Office Furniture

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Established Member
22 Mar 2017
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South Yorkshire
Hi All,

I'm currently planning to build some custom office furniture as my first major project. My current office is a bit haphazard in furniture terms and I would like have a modern but classy type look, with plenty of storage and desk space.

The images below show my current thinking, and I have a few questions. I'd also appreciate any critique forum members may have on the design and/or approach I plan on taking.

Desk View

Bookcase view
bcase view.JPG

Pedestal close up

The triangle at the top is the light path from a ceiling mounted projector - the screen being the square box over the window. So this cannot be interrupted e.g. moving the bookcase into the corner would stop about 15% of the image showing on the screen.

The white box around the LHS wall is power trunking.


4 pedestals - 2 of which will form the desk.
AV Rack - needs to be open at the front (and possibly the back) for heat dissipation

Wood. I'm planning on using 20mm Cherry for all the carcasses, so will likely purchase 25mm rough sawn and stick through the P/T, rip width on the T/S and cut to length on SCMS. The joinery will all be 6mm x 40mm dominoes (just treat myself to a new DF500 set :) from axi).

Panels. Should I resaw and join the panels or use MDF/Plywood veneered sheets? The (limited) research I've done sees prices of Cherry veneered sheets pretty expensive (but about a 1/3rd the price of Cherry /m3) apart from one place, which sells in about the right sizes for the panels I require, and is marginally cheaper than the full sheet prices I have seen. Also delivery is only £7.80. These are from ... inish=1110 . Has anyone used these before - they seem reputable and aim their products at schools and makers. I'm planning on ordering a few samples of these to test quality and service.

For the bookcase, I am planning on having a fixed middle shelf, with 2 ply or mdf panels at the back to stop racking.

Tops. These will be 25mm thick all round. Duffields usually have 32mm cherry which I can P/T down to 25mm , then join together. Desktop is 1500mm long and this will be the largest piece in the whole build (see space below).

Finish. I've just got some Osmo 3011 PolyX oil - the glossy one. I've done a sample piece of cherry with 3 as-thin-as-i-can-apply coats (wiped on, ragged off), then Fiddes supreme (?) clear wax applied with 0000 steel wool and buffed to a finish. The result is very much like a shellac finish, but really easy to apply / complete. Any alternate finishes people might offer? I'm not the best at finishing, so needs to be as easy as poss.

Drawer Runners. I've bought a pair of these from Screwfix - ... pack/20420 - has anyone used these / got an opinion on them / long term review maybe. Any others that people would recommend? The alternative is to insert wooden frames in the pedestals and just let the drawers sit on them.

Drawers. I couldn't do all of this without some hand wood working, so I am planning on making the drawers out of Ambrosia maple (as a little contrast to the cherry) and DT them. The bottoms will probably be 4 or 6mm (veneered maybe - depends on costs/sizes) MDF. Drawer fronts will still be Cherry.

Timescale. This is going to take me a while. I work 50/50 from home and out on site across the UK, so only get in the garage workshop when at home. I'll be happy if I've done in 6 months.

Space. My garage workshop is limited in space so buying all the timber in one go, storing it and having space to make and assemble all the units would be virtually impossible. So I have purposely designed this so I can make one piece at a time, move it into the office and dispose of the piece it replaces.

Installation. I'm ultimately planning on using something similar to these ... pack/65152? to connect the desk, av unit and pedestal together. The cupboard / bookcase combination will likely be screwed back to the wall.

Prototype. This is a pretty major undertaking for me. I've been woodworking for coming up to 3 years. So I am reasonably accurate in measuring, marking, cutting etc. but this is my first go at cabinet making. It's also the first time I will have used the domino. So I've already started to make one of the pedestals from Pine as a prototype. It's already helped as the L-R alignment of the domino was about 0.5mm off, resulting in a 1 mm over or under hang on rail and stile joints (I sorted this out earlier tonight - so now it is flush). I dry fitted the first rear frame today and have to say Dominoes rock!

All feedback, advice, thoughts and critique welcomed. I've a couple of smaller furniture projects, some new windows to have installed, decorating after the window installation and a pile of the day job work to complete before I make a start on this, so should have time to incorporate any good suggestions.


PS if anyone wants a copy of the sketchup file to pull apart let me know. I "think" I have drawn it all accurately to scale.


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I've used the draw runners from Screwfix for several drawers in my shed without any problems, and that's with all the dust that gets everywhere, including the bearings, so they'll be fine in your office. It might be nice though with all the time and expense you'll put in to it to fit the Blum Soft Close.

I love my DF500, would be totally lost without it. I trim the sides of each Domino and generally give them a little sanding all round, time consuming but generally I've found it just enough to allow perfect alignment. Plus, they're easier to get in and out when doing a dry run.

Good luck fezman, and I look forward to seeing it finished. :D
Is that a power track along the wall behind your desk? If so that is a very good idea, it's what I have behind my desk and it saves lots of grovelling around. But decide how many sockets you think you need and then double it. Seriously, double it. I have ten along the wall plus one near the floor, every single one of them has something plugged into it and I still have to swap things around when I want to use my duplicator. It's on a ring, so I really should break into it and add another couple of sockets. A TUIT job.
thanks Pete - I've bought a pair of runners from screwfix and they seem fine, so will try them in the prototype. The problem I have is getting a set that fit , so the screw positions fit into the stiles of the units. The screwfix ones dont have any drawings / dimensions for this. The other ones I am looking at are the Motion ones from Ironmongery direct.

The plywood v resaw question was answered with a quick purchase of the sample pack from Kitronik . I have to say i was very impressed with these and will use them again. No affiliation with them, and a first time customer, but the service was great and product is spot on.

Steve, your spot on, it is power trunking along the long wall and around the corner. it has 7 doubles in there, along with a few of those having USB charging sockets in too. Occasionally, I have to stick a four gang in, but it is so much easier than scrabbling on the floor to do it. I did it the same way you describe, splitting the ring main at a socket, adding the trunking over the back box and sticking in the sockets to extend the ring main. A friend who is an electrician, who certified the work, said he wouldn't have done it any better - so i was pleased with that.

First batch of cherry bought yesterday from Duffields (their stock was a bit sparse in general this weekend). They also told me they are stopping supply of sawn cherry in favour of waney edge boards. Apparently this is because all of their recent supplies have been of lower quality timber. I had to work my way through the pile to get the boards I wanted. Will be making another trip next pay day to pick up some more - I need a van!!

Now a domino question - as I'm brand new to this tool. For the join type I'm using, is it better to use two 6x40 or one 8x50? The reason i ask, is that when i made the first frame in the protoype, i used two 6x40's, equally spaced. When I ran the grove for the panel, it just clipped the nearest domino. So it would be easier to use one 8x50 - but would this significantly affect strength? I've cut the second frame in the prototype with one 8x50 probably going to glue it up later today. Won;t be much progress for a week or too after that - doing a lap of the country with the day job this week :-(
fezman":phxe8epz said:
Steve, you're spot on, it is power trunking along the long wall and around the corner. It has 7 doubles in there, along with a few of those having USB charging sockets in too. Occasionally, I have to stick a four gang in, but it is so much easier than scrabbling on the floor to do it. I did it the same way you describe, splitting the ring main at a socket, adding the trunking over the back box and sticking in the sockets to extend the ring main. A friend who is an electrician, who certified the work, said he wouldn't have done it any better - so i was pleased with that.
That's better than mine, then. I found a socket, into which I presumed I could break and installed all the power bar. When I came to break into the socket, I discovered that it was a spur from somewhere else. So the whole power bar is really just a big extension lead. Fortunately the power draw is very small. The most on at any one time is going to be a couple of computers and a printer, but I'm well aware that is is not to regs. It is fused, though, so if I, or anyone else, did overload it, it would just shut down.
I've also found other anomalies - I turned off the upstairs power when I was decorating my bedroom, only to find that one socket was still live. It is a spur from somewhere else, goodness knows where.
Old houses, eh, who'd buy one?
It's just over six months ago since I started this thread, and I’ve finally completed the prototype for this office furniture build.

A couple of things has held me up. Firstly, I wanted a cabinet finishing for the front bedroom, which I started after this thread and finished about a month or so ago. Then I decided to put a ceiling in the garage and insulate the loft area it created – that’s nearly done ( Got to wait for some new garage doors (side hinged) so I can remove the up and over door and complete the ceiling – but they are on lock down) . Oh and built a new table saw / out feed table etc etc.

Today I put the finishing touches to the prototype pedestal.


Apart from running out of pine to complete the build and having to glue up boards for the drawer fronts, it was relatively straight forward. I’d thought a heck of a lot about how I was going to put this together when I did the sketch-up design. The domino joints worked out great.

I did drop a bit of a clanger though with the drawer bottoms :oops: . I had thought to use the veneered MDF that I will be using for the panels, but they weren’t big enough. So improvising, I used the plywood that came as the packing case for my planer thicknesser :D . It’s not the best quality – but this is just a prototype. Ultimately this piece will end up in the workshop, under the new built in bench i have planned.

So I’ll be making a start on the real furniture next. I have a good amount of cherry to make maybe the RHS units – but will need to order in the veneered mdf panels. Hopefully it won't take me six months to make each piece :D
Well its nearly a year since i started this and I've just completed the first unit! Slow and steady doesn't do it justice :)

There is a shelf to go in the middle of there too.

Since i built the prototype, I had a quick bout of Covid to deal with, but want to get on with building the rest of the units. This is the Cupboard that will sit under the bookcase in the diagrams above. Just need to find some suitable door (and matching drawer) handles then this one is finished.

All cherry (except for the invisible shelf - that was 18mm ply with cherry veneer), finished with Osmo PolyX Glossy 3011 and Fiddes supreme furniture polish.
Door / Side panels 4mm veneered MDF from Kitronik.
Construction is all Dominoes, with the top attached using metal L plates with slots for expansion and contraction.
Blum 71B3550 Blu Motion Hinges - never fitted these before and a massive thanks to @petermillard for his videos and advice on them. Fitted perfect first time.

Now for the bookcase, I'll report back in another 6 months :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Afternoon all, I thought I would dig up this thread as I have finally got round to finishing this project.


I reckon it has taken me approx. 2 years from finishing the prototype pedestal to getting this finished today. What with lockdowns, material shortages and work commitments, it took me far longer than I ever expected.

It is all cherry, and the various shades relate to the time it has been exposed to sunlight. Eventually it should all be the same colour. The desk was the last piece to be completed, and hence the lightest. There was a slight deviation from my original plan, with a single pedestal in the desk , not two. This was to accommodate my PC (which i forgot about on the original plan) and a portable A/C unit (which is under the desk out of sight).

Whilst I'm really happy with how this turned out, it did become just a repetitive task of prepping timber, cutting to size, assembly and finish. It got very boring after the first couple of units. The desktop is the biggest piece I have put together. I nearly whimped out and was going to order it via British Hardwoods. Decided to give it a go within my limited space 2/3rds of a garage - it was awkward but worked out ok. Trying to put 1.8m boards through the PT in a 3.5m workspace meant the door was open and the neighbours were inconvenienced for a while.

Oh i doubt it will ever be as tidy again, nor stay that tidy for long. I'm also planning to take it all out and decorate in the next 6 or so months.