June 26, 2008

A Great Big Desk -part II

Sorry for the large gap between posts. (I’ve been neglecting my computer with lots to do. I’m finally working on that room where I ripped the wall down!)

Onto the top of the desk! ---I built it out of doors!
I decided because I wanted it to be 10 x 11.5’ I would need 4 doors.
Two 60” desks at the left, one of which would be part of the corner piece. A full size door at the right, and a 30” square piece to finish the creation of the corner desk. This would be a finished desk that would be in 3 sections. One desk for the computer, one to scrap on, and one to make jewelry on. The dream desk!

I went to Home Depot first and they did not have any flat 30” doors, so I left. (The empty gap on the shelf for them was 21-ish dollars.) I went to a local door business, they wanted $33 each for the flat hollow-core doors and he had an invoice popping out of the printer and handing it to me before I had a chance to know what was happening. I said to him “Woooh wooh. They’re not even close to 33 each at home depot.” He said they had to be that much anywhere because of wholesale price, and I said "thanks anyway" and left.

Then I went to Lowes! (Big smiles here)
I headed to the doors and saw they had what I needed, but there were only two in the slot. Suddenly a guy appeared and asked me if I was finding what I needed. I asked if they had more of these 30” doors, and that I needed 4. (priced at $20 each)
He started looking overhead and pointed out that the doors didn’t have holes for knobs. I told him it was fine since I wasn’t going to be using them as doors, I was making a desk.
At which point he said, "Well have you seen our clearance doors?"
“No my good man, show me to them!” ;)
He took me to a large pile of doors that were all damaged and knocked down to $7.50 each. (These ones had holes for knobs.) Then he offered to help me get what ever doors I wanted out of this big pile.
One by one he pulled out doors and marked them down even further because of the damage on them.

I arrived believing I was going to have to spend $20 each on these doors, and I ended up leaving with my 4 doors and only spending $24!!!!! FREAK!!

K, that story was too long. So let me get on with it.
One door was going to be solid and uncut, so there was nothing to do there but determine the right side.
The second door was going to be cut at 60”, and after deciding on the side with the least damage, I cut the end off to position the knob hole where it would best serve as the hole for my computer cables. (perfect size)
The third door would be half of the corner piece and also needed to be 60” long.
The fourth door would get cut into a 30” square. This would attach to the side of the third door and form my corner.
I cut a triangle from a corner of scrap to attach to the middle of the two, creating a softer corner to sit in.

I used my garage floor. Put gorilla glue between the doors, and glued a ¼” piece of mdf (measuring 2 x 4 ft.) to the back of them. I did the same with the little corner once the glue was dry on the big pieces.

Then I filled the gap between the three pieces with filler and then plastered over them for an even surface.

In the Feb 08 Issue of Creating Keepsakes, Becky Higgins has her office in the ‘how we create’ section, titled “begin with the end”. On page 54 you can see where Becky has a hole in her desk, under which lives her garbage! She just slides her trimmings to the hole, and –bye bye…scraps land in the bin!
I like this idea so much that I have not forgotten it. I used a 4” circular bit in my drill to cut a hole in the door. Now, remember these doors are hollow, so I also cut the hole in a piece of mdf that was the same thickness as the hollow space in the door.
I put glue in the hollow door and onto the wood, slid it into place and clamped it down. I also used masking tape to make sure it stuck and stayed right where I wanted it.

Then I painted all my door/desk sections with a pale yellow paint, 2 coats of my chosen color, and 3 coats of Varathane. (Dries hard as diamonds apparently, and is water based. The smell is almost non-existent.)

The doors came already primed, so I didn’t need to worry about that. DH suggested I use a light “base coat” hence the yellow -which was left over from painting my kitchen over a year ago.

I learned a couple tips for painting surfaces that you want to use as a desk.
You want it smooth obviously, so use a large roller as opposed to a small roller so that the paint can be applied quickly for and even settling and drying. By settling, I mean, the rollers leave marks in the paint that settle slightly in the first minute or so, a large roller means the settle happens mostly at once.
Also… buy a short knap roller. Even 3/8” knap is too tall. I was only able to find a ¼” knap, but that was better than the 3/8”!
I need a surface I can write on. After all, this is a desk.
And lastly, 4 coats of Varathane was considerably smoother than 3! Who knew 1 coat could make such a big difference.

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Mer said...

DANG girl, where do you get your ingenuity and creativity??? And can I buy some? ;)

Cameron said...

Cool! I just found you via a long and complicated blog chain. :) Can you post pictures of the completed desk?

Amy W. said...

THIS is my new FAVORITE blog! i'm so thrifty at heart and love being creative and using old stuff...i can't wait to get more time to read this through very soon. :)

Unknown said...

Wow Nat!! Love it....that is awesome! You've been so busy!!

Mer said...

Did the great big desk eat you or what? Update update update!

scrappy4477 said...

wowza!!! great desk :) build one for me, LOL!!!

check out my blog for more details. www.scrappy4477.blogspot.com

Ronald Carey said...

That is pretty awesome. This Computer Desk seems to be very comfortable. It is very nice information to have with me. More power to your article.