A desk I have just completed and delivered, this thing took over my life for a while, it weighs in at almost a quarter of a ton – not easy when you work alone! The overall original concept for the desk was from the client, I just had to work out how on earth to do it and make it.
The most challenging aspect was grooving out for the tongues to hold the splines of the elliptical barrels together so that the inside faces lined up, I grooved them on my spindle moulder but they had to be held up at an angle so that the face was against the fence. There were 60 splines altogether, and thought had to be given not to groove where the doors were on each barrel, and just to make it interesting the doors weren’t all in the same places or opening the same way. The decorative grooves on the outside of the barrels are a seemingly random pattern which along with the elliptical shape was designed to match the architecture of the building. Ian
The original model for the client is on top of the desk, the stainless steel drums which hold the desk off the floor and the top off the barrels can be seen. The overall effect that the separate parts appear to float is very effective in the room, it isn’t easy to see the stainless steel drums unless you bob down.
Showing construction of the top with the lift out squares for electrical wires, also the tongues which were "stopped" and intended to save me an enormous amount of cleaning up time on the top surface of the desk, so they were grooved in on the spindle moulder with the top surface of the desk down on the bed, and I had to construct an extra long plywood bed onto my old Sedgwick moulder, the desk at its longest is 8 feet long.
The two parts of the L-shaped desk top are held together with 10 mil stainless steel threaded bar with large recesses on the underside of the desk top for the nuts and washers, a bit like on a staircase handrail. The brass locating pins were marked out by using a panel pin cut off close to the wood and then the two pieces of the top were offered up together and the sharp end of the panel pin marked the position. The brass pin of course is just a large brass screw with its head cut off and rounded with a file.
Each barrel is made up of 20 splines the bottom of the barrel is rebated in and the top is in a groove.
Movement in the barrel is uncontrolled, and the top and bottoms are only glued in for the first 6 inches either side of where the door fits this was to keep the door aperture
fairly constant whilst the rest of the barrel could shrink and expand as it wanted to, just how much that will work is open to debate!
Well that's put my plywood offering somewhat in the shade . That's an epic build, very nice work.
Sorry, I did think we could do with another picture of the underside and how you fastened it all together Ian
I had upwards of 10 mm to remove in places for the outside of the barrels and I know this isn’t textbook but it was the only way I could think of keeping my fingers well away from the blades and it worked
very well indeed. Obviously the Tommy bar could fall into the blades so a bit of tape wrapped around a few times stopped that
I had decided that one of the decorative Groves should land on where the hinges were going so they were not so apparent when the door was closed. Whilst that did have the desired effect it also meant that the doors couldn’t open quite as far as maybe I would’ve wanted. More than adequate though.
Each half of the L shaped top of the desk was glued up in two sections and as I said I was on my own so this was how I got the ends cut square on the saw ready for hand planing, then each set of two sections were glued together