Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eve's Simple Desk

In the last post I mentioned that we finished up Eve's room. Yet, instead of moving her in with what little she had, we wanted to surprise her with some furniture and decorations.  Of course she wanted to move in right away, but we told her that we were waiting until the inspector gave us a certificate to move her furniture in, which was true.  But.... we actually purposefully delayed calling the inspector for a couple days, so we had time gather up stuff for her surprise.

When we are finishing up Eve's room I knew there is one piece of furniture that we really want to get in there - a desk.  The kids play table downstairs was getting way too small for her, and she really could use a quiet place to do schoolwork or draw.

The problem was we didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on her room and the money we didn't want to spend had to go a long way.   We we hoping to spend less than $200 (absolute max of $250) for the whole update. The price of the cheaper desks that would fit well were about $100.  And that would eat up about half of the entire room budget.

But, given that we had to get all of everything within a week and that I was 36 weeks pregnant (and moved about as fast as a dead snail)..... we still decided to built it.   :: sighs ::

To keep my time goal realistic I looked at designs only for super simple desks, and still went even simplier.  One of the biggest simplifications was to creating a shelf instead of a drawer.  The Target desk on the left was the best option to copy for her room, since I could use the leg orientation to my advantage to account for the heater. Also, to help us finish quickly, I took up my moms offer to help and had her on board to paint it when I finished.

So here's the really simple build of the desk.  First thing was to cut the have Jon cut me a little slice of plywood.  We had some maple hardwood leftover from our computer table, so I used that.  Then I squared up the ends and cut them down to size.   Since it's going in the kids room I wanted rounded corners.  I thought using one continuous piece of veneer on the front would prevent peel-ups and rounded edges would prevent bad bumps.  I free handed with the jigsaw and expectrd a lot of sanding, but it turned out way better than I expected. 

Once the veneer was set then I worked on the shelf.  I cut two 1x4" boards to length and then put in some pocket holes to attach to the top.

Between the two side supports were two long shelf supports. i routered the long supports so that the shelf would be flush just below the front, and no edges could be seen.  The picture below is actually a different board with rounded edges, but similar enough to get the idea.

After I attached those support boards in, I cut some luan to size to act as the shelf and fit it in.

The shelf was bowing enough that you could see some of it under the bottom. It made me think that it might need a little more support to keep it from sagging in the future.  So I added really light supports to the side with a little wood glue. They're the width of the routered size of the front supports, so they're fairly thin.

After the top was finished, it was time to add the legs.  Using a 13° angle I cut the legs to length and just screwed them in from the inside.  Sorry, I didn't take any pictures!

And once that was done, it was [secretly] off to my Mom's house for painting.  To get it there, we told Eve were picking up some special zucchini from my Mom's house.  Of course, we really did pick up zucchini, but it was a little funny that no one seemed to say anything when we already had TONS of zucchini from our CSA.

I can't wait to show you the final desk, it looks great!  Plus, it was such a fast build, it actually only took me two evenings to finish.

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