes were made, like the location of joints and dowels, but you get the idea.

    Desk dimensions will be 2100mm L x600 W x 730mm H

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    Cutting the joints. I clamp 2 pieces together, saw them together, they come out identical. Perfect.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  2. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Making some dowels. Its 12mm Tassie oak, dictated by the thickness of the 30mm benchtop and the fact Bunnings only has 12mm dowel in Tassie oak :lol: 12mm is the thinnest I would like it to be, but much thicker and you risk splitting the bench you are doweling into. The grooves are to allow the glue to spread and expand better.

    The glue is Tarzans Grip Ultimate Strength. It's moisture activated, and expands like foam to make an extremely strong bond. Excess just scrapes or sands off when dry.

    Here I've used the dowels, glue and clamps to attach the bolsters which will hold the centre brace.

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    Although it appears the timber is sitting on the concrete, it's actually on the 70mm thick bolster that the dowels are driven into.


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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  3. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    And here, attached the centre brace to the uprights. Just glue and clamps here, but the adhesive has changed to liquid nails. I left it clamped for a couple days before proceeding.
    In the first shot, you can see the other benchtop, already cut as this one was lengthwise by the good people at Bunnings. The 900mm wide benchtops were cut into 2x 600mm and 2x300mm widths.

    One of the 600mm wide lengths was then cut at home to provide me with the two 730mm uprights, and the other will be the benchtop. One of the 300mm widths was shortened by 60mm to become the centre brace.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  4. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Spot the deliberate mistake.... I'm getting old :( I'll find a way of making it look good though, and it wont be highly visible anyway. The big feature here is the huge amount of space available for cables, power boards, and anything else you want to hide.

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    Here you get some idea of how it works. Before cutting...

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    and it needs a few holes cut for the cable entries. These are 5 bucks each at officeworks, white or black.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  5. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    The ends of the benchtop cut and dropped into the uprights. At this point I've forgotten to dowel the main brace to the bolsters, but moving it around all the time, it didn't flex or shift at all even before adding the benchtop.

    I've used liquid nails on these joints, and all other joints. Only the dowels used a different adhesive.

    Along the top of the centre brace, I ran a heavy bead of liquid nails, as well as all the contact surfaces between the uprights and benchtop. I then used 3" screws in exactly the same places as I planned to put dowels, substituting for clamps overnight.

    Next day, removed the screws, drilled the dowel holes into the screw holes, and dowelled the already perfectly square desk.

    I then used a circular saw to cut 30° slices from the corners, a beginning to a rounded edge. You'll also see that the holes have been cut for the cable entries.

    I also had to insert the 18mm dowels I've used to mount the centre brace to the bolsters from the back, I'd forgotten these, the thing was already so solid.

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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  6. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Heres where I'm at now..

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    I'll now use this rear section as a test bed for stain, bumzilla has a particular colour in mind which I'd like to duplicate. All I can do is try :thumbup: Once I get his approval, I'll do that area over in a very dark stain, and the visible areas will get the chosen colour.

    Things remaining.. of course I'd like to clean up the remaining joints with filler as I have with these.

    Then I have to fix the deliberate mistake.. remember that? The bolsters were supposed to be on the BACK of the bloody centre brace.. now I have to make them look good. I'm considering some nice floral carving with a dremel and some contrasting woodfiller as a faux inlay.

    Then of course the whole shebang gets sanded back, stained, sanded back, stained, stained, sanded back, lacquered about 10 coats thick, then sanded and polished to a satin sheen.

    I'll be using Cabot's water based Flooring Lacquer. It's designed for heavy traffic flooring, I've used it on many benchtops, its pretty much invulnerable. Very easy to use too of course being water based. The kitchen I did with it in the pic below is still as new after some years now.

    Oh, and of course it will have some kind of low profile feet on it. Probably just some flat plastic castors, I can't see anyone wanting to move it very often ;)

    How much am I charging him? More than the smaller $400 chipboard officeworks flat pack desk, less than I probably should. I do it because I like doing it :thumbup: No further details offered... ;)

    If you are interested in the kitchen I mentioned above, and some of my other work, then I have a thread for it HERE.

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    Our his n' hers desk looks like this.. also using Cabots Flooring.

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    I might have to post a video of my fish pond in another thread :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  7. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    sweet as:thumbup:
     
  8. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Thanks man.. not up to your standard but I love making shit. :)
     
  9. Azrael

    Azrael Member

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    Looking good. Out of interest, was the benchtop from Bunnings? The only solid wood stuff they seem to have at the ones over here are $600+
     
  10. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yeah, that would be right. Any kind of solid wooden benchtop would cost a mint, not many trees grow that thick.

    These are laminated pine, ie multiple planks of pine glued and fingerjointed together. You can buy laminated benchtops at Bunnings for around $100, usually in a choice of different woods. Just as strong as a solid benchtop, although maybe not as nice to look at, and unlike a single piece of wood, a laminated benchtop will not bow or warp.

    I've chosen pine because its one of the cheaper options, it can be easily stained to almost any colour you want, and its easy to work with. In particular, this benchtop was 900mm wide, which meant I could get both 600 and 300 widths from the same benchtop, saving me from buying a 3rd benchtop.

    Disadvantage of pine of course is that being a soft wood, its fairly easy to mark, but the Cabots Lacquer sorts out that problem really well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  11. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    do you use 000 steel wool in between coats or just free cut paper
     
  12. Azrael

    Azrael Member

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    Cool. Must be just the rubbish Bunnings near me then. Oh and by solid wood I meant all wood, as opposed to laminate/melamine/decorative wood laminate stuff that is a thin layer of melamine or wood on top of MDF or chipboard.
     
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Used 2.7m floor boards, pine sleepers and cabot's flooring lacquer to make a setup for my retro gaming area several years back. Was a fraction of the price I'd pay for something store bought, and would outlast a nuclear war.
     
  14. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Once I get to the lacquer stage I don't do anything between coats. I just keep laying it on (obviously using a damp tack rag to wipe between coats ). The beauty of waterbased products :) Then I use wet sanding 180, 400, 800. For this project I'll stop at 800, as bumzilla wants a low sheen, but on the kitchen pictured above I worked all the way up to 5000 with an automotive RO. With 10 coats, you can keep sanding till you have a mirror with no risk of sanding through the lacquer.
     
  15. ominae

    ominae Member

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    Awesome stuff. Always been keen on making my own furniture but the barrier of entry has always been buying the initial investment in tools :/
     
  16. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Hey man thanks. This has fallen behind a bit due to health issues, but I'll be back on it soon. Its got some stain on it, Matt has chosen to go with Black Japan.

    The initial investment need only be a saw and a drill :) Anything extra after that is useful, but can be done without..
     
  17. KanIbL

    KanIbL Member

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    Looking very nice. I should have gone for softer edges on my desk...it's tearing at my cheapo seat.

    Also, I used a Feast Watson Floor Seal on mine I'm pretty sure. Came out very dark (wood was already darkish). But in the end, it was the look I was after anyway.
     
  18. Ulan

    Ulan Member

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    subscribed
     
  19. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Fortunately this is now subsiding... don't ask, I don't know. I just woke up one morning like this. Its creepy having your eyelids pressing against your glasses..

    Personally I think Eva elbowed me while I slept but apparently its just an infection of the eyelid. They treat them seriously as they are uncomfortably close to the brain, but properly treated just a couple weeks discomfort. And daily jabs in the arse and a big box of pills. Luckily it improved just in time, they wanted me to go into hospital for IV antibiotics but I wasn't keen.

    At least it doesn't quite look like this any more..


    Click to view full size!



    Click to view full size!


    Should be back on the desk in a couple days, things will happen quickly from here so lots of pix to come.
     
  20. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    Dam, that sucks, Eva packs a punch:eek:;)
     

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