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Thread: Walnut desk build

  1. #1

    Walnut desk build

    I am new to woodworking and have started a couple of challenging projects and need some advice (I should have asked before I finished the first project and almost finished the second). The tables will be used as ,y desks at my new office in a few weeks.

    I am working on two desk builds, the first one is 60x21 (second photo) and is now complete with tapered legs set at a 45deg angle to the sides. The legs are attached with dominos and glue.

    The second table (inserted upside down on purpose) is 32x48 with tapered and splayed legs. I started rounding the edges yesterday and will hopefully finish tomorrow. The top is currently dry fitted to the legs with dominos, i have not dominoed the apron yet and am wondering if I should or if just the legs are enough.

    My main concerns are sagging on the long table and warping on the wider table. Do you think this is a concern. The wood was all thoroughly dried before starting work. Also, do you think I need a center stringer on the long table? It would be hard to fit one now with the roundover I have already done, but I am sure I could figure something out.


    B350BBCA-3F63-4D0E-851E-01D436C79046.jpgA05A4789-ACB9-49BC-AD93-6848770DDA2B.jpg
    Last edited by Paul F Mills; 05-12-2019 at 8:46 PM.

  2. #2
    You don't say how thick the top is or how much weight will be placed on it.

    I am concerned about your dominoes and their location. Your table top is going to expand and contract in width seasonally somewhere in the neighbor hood of 1/8-3/16" (or more depending on your location) and that horizontal piece between the legs is not going to stretch to accommodate the change in width of the top.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #3
    Lee,
    Both tops are 4/4. I am not sure which desk I will use for my computer yet, but one will have a laptop and 32” monitor and the other will have a phone and typical paperwork and writing surface.

    I live in the upstate of South Carolina and we do have a good bit of change. I thought the wood would move lengthwise more than widthwise with temperature and moisture changes though so I was not as concerned about fixing the aprons. If that is an issue, I can elongate the domino slots and use them just for alignment and then install z clips to allow movement. Does that sound better?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Mills View Post
    Lee,
    Both tops are 4/4. I am not sure which desk I will use for my computer yet, but one will have a laptop and 32” monitor and the other will have a phone and typical paperwork and writing surface.

    I live in the upstate of South Carolina and we do have a good bit of change. I thought the wood would move lengthwise more than widthwise with temperature and moisture changes though so I was not as concerned about fixing the aprons. If that is an issue, I can elongate the domino slots and use them just for alignment and then install z clips to allow movement. Does that sound better?
    All wood expands and contract across the grain with moisture changes. You can slow down the changes in width by finishing equally on all sides of the piece, but cannot fully stop them. Z-clips or figure 8 fasteners work well, but your design needs to resist forces along the length of the table.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
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    https://www.amazon.com/Understanding...gateway&sr=8-3

    I couldn't whittle down the link above, but get the book "Understanding Wood." Necessity in working with wood.

  6. #6
    Ok, I elongated the dominos on the legs to allow them to move, fixed one domino at the apron center, and used figure eight fasteners. Hopefully it holds up.

    I will check out the book Andrew.

    Thanks for all the guidance.

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