Rolltop Desk – Main Desk

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My daughter asked for a desk for her room, and I made the mistake of asking what kind and she picked out an old style rolltop style desk.  Eventually we settled on this from Woodsmith.  I’ve now completed the main desk (but still need to do the internal organizer shelf and drawers)

It took roughly 2 1/2 months from start to finish, including several weekends lost to a friend’s project and summer vacation.  It’s certainly my most ambitious piece in terms of style and precision to date.  It’s a first for me on several fronts – tambours obviously – but also my first mortise and tenon joints on the base as well as first time template routing.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how this came out.  The base sat solidly without wobble from the get-go.  The door slides pretty well.  It looks sharp and feels really nice.

The finish is natural with wipe on poly (3 coats mostly, with 5 on the main desk surface).  It was finish rubbed with wool/paste wax.

Learning points – I had to cut half another set of tambours due to cutting half a touch too short.  The uneveness is there if you are looking for faults right at it.  Also – due to limited wood (from doing half the work twice), I couldn’t reject all tambours I wanted, and two or three have flaws if you are looking closely.  Finally, with similar constraints on the desk area, I could not get 6 matching pieces and there are two lighter pieces in the back.  After the organizer goes in, this is mostly hidden.


Construction Crane

Keep On Truckin’

Kid Picnic Table

The Workshop!

So this weekend, I finally completed the remodel/re-organization of the workshop.  Not that there aren’t little things to do still, but everything is finally in place that I can consider projects again (and what a backlog there is!).

Total cost – too much, but a significant portion of that was hiring an electrician to do the wiring and the Husky Trackwall/Storage solutions.  Technically could have done the wiring myself and gotten cheaper storage.  The wiring was critical because before this, I had one socket, and couldn’t run a tool and dust collector at the same time.

The photos with notes after.

Entrance –  I try to keep an old pair of shoes for working in.  To help the missus keep the rest of the house clean, where possible, I put them on/take them off in the workshop.  Hence the little carpeted area.

Home Storage – The first part of the shop is still dedicated to storage for other things you need to keep for the rest of the house.  Chairs, tables, plumbing/electrical supplies, paint storage, etc etc.  This is all now sorted and stored.

Under the Stairs – I wanted to keep access to the under area, while using the upper area better.  In the end I put up a hinged board with storage for nuts, wheels, bolts, washers, etc on the outside, with shelving for more woodworking supplies behind it.  This was the final plan.  I tried several alternatives that involved sliding vertically, but in the end it was too heavy for anything I could come up with and went with the standard hinge.

The workshop – finally we get into the heart of the workshop.  I’ve got a central working area, so everything needs to be wheeled.  I plan to build a mobile miter saw base as well, but for now the existing solution works.  Because of the central nature of the work, I don’t need a lot of tubing for dust collection, just need to keep the dust collection central.  In addition, I got some shop sockets installed so I can pull the cord down and get it where I need it instead of running an extension on demand.

Wood storage – very pleased to be able to use the upper halves of the walls for storage.  Also, like how the sheet good bin came out.  The original plans called for an 8′ wide sheet good stand, but that seemed a waste for me.  I buy them when I need them, and they don’t stay 8′ for long.  I put in an extra support tho, so I ca support one temporarily by moving the scrap cart and dust collector out a little.

Workbenches – very pleased with how this area came out.  I put up the shelf for working storage.  I am forever losing things/dropping things because there’s never enough room on the bench for the project itself and the things I am using on it.  Now I have temporary storage area.  I am also really pleased with the rolling desk-bench.  For finishing work I can use it in place and not mess up my nice bench.  If I need to use my desktop bandsaw/scrollsaw/sanding station, I can roll it over to the dust collection and clamp the tool to the bench-desk.

Storage Wall – very happy with this for the most part.  The wall unit isn’t as useful as I thought it would be due to standard depth for a wall cabinet, but really pleased with how shelves and storage bins are used.  Everything is easy to grab/see and no excuses for lack of safety.  Plus there is still room if I wind up with anything else.  Also, as you can see another shelf above the miter saw for same reason as workbenches.  Now as I make cuts, they can go up there for temporary storage to get them out of the way.

Pegboard Wall – very happy here as it turned a useless spot into something usable and is a place to keep things that would have taken up inordinate space in the cabinets otherwise.

Open work to do?  Not sure about final placement of shop vac.  Not very fond of it and it’s awkward everywhere.  Will revisit after I build the mobile miter saw stand which will reduce the stored size of the miter saw drastically.