Ahhhh!!! The desk is COMPLETE. And I am in LOVE. Before I reveal the whole shebang (the finish is still drying so it’s not accessorized or anything), I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about how it was constructed. You may remember that I designed it from scratch. Let me tell you, it was worth it! After I had my plans and dimensions, I found myself at home with this pile:
After using the chop saw to cut it all to size, I had this:
The general design was of an open-front cabinet with an overlaid door. Each cabinet had two side panels, a back and bottom of MDF and a front door. I started with the side panels, as they were the most labor intensive. The general idea for them was to have a 2×4 frame with 1x4s in the middle to create a recessed panel. I laid everything out before I started drilling so I could make sure the good side of the wood was facing out.
I used the mother of all jigs, the Kreg Jig, to drill in pilot holes for connecting the boards to each other. I also drilled pilot holes that will eventually connect the cabinet to the top. I am so thankful I thought of this, because it’d be hard to get the jig in there after the cabinets were already assembled! Foresight to the rescue!
After all pilot holes were done, I clamped together the center 1x4s and inserted the screws. Yep, I did this step in the living room. What? Celeb Apprentice was on! I couldn’t miss it ;)!
then assembled the outer frame:
and then attached the two! Viola! 4 panels:
I also used the jig to pre-drill holes for the pieces that attached the two panels.
The board sizes used for the 4 pieces were dictated by the file cabinet that needs to fit inside. So, because the total height of the desk was restricted by the chair and a pre-fab center support from Ikea, the top front cross bar had to be small to maximize the open front dimension. Make sense?? Probably not, but in a nut shell, I had to make the cabinet fit, and that size wood was the only option! Next step was the front and back. Cue the MDF. Here’s the bottom, it’s made of 3/4” MDF and is glued to the front and back crossbars for support:
The bottom piece left 1/4” of width so the back panel could be set on top of it, and sit flush with the back of the cabinet. Here’s a detail shot of how the back is attached:
In the photo above, the bottom is the side panel, the left vertical piece is the top rear cross bar, and the right vertical piece is the back piece of MDF. As for the front of the bottom piece, it got a tiny piece of trim to cover the raw edge:
And with that, we had cabinets! Apparently, I forgot to take a good picture of the raw, finished piece. This is all I got:
But you get the idea. It’s a cabinet! Woohoo!
As for the door, it’s similar to the side panels in that there is a frame and center. For these, however, the frame is of 1x4s screwed together using the Kreg Jig:
and the centers are just 1/4” pieces of plywood glued and nailed to the back of the frame:
Again, I must have been so excited to be finished I forgot to take a photo! Bummer city!! But yeah, those are the desk cabinets! Coming up: how I finished them!