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Modern Desk

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/modern-desk Stream

March 29, 2024

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I finally got the /modern desk back to /Spiral House this week, where I began applying coats of hemp oil. After a few coats and some time to cure, the desk is now completely finished, and ready to start living its useful life at the art coop.

A modern writing desk stands in the middle of the frame, made out of a clean, warm maple. It has front legs that angle towards the user, and a built in riser at the back of the desktop with four vertical supports that serve as separators to the space beneath it. The desk stands in a large open room with old worn wooden floorboards, plenty of natural light, and what appears to be a mirror wall just visible at the edge of the frame on the wall behind the desk.

March 4, 2024

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While I exhibited my modern desk at my art coop's gallery opening in February, it wasn't fully finished yet. The last structural change that I wanted to make was a leg span attached to the back with a half-blind dovetail to give the desk a lot more lateral stability to prevent racking.

A closeup shot of a large half-blind dovetail that joins a horizontal span to a thick vertical desk leg. The span is pale unfinished hard maple with a nicely figured grain, and the leg is a more reserved cut of the same species.

I first cut the span to length and then cut each end into a dovetail shape. I traced the dovetail outline into each leg where they would meet, marked a depth line that matched the thickness of the span, and then cut the cheeks out of the leg using the crosscut teeth of a ryoba. The rest of the work was just chopping out the waste with bench chisels.

A messy workbench with a desk leg clamped to the edge nearest to the camera, with a japanese ryoba saw lying behind it, and a row of bench chisels behind that. Large chips of wood lay on the bench, and a wooden mallet peeks in from the upper right corner of the frame.

Not pictured is the countersunk hole that went into the dovetails on the span, to allow a flush bolt to secure the span to each leg. This was made with a countersink bit on the span, and a drill and tap directly into the maple inside the receiving slot on each leg. Hard maple is strong enough to tap threads for machine screws directly into it, as long as you can get a decent amount of thread engagement.

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