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The Floating Top Desk

As usual, with every project I start the same way. First the idea, then a sketch and last is a 3D computer model. This was a custom desk build and my first attempt at building a desk that has a floating top design.

I bought some redwood pine and gathered some recycled oak that I was given a few weeks prior. My design was to use the oak pieces in a decorative way. I decided on having two oak strips that run parallel the whole length of the desk top. The best way to enhance this was to use a lighter wood that contrasts the oak just enough.

Second step after gathering the materials was to mill and cut my stock to rough length. I don’t currently have a jointer/surface planer. So the way I prep my material is by hand using a hand plane. When I have one straight and flat reference edge I run my stock through my thicknesser. This brings my pieces to the desired thickness. From there I take it to my table saw to cut a square 90 degree edge. Once this is established I cut the opposite side leaving a piece of timber that is straight, flat and square on all 4 sides.

Building in a small space means I have to plan my steps carefully when I build bigger projects. I decided to build the table top first. I knew the top was going to be joined in 3 glue ups. It takes longer but is much less stressful than trying to glue all the top in one hit. Plus like most woodworkers I seem to never have enough clamps for my projects. So for the best results the final glue up had enough clamps to hold 2 sections together instead of struggling with multiple pieces at once.

With the top complete I begin the second stage of glue ups for the leg sections. To get the overall thickness I needed to glue lengths on timber together for the leg pieces. I let the glue set for 24 hours before removing the clamps.

I cleaned up the leg pieces and I used my mitre saw to cut all pieces to their final dimension before cutting mortices with the Festool Domino. With all the dominos cut I could then glue and clamp the leg sections together.

From here I continued to build the mid sections of the desk which supports the table top and ties the leg sections together.I pre-drilled holes in the leg sections and mid-section of the table ready to screw in fasteners that allow you to take the desk apart. I wanted the desk to be able to dismantle for easy transport.

Final Stages

I used a sander to clean up all the individual pieces. Working my way up through the grits. Chamfers the edges with a palm router to soften the look of the desk. I finished the table with a varnish, always sanding between coats. After the final coat of varnish I also applied 2-3 coats of wood wax buffing out with a clean cloth each time. This left the top feeling smooth.

The last thing left to do was final assembly! I love this desk and hope to do more similar projects in the future. I did not explain every detail of this build but just an overall glance at how I built it so if you have any questions I'd love to hear them and I'll answer the best I can.

Check out more progress and finished pictures in the gallery bellow.

Until next time..



Visit my Instagram and follow me for more projects and live updates @kirstiepervindavies

Sleep | Eat | Build | Repeat

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