Raised Panel Desk


Alabama Fats
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Hey folks,

I need some advice/ direction or opinions.

I am going to build a raised panel (semi raised?) desk for my son and daughter in law for their wedding gift.

I have made several desks, writing, secretary, captains, but never this type.

My problem is the modesty panel. I plan to incorporate it into the back, as in it is the back of the desk.

Since the carcass will be rail and style I worry about the length of the top and bottom rails, the desk will be 60 inches long.

I feel sure they will warp at some point, probably while I'm trying put it together.

So, would it be better to break the back up into equal sections, change the design to incorporate a true modesty panel...maybe tell them I caught the arthritis or something? :unsure:

I case it helps I will be using some nicely figure 5/4+ cherry for the build.

The desk will be 60L x 24D x 18W on the drawer pedestals.

It will have 9 drawers, 3 across the top front and 3 equal sized drawers on each pedestal.

All comments and ideers are welcome, encouraged and will probably somehow end up as the property of China.

Thanks

David

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Is it going to be one big panel across the back? Or are you going to have like three different panels? I would think that if you did like three different panels, the the stiles that separate the panels would help keep it straight. Just my initial though. How thick is the frame going to be?

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Is it going to be one big panel across the back? Or are you going to have like three different panels? I would think that if you did like three different panels, the the stiles that separate the panels would help keep it straight. Just my initial though. How thick is the frame going to be?

I'll have 4 back panels and I hope to keep the rails at least 7/8, should be able to with this wood.

The reason for the four back panels is that I have boards wide enough that I wont have to join the panels, well, five of the six for sure. Might get them all if I cheat on the width of the two middle stiles..

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First of all, the width of the pedestals adds up to leaving you with a knee hole of 24" assuming that the 60 inches is the base width and doesn't include the overhang of the top. I would reconsider the dimensions and work it out so you have a knee hole of at least 30 inches and preferable 36". If you are using a basic chair, the 24" would fit but not be too comfortable. If they decide to splurge on an office style chair, they are often 26" to 29" wide, plus you would want to pivot it to get in and out. A 24" knee hole would be uncomfortable. Maybe they would like a 72" desk (executive size).

Back to the modesty panel. I would design it as a separate piece with a double panel. A single panel over 20" is problematic and 2 panels would be more stable. The modesty panel doesn't have to come to the floor. If you have any kind of base mouldings on the pedestals, it could stop just above the base. I would also inset it an inch or so to give the back of the desk some interest instead of just 4 panels side by side.

Post some pictures when it is done.

Mike

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First of all, the width of the pedestals adds up to leaving you with a knee hole of 24" assuming that the 60 inches is the base width and doesn't include the overhang of the top.

Yes, exactly. The top is planed for 28" using only two boards. I could go 30" but there is a streak of sap wood on each that I'm not sure how it would look with the cherry. If it was walnut I would use it real quick.

I could glue it up and take a look then.

I would reconsider the dimensions and work it out so you have a knee hole of at least 30 inches and preferable 36". If you are using a basic chair, the 24" would fit but not be too comfortable. If they decide to splurge on an office style chair, they are often 26" to 29" wide, plus you would want to pivot it to get in and out. A 24" knee hole would be uncomfortable. Maybe they would like a 72" desk (executive size).

Thanks Mike, didn't know that about the chairs and he is a large child.

I could narrow the pedestals by 3" each which would give me 30". I'll draw that out on my bench to be sure the pedestals don't look odd.

Back to the modesty panel. I would design it as a separate piece with a double panel. A single panel over 20" is problematic and 2 panels would be more stable. The modesty panel doesn't have to come to the floor. If you have any kind of base mouldings on the pedestals, it could stop just above the base. I would also inset it an inch or so to give the back of the desk some interest instead of just 4 panels side by side.

Ah, good idea. The width of those two panels wouldn't change but with the inset it would add more visual interest to the desk.

Right now the back will be against a wall, small room, but down the road they will buy a larger home and may be able to place it so everything is visible.

I guess the question now is how do I attach the modesty panel, sliding dovetails, dados and screwed from the inside?

Post some pictures when it is done.

Mike

I am planing on taking pictures of the build so they can see it from start to finish, maybe even show them to my grandchildren, if they will get on the ball.

I'll post it up and maybe get a few "you should haves" for the next time.

Good advice Mike, I thank you.

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