We’re About to Get Started With A New Project.
In our latest video build we’re working step-by-step and building a desk in solid oak. (Watch the intro above).
The Desk Design
The inspiration for this desk was industrial furniture. The sort you see that combines tubular bent metal with man made boards. Designs that were born out of efficient use and mass production of modern materials. So something completely out of whack with hand tool woodworking!
That was the challenge I loved. I continued to work on the details and functionality of the design throughout the process of building it, but the main idea was formed through a prototyping stage at the beginning.
Chapter one goes through this design process. It’s somewhat loose and I spend a lot of time with a design that I end up abandoning completely. But that’s where the insight is, because through exploring the reasons why the first design wasn’t suitable, it helped me to pinpoint what would work much better.
We ended up with a very streamlined frame which acted as a chassis on to which the drawer was hung.
This met my criteria that the design had to be efficient to replicate along with the ability to be modular. Different drawer variations could easily be used within the same frame – a narrow one to one side rather than full length, or even a bank of drawers hung one off another. The way the drawer is hung provides an illusion that the drawer side is the upper apron of the frame. I’ve been really excited about the potential that this design offers!
As usual this build is focused on using a fairly minimal set of hand tools, although at the prepping stage I’ve introduced the use of my planer / thicknesser alongside my bandsaw. Neither would be considered essential but when you’re needing lots of square sections of hardwood like this desk calls for, a bandsaw or buying the timber pre-ripped is going to save you a lot of time and get you straight in to the build.
I fired up my planing machine mostly because it had been sat unused for years and I needed to give it a whirl. Though again, this design does suit the use of a machine for prepping more than the other pieces we’ve built, because we’re wanting components that are uniform in dimension rather than taking any short cuts in the prep.
The hand tools used include:
– The usual marking and measuring tools.
– Saws. A panel saw for cross cutting and a joinery saw for the dovetails & tenons.
– Bench planes. A jack and optionally a jointer.
– Chisels. Strong bevel edge, plus finer ones for dovetailing.
– Specialist planes. I made use of a router plane, moving fillister and a plough plane.
– Mallet | Drill | Shooting board | Clamps.
That should just about cover it.
This is quite an involved build and so we’ve opted to skim over the details of much of the prepping although the processes and stages are still shown with some pointers and tips.
The build involves a variety of joints including bridles, mortice and tenons and dovetails.
The drawer design uses both through and half-blind dovetails, and also involves a lot of unique features in its method for hanging which is integrated in to the joinery.
The ebonised finish – from the start I’d visualised the desk with a distinct contrast between the frame and other parts so I opted to ebonise the frame. The process of making the solutions required and steps to apply it are all included in the series.
The Video Series
We look set to bring the full build out through seven video chapters.
Chapter One will be live on Wednesday 2nd September.
Followed by a new video each week to stream and / or download.
A cutting list and full PDF plans are also included.
For further details about this series take a look HERE
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We make online courses that provide tuition on hand tool woodworking.
The detailed videos can be both streamed and downloaded.
As a professional hand tool woodworker, we aim to get you feeling inspired to build, and equipped with the knowledge to tackle projects entirely by hand.