Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Custom Desk and Chair

A while back a friend asked me for a custom desk and stool for her grandson.  She had seen one in a store that she liked and just wanted a few things improved on it.

This is the one she had seen.

She wanted the basic idea with these additions; allow the stool to be able to slide under and add a drawer or two.

The Stool:

The idea I had for the stool was like the old piano stools that swiveled.  Growing up we had one that screwed in and out for height.  I remember as a kid it was so much fun to spin on.  As this desk would be for a young boy I thought it would work well.

I would have to make it from scratch as I didn't have time to go and find one to repurpose.

I was going for a look something like this:

I began by making the screw section.

I had a large bolt and nut that would work perfect.  I welded a plate that would attach to the bottom of the wood seat and to the bolt.

I then welded the nut to a section of pipe that was long enough to hide the bolt when screwed all the way down.  

For the legs I cut some pipe to 45 degree angles and then ground them out to the contour of the pipe so they would sit flush.  I then welded them to the nut/pipe section.  

I then used Rust-oleum Hammered Bronze paint to paint the pieces.  

For the seat I used a nice thick piece of walnut I had been saving for a few years.  I cut it to size, shaped the seat slightly so it would be more comfortable to sit on, sanded progressively lighter, and then used a satin spray lacquer for the finish, 6 coats.  

Once it was dried I then attached all the pieces together and here is the finished stool:

The Desk:

The dimensions she wanted were, 42" wide x 26" deep x 30" tall.

I started with the frame.  I used some 1"x2" steel tubing.
I didn't show the steps in making this but it was pretty straight forward.  I made the sides first, 45 degree angles welded.  I made a jig so that these would be exactly square in case my cuts were a bit off as can happen with a chop saw.

The welded base:

Next I began work on the top.  I had some wood that I originally used on a TV cart but I didn't like the cart that much so I tore it apart.  It was old oak, over 100 years, that was used in a families homestead that I had picked up a few years back.  

The failed table:

I ran the wood through a planer and jointer and then cut it to size.  I biscuit joined and glued each edge and then clamped for a few days.  

After it had dried I removed the clamps and then did some hand planing.  

Since this was going to be a desk I filled all the old nail holes and gauges with Elmer's sandable wood filler and let it dry.

I then sanded with a power sander with two different grits then moved on to sanding by hand with two less aggressive grits.  

I used a Rust-oleum walnut stain, let it dry, lightly sanded, and then applied the same satin spray lacquer as a finish, 6 coats.

For the drawer I found what I thought would be perfect.  I was at an antique store and found this crate:

This was perfect as the boys name is, Carter.

I installed this to the bottom of the desk with some drawer slides.

The finished products: