Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Drawings: Double Desk

Something a little bit different from the usual sketches, here is a CAD drawing of the first bit of furniture I've made since moving to Hong Kong. The brief (set by Mrs bikesandbuildings) was to create a full room width robust desk surface (3.4m) with as few a 'legs' as possible, at the same height and depth as our dining table. To this, I added 'not to many $$$', 'buildable by me', and some decent in built storage.

It didn't take long to come up with the idea of 2x1.7m long desks, the top surface of which could be cut from a standard sheet of ply wood, and with an unsupported length that was long (1.2m), but workable. From this I worked out a 'notch' system for slim ply uprights, in which a 2"x2" frame could support the top surface and the 0.5m wide shelving. So, simple to build, slim in profile and solid as a rock was the goal.

The first mission was to get the wood cut and delivered back to my flat. On a regular day this is just a few hours in Wan Chai, but when there is an Amber rainstorm that adds to the complications. Still, a good excuse to add a few tools to the collection (coping saw and chisel) whilst I'm waiting for the wood to be cut.

Once home, it was time to put the new man cave (forthcoming post) to use and get building. It all went quite well on desk number 1 (right hand side), until it came to putting the top on, when I discovered that each bit of 2"x2" I'd bought actually varied in dimension by +/-1mm. This resulted in the detail you see in 4th picture below, where there is a 1mm gap between top and side surface. So, on the second desk (left hand side) you can see I achieved much higher precision by measuring each notch out to each specific bit of 2"x2". Of note is that these desks are so freaking big that they had to be assembled in the room, rather than in the 'Man Cave'. Meaning they are now not coming out without being dismantled. But big is good when it comes to desk real estate.

I'm not going to pretend the result is show room worthy (especially the egg shell finish), but as a DIY project built in a flat over the course of around 2 full days, by someone who hasn't done any DIY for about 5 years, I was happy enough with the result. Roll on more man cave action!


  1. Eduardo,

    Well done amigo. You are too humble about the accomplishment. An excellent piece of construction work for being out of practice so long. I look forward to seeing what it will be used for.


  2. Ha- I think it's more a case of if I paid a carpenter I'd reject... ;-)