New Office - Custom Desk

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
This is my 5th desk / office project. As you get older, you begin to appreciate what is most important to you.

First versions were in college, not going to cover those here.

V.4 was the conversion of a room in my house to an office. The was great for me, before I got married of course. My wife loved it, but we of course changed courses with the kiddos! I always meant to do a worklog- just never found the time. Maybe I'll sprinkle in that project in here a bit.

I demo'd the whole room (1925 house- nasty things present..), wired the whole house (IT and electrical for a whole home BBU) and did nearly all of the woodwork myself.

We both like books, so this office was tight on space and heavy on books (top shelves are 3 deep, bottom are 2 deep):

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I just barely messed up on the desk width. When I built it, the 30" Dell screens where extremely expensive- so I planned on 3 x 27" screens. Fast forward 5 years, and I have 3 x 30" Dells..

So between where the plugs are, where the wall mounts landed and how the viewing angles work out- I had to overlap the 3rd screen in a non-advantageous manner. Oh well- lesson learned.

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That took a little under a year to build. It's solid oak trim and oak ply. Top to bottom- ceiling included.

If anyone is looking for vendors please reply; a couple companies really stood out- I bought the frames for the glass doors online and the glass separate- both arrived in good shape and worked perfect.

So we moved a week or so ago- and my biggest problem with the old house is I built what I thought I needed- and it was off a little bit along the way in a lot of different places. And the way I built it- it was set in stone.

So this time, I am building a mockup to use for a couple months to help fine-tune the final product. And it is going to be less permanent and more modular.

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It's going to be really big- that's going to be the best part about it. It will be between 12' and 14' long.

I'm really liking where this is going.

Stay tuned!
 

aarcam

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
347
Wow man, nice work. Excellent results in your prior builds. Going to be following this one....

I like oak myself, that’s what’s in my bedroom. How ’bout you Jimmie, you an oak man?

Oak’s nice.
-Reservoir dogs
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
2,790
That first build is really nice. I'm about to build an Oak floating desk here soon. Found some really cool industrial looking 45 degree braces to use for the project. My desk will be close to 16 foot long and 2 foot deep. Need room for my wife's setup and my tripple monitor setup. Just put up a fake brick accent wall. To go with it. Hope you do some build picture so I can steal some ideas .
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
Sad day.

The potential buyer is planning on ripping the office out..
 

aarcam

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
347
Shame to hear it. Some people just dont respect awesome.

I would think that would be a major selling point. You must have really good school districts.
 

Reality

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Messages
1,920
Wow man, nice work. Excellent results in your prior builds. Going to be following this one....

I like oak myself, that’s what’s in my bedroom. How ’bout you Jimmie, you an oak man?

Oak’s nice.
-Pulp Fiction

FTFY :)
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
Shame to hear it. Some people just dont respect awesome.

I would think that would be a major selling point. You must have really good school districts.

Actually, that's one of the reasons we are moving, better school district and bigger house.

One of the main reasons why I built it to begin with is there is NO storage in the house at all, 2 very small 1925 closets and one slightly bigger one that was added after the house was built. Obviously storage has been a problem for 50 odd years in the place.

The office will get the last laugh though- it will be a real pain to take out.
 

aarcam

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
347

Ha, you are totally right. Dont know why I put that as Reservoir. Both great movies though...

Well, regardless, sorry to see it go. Maybe next time, build it in an out building and you can just tailor it to the new abode?
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
Sorry for the long time since an update.

Unfortunately, this post is a bit of an obituary. We finally sold the house in October, a couple months longer than we had hoped, but oh well- the check cleared.

I do not know what this woman was thinking. I forgot a couple things there and she let me come get them out of the attic. I walked in during the middle of the removal of the office and wiring.

My jaw just dropped- here is a woman who has no idea what she is tearing out.

And then my wife drove by this morning to get around some traffic, and the house is totally vacant with butcher paper on the windows. Really, really sad. Prettiest house in the neighborhood IMHO.

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jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
So, moving on- we had a bit of new home ownership luck- a fitting on the boy's shower sprung a hairpin leak in the wall over the weekend when we were gone, and we came home to the ceiling in my office on the floor (and desk). And the bathroom was plaster/lathe so we basically ended up gutting the entire bathroom to the studs- and starting over from scratch. It's really nice now- but a huge mess for a couple months.

So after a several month remodel of the bathroom and my office, I am back to working on the desk.

Luckily, I was able to get the office to what I wanted in the first place. ;)

I put in 8 can lights and did what I think is a really cool faux leather finish on the walls. It's the Ralph Lauren Stadium / Morrocan combo. I'm totally loving it.

You can obviously see the original 1920's construction. They don't build them like they used to!

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I had my contractor put in new shelves in the office- a lot faster than I could do it:

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Start of the base coat of the 2 step finish:

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Took a lot of coats to get the sheen to all match:

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Working on the faux finish:

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Starting to move back in:

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Momentous day, was able to get all of my books out of storage, and cancel the storage unit-

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Current condition of the office:

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jamsomito

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
3,203
:eek: :( @ old place

New place looks awesome, interested to see what the final design of the desk looks like. Sounds like you've been busy!
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
So the other side project that came out of this whole thing is I had to get my garage organized before I could build anything.

As anyone that has lived somewhere for a while knows, the garage collects the "indeterminates" in the move. We were able to close out two storage units (nice extra bucks every month that stays in the pocket!) and collect everything from our parent's houses etc.

So naturally, I had a hot mess in my garage, but I had a vision, and was able to accomplish it in about 2.5 months. I did all of the work in the garage myself. When it's in the house, the Misses doesn't like the disruption, so contractor is required; man-cave is at man's pace! ;)

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Blocking for future ideas:

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I HATE PAINT!!!

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Pretty self explanatory, let me know if you want any commentary.
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
SO- I'm finally able to start working on my desk again, starting this weekend.

God Bless my wife.

After many hours of research, I settled in on Bubinga, a west African Mahogany that is absolutely gorgeous and comes in slabs 5-6 feet wide and 15 or more feet long in up to 12/4 or more.

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I plan on getting a slab for the top with the sapwood trimmed off so it's just one color.

In the limited time I have worked with this wood, I must say, it is a most awesome experience.

It's about 1.5x as strong and stiff (Modulus of Elasticity = 2,670,000 lbf/in2 versus 1,761,000 lbf/in2 for Red Oak, Crushing Strength: 10,990 lbf/in2 for Bubinga versus 6,780 lbf/in2 for Red Oak) as Oak, and 2x of pine.

Truly awesome wood.

It is incredibly dimensionally stable and easy to work. For instance, it is much less susceptible to inadvertent gouging from the belt sander than Oak.

The top slab is going to be between 800 and 1,200 pounds, so I am putting in a good bit of strength on the two pedestals. I'm building them primarily out of 8/4 Bubinga and 5/8" framing lags with a simple mortise grove. Typical cross section is 7" x 1.75". And then I have 3/4" plywood on planar sections.

Big statement of gratitude to Woodworkers Source, they ship this stuff out no problem! And it's all really well milled and just as advertised. Highly recommend them for hard to find hardwoods sent to your driveway (not doorstep- the FedEx guy blocked our door with one of my orders! LOL!)

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They sell all of the wood as board-feet. So sometimes you get stuff that is only trimmed on one side, and it's up to you to trim. No problem, other than working with a big expensive piece of wood, and sometimes you get some unusable wedges..

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Some of the 8/4 Bubinga I have ordered. Again, they sell it as Board-feet, so when you start ordering stuff like this they assume you can work with it, you won't always get that pristine 8" x 12' board- sometimes you get the 24" x 6' slab instead of 2 x 8" by 10' boards..

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Finished milling this fine specimen.

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Denatured Alcohol cleans the surface and allows you to see a glimmer of the finish product. I love it!

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Every project needs inspiration! This sketch is really premature.

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Starting to make some actual parts!

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Henri108

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
465
That first office is AMAZING. Why ever get rid of that? Timeless and very classy.
Nice work btw, but I highly prefer the before.
 

deadlift1

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
1,312
OP had to move which is why the new office is being built. I agree, the old one was amazing but this one is shaping up to be epic as well.

Need updates!
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
You are clearly operating at a different level. Fine work, sir. I really appreciate the step by step photos of the garage shelves going in. It's nice to see how other people go about solving their storage printed.
 

wolfofone

Gawd
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
725
This... is amazing work!! :cool: I can't wait to see the finished results. When I get a house, I would love to have a custom office like what you put together but I would totally have to hire someone because there is no way I could do this stuff!

That old office getting ripped out only to have the house be vacant, what the heck was the new owner thinking!?! :confused:
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
You are clearly operating at a different level. Fine work, sir. I really appreciate the step by step photos of the garage shelves going in. It's nice to see how other people go about solving their storage printed.
Problems. Auto correct on android gets pretty aggressive sometimes.

By the way, maybe you could post some pictures of the equipment you are using to bring this together. That would be rad.
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
That first office is AMAZING. Why ever get rid of that? Timeless and very classy.
Nice work btw, but I highly prefer the before.

Heh- my wife actually caught up with the new owner. She ripped all sorts of stuff out, and then sent her work crews onto another project.

So the house has sat empty for 9 months, virtually gutted, with no occupants and craft paper on the stained glass windows. I see this working out well.

Oh well- not my house anymore..
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
This... is amazing work!! :cool: I can't wait to see the finished results. When I get a house, I would love to have a custom office like what you put together but I would totally have to hire someone because there is no way I could do this stuff!

That old office getting ripped out only to have the house be vacant, what the heck was the new owner thinking!?! :confused:

It's not that hard if you take your time and have the right tools, patience... and beer..
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
Problems. Auto correct on android gets pretty aggressive sometimes.

By the way, maybe you could post some pictures of the equipment you are using to bring this together. That would be rad.

I will.

Most important is the miter saw; but hand planer, skill saw, router and table saw are also important.

Also- don't forget the fire pit to burn your screw ups!
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,757
Wow, that wood is gorgeous! Subbing because I love a good woodworking project
 

jen4950

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
9,445
I've been totally snowed under at work for the past couple months- I moved my corporate headquarters, which also involved moving my primary IT site- we are now in a legit datacenter which brings some peace of mind.

Network Pics Thread

So- back to running the business for a while!

It's also hotter than hell right now- so probably won't get back on it until it's back in the 70's-80's at night ;)
 

spugm1r3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
1,153
I've still got my office build in the planning phase, but I love seeing these woodworking builds. With you and jamsomito, and a couple of the other guys I've seen with custom desk builds, we may have to start a separate thread for woodworking ;)

Can't wait to see the latest.
 
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