Scratch Build: The Ultimate Computer Desk

Discussion in 'Overclocking, Benching & Modding' started by ultimatedesk, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. craig5320

    craig5320 Well-Known Member

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    Looking great, where are you going to house it? ultimateoffice anyone?
     
  2. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Top Shelf Trim

    Thanks MIG-31, it is indeed taking some time, but it'll be setup relatively soon, and then a lot more time on the wiring, ventilation, etc..

    Hehe, now there's an idea. It would probably take me 10 years to build it though ;)

    Ok, so it's been a little while since an update eh?

    I've been busy, sorry folks, life seems to speed up in the summertime!

    As a peace offering, here are the kiddo's, at about 4 months old now!

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    And, back to the desk!

    I had a bunch of solid maple cut into more 1/4" strips so I could finish doing the trim on the top shelf and the cabinets.

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    My trusty compound mitre saw - got it reconditioned at a bargain place for like 60 dollars, and it's been pretty reliable for a number of years now. It's loud as all heck though!

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    And, my favorite part - clamping up!

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    And, since there was nowhere to place clamps in between this area, I had to improvise with a small block of wood!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Staining Stuff

    After the trim was glued on and then sanded flush, I proceeded with the staining and poly

    [​IMG]

    Looks good, eh?

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    I also finally decided to buckle down and build myself a quick rig to store all my clamps. Since I'm moving soon, it'll also make it easier to move them to the new place! Nice lap joints eh!!

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    I proceeded to the cabinet drawers, where I finally sanded off the wood filler that's been attached for weeks (months?)

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    Lined up the drawer faces, glued them on (Was going to screw them on after, from behind. Lol)

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    And put a bit of weight on top..

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    Walked away for a bit, and realized... maybe it was a bad idea to glue them on first! Uh oh!

    I decided that it might actually be a lot easier to line up the drawer faces if I attached them AFTER I had attached the drawers to the drawer slides, to I ripped em off.

    So, next on the list - staining the actual drawers!

    Pre-stain on!

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    Mmm, they look so good

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    And, poly of course

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    Done!

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    And just so ya know, it really did basically take a month just to finish the top shelf and the drawers... more to come soon!
     
  4. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    looking good bro
     
  5. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Drawer Face Staining

    Thanks bro!

    With the drawers themselves all stained up, it was time to stain the drawer fronts!

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    Since most of the back of the drawer fronts won't be visible, I decided that I could probably stain and poly both sides at once...

    Pre stain!

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    They look so nice like this... ahh, next project...

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    Some staining time

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    And some sweet, sweet gloss poly.

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    Woops! One of the drawer faces slipped off the painting cones and picked up a whole whack of saw dust and wood chips... at least this will never be seen on the final project!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    It never ceases to amaze me the variety of tools that appear in this project. Are you likely to see four slightly faded dots on each of those?
     
  7. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    i have a question in my head each time i think about the desk is r u a carpenter or r u a IT guy

    or is this a hobby

    cause it is tempting me to go to the drawing board to start planing
     
  8. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    I'm gunna guess that he's neither :p

    I could be wrong, but in my experience people who put a lot of energy into a hobby (whether it be furniture or computers or anything else or - as in OP's case - some combination of the above) tend to do something very different for a living. Otherwise it's just a bus driver's holiday :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  9. craig5320

    craig5320 Well-Known Member

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    What we don't realise is that this guys a scammer, he has these desks pumped out a factory in China, and now that we've all fallen in love with it, he's gonna give us a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy the Ultimate Desk!

    Haha, I'm kidding of course, it's a fantastic project and a fantastic desk.

    I would say he's a retired carpenter whose now fond of computers :p
     
  10. gaetan

    gaetan Active Member

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    Man, this is a sweet looking desk!
    (I've recently registered just to follow the construction)

    On a different note, I suppose my personal choice of colors might differ, but everyone has got their preferences.
    Anyway, I can't speak for sure as long as I haven't seen the finished work.

    Love the work,
    I suppose I speak for everyone saying I hope you open a shop for making customized desk on order :D

    Just kidding, although it would be cool, I doubt the work would be worth the money.

    Let aside my poor jokes, keep up the good the great, the awesome work!
    Can't wait to see the rest!:D

    About the fact of being carpenter or IT guy, I just think that when you set your mind on doing something you really like, just a little hand and you can do almost anything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  11. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    haha that is exactly what i was thinking when i was this thread in the starting


    my guess is just like your's :)
     
  12. kris23

    kris23 Going Insane.....

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    i gotta ask....

    would you EVER consider selling the completed desk? like say you had it for awhile and someone saw it and wanted it, saying to name your price....

    would you sell?

    :D:p
     
  13. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Trimming the Cabinets

    When I was doing the staining, no, the painting cones did not leave any distinguishable marks. When I was doing the coats of polyurethane, however, there were two problems:

    1. The bottom of the wood, now coated in poly, wanted to slide around on the paint cones, leaving streaks and lines, making it difficult to hold it in place to poly the top.
    2. Yes, even with a very thin coat of poly, there were 4 small "holes" left in the bottom.

    I would use them again when staining, but I don't think I would use them again for doing poly - just do it the traditional way - one side, and then the other. The whole reason I made a mistake above and got dust / chips all over the drawer face, was because it was sliding all over the paint cones.

    lmao, you guys are hilarious, imagine I really was pumping these out of China, taking orders? ;)

    Some good guesses though - unfortunately I've still got another 30 years or so before retirement, so that should give you an idea of my age. I ~am~ actually an IT guy all day long however, and carpentry has never really been a hobby of mine.

    I had built several projects in the past, mainly basic "disposable" shelves for crappy apartments I've lived in, and a few aquarium stands. This is really my first "real" project that I plan on keeping around. I've never stained anything before, either.

    One of the reasons I am taking so long with this project is because I've actually discovered a real JOY in woodworking. I am finding it extremely rewarding to not only successfully complete cuts, joints, and phases of the project, but there is also reward in making mistakes and learning and thinking about how I would make it better the next time I have the opportunity.

    You folks are a testament to my patience and obvious passion for not just the Ultimate Computer Desk, but for woodworking in general. I am truly blown away by all of your positive comments, and I really do appreciate it. I find it very encouraging, and I will likely continue on with my woodworking hobby for many, many years. Just you wait until the Ultimate Computer Desk Version 2!! ;) ;)

    Well kris23, somewhat related to what I mentioned above, at some point in time, there will likely be a version 2, so ~someone~ would have to own version 1, right? Also, as much as I love the desk, if someone wanted to buy it from me for a reasonable price, I would absolutely love to give it up and start on the next one! ;) I think that I would be honestly humbled if someone wanted to pay actual good money for something that I've made with my own hands.

    With the drawers and drawer faces all finished and ready for installation, it was time to turn to finishing up the two cabinets.

    First up, finishing the piece that goes on the front of the left-hand cabinet.

    [​IMG]

    And, well, not a lot of writing today, as the rest of it should look pretty straightforward. I had to cut up a bunch of trim pieces, and somehow arrange the clamps to hold them in the right place. A few of the arrangements required some creative thinking, but in the end, I got the whole cabinet trimmed up over the course of a few days.

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    Mmmm glue.

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    Enjoy! We're getting close to the final assembly, yay!
     
  14. gaetan

    gaetan Active Member

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    Can't wait to see the final masterpiece! :D
     
  15. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    me too when r u plaining to finish the desk
     
  16. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Sanding the Cabinets

    Same here!

    Oh lord, who knows. I hope I finish it soon!!

    With the trim all glued up and dry, and the weather nice and warm, I decided to take the cabinets outside to have the trim sanded flush. I start with 80 grit to get all the bits nice and close, and then move to 120 grit with the random orbit sander in preparation for staining.

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    Everything looking pretty good on the right-hand cabinet

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    And now for the left-hand cabinet

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    I'm under the impression that I mistakenly sanded this edge too much prior to installation, because I thought that I was going to have to squeeze this end into the dado cut at the back of the drawer. Woops! Hopefully that won't show up too much after staining.

    [​IMG]

    And, a bit of glue squeeze-out that I missed previously is easily taken care of by the sander

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    I'll be staining over the weekend, so some fresh and shiny cabinets await for next weeks early update!

    Have a good weekend folks!
     
  17. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    thanks for the update

    u to have a good weekend
     
  18. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Staining the Cabinets

    Thanks! It was a good one too, caught a handful of pike on the beautiful Lake Carmen and did some kayaking. Oh, yeah, and some staining too ;)

    Well, I finally got some time to start the staining of the cabinets this weekend, and overall, everything went pretty well. Started off with a bit of detailed sanding by hand, and then a good dusting with a tack cloth / cloth with paint thinner.

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    And then went to work applying the stain with a clean cotton rag

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    They both turned out pretty well - these pictures were taken after only the first coat (A second one will go on). I find that this stain really shines once a coat of poly is put over it.

    Let me tell you - getting the inside of the cabinets was quite time consuming and I really did a number on staining my arms...

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    Eww! It looks like a heart! ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. sahara_mafia

    sahara_mafia member

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    Re: Staining the Cabinets

    dude what did kill :D
     
  20. ultimatedesk

    ultimatedesk New Member

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    Rubbing out the Desk Surface

    I rend wood into dust!! ;)

    I kind of forgot to take some pictures of the cabinets after I applied a pair of coats of polyurethane, but here's the status of the project so far

    [​IMG]

    Both cabinets have been poly'd, and there are only 3 more pieces to stain + poly (The two caps for the end spaces on the top shelf, and the door for the right-hand cabinet). Otherwise, I am pretty much ready to assemble.

    Before assembly, however, I wanted to try a technique I had been reading about - rubbing out a finish.

    You start with some baby oil and a product called rottenstone (It's a very finely ground stone)

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    Apply some baby oil liberally (This slows down the cutting process. If you use water, it will speed up the cutting process)

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    Sprinkle on your rottenstone (Once again, fairly liberally. I didn't find the cutting action very aggressive at all, especially with all the baby oil)

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    Take a block of wood with a soft material wrapped around it, in this case, I used a piece of cut up fleece from an old blanket, but I think a felt block is the most recommended for this.

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    Go with the grain in long strokes, and rub the slurry into the wood. Its very fine cutting action should almost eliminate all dust marks, brush marks, and any small scratches.

    This took quite a long time, and it was very, very messy. Baby oil rottenstone slurry everywhere. I then went through a ton of rags soaked in paint thinner cleaning it all off the desk surface in preparation for some good 'ol waxing.

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    Applied with a lint free rag, I swirled it onto the table a little bit too liberally

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    I then let it dry for a few moments and "attempted" to buff it all off by hand with a clean rag. Much to my dismay, after spending 10 minutes trying to buff only but a small corner, I realized that I would never get the shine I was looking for...

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    So I made a trip to my storage unit (My mom's garage) where I remembered I had an old electric car buffer in a bin...

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    Booya. It was late when I got back home, so I left it and went to sleep. Have a good weekend everyone - Canada Day tomorrow here in Canada, so I'm going to enjoy the long weekend. I'm moving this weekend too, so hopefully the desk survives the trip!!
     

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