desk dimension/design and other questions


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So in the last couple projects I have planned for this year ... I want to make a desk for myself.

I found this desk:

Gasperetti-Desk-with-Organizers-Walnut-C

From: http://www.vermontfurnituremakers.com/vt-custom-furniture/desk-organizers-walnut-curly-maple

I dont have $6500 to buy it lol, so I am going to build it. 

 

So here are my questions ... 

1913343327_deskdim.thumb.JPG.ee42b89766e1bccd3b3cd6caa0b53da0.JPG

1) Do my dimensions look ok ... nothing off with the size and spacing?

2) How would you go about attaching the organizers to the top of the desk? Screws from under the desk top?

3) On the organizer, the top has an overhang so I would assume I need stopped dado's or something like that for the dividers? Any other options you would use?

4) If I went thicker for the desktop .. possibly 1 1/2" thick slab, would that take away from the shaker style and become a mix of 2 distinct looks and be bad?

 

Thanks for the thoughts ahead of time!! 

 

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Very pleasing design.  While the cut out in the front apron is pleasing to the eye, it is removing wood fromt he apron where it is needed the most.  Consider less of a cut out if it still looks good to you.  I am not saying that the desk is not strong enough as it is, just that it could be stronger and still look OK.  I would attached the organizers with wood screws from below. 

Are those contrasting dowels that I see in the legs next to the 2 drawers?  If so, you w hy not use similar dowels (in the organizer tops) to attached the tops to the organizer?

I think the desk would llok strange with a 1 1/2" top but you mi ght be able to go 7/8" or maybe 1" if you still like the look.

you may not like this idea at all but.......I like center drawers in my desks.  What if you were to increase the apron to 6" at the side drawers and 4" at the center.  This would allow for a center drawer and deepen the end drawers.  Then doulbe check to make sure your thighs still fit under the drawer.  Your call.

Have fun - great project.

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Form follows function so a desk is going to be as unique as the person using it.  I am not worried about the front apron as I doubt you are planning on leaning your weight in that area.  The design is very much a writing desk.  Is that how it will be used?  I guesstimated the height from your other dimensions and assume the writing surface to be about 30" - 32" which is high for a keyboard if computer use is your plan.

The organizers could indeed be screwed to the top from underneath using through holes.  Setting on dowels would work as well if you want it to break down.  It is an attractive design for the style.  As to function, you can judge that better than any of us.

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I’d decrease the side overhang of the top. Then align the organizers so the outside edge is in the same plane as the outside edges of the legs. 

If possible, I’d also adjust the width of the organizers to have the inner edges of the aligned with another feature- the edge of the drawers or the start of the cutout in the apron. 

 

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It’s a handsome desk.

I agree with the suggestions above to align the outside edges of the organizer boxes with the outside edge of the legs.  I like the size of the overhang on the top as you have it – but if you want to make the top thicker, I’d keep it to no more than 1” and put a wide bevel on the underside of the overhang to keep the edge at about ¾”.

You might want to give some thought to what you would be storing in the organizer drawers.  At only 8” wide, you won’t be able to store 8.5x11 paper in them.  If it were me, I’d sacrifice some width in the cubbies, if necessary, to get a wider drawer.  It might also make sense to make the organizer units wider overall, as long as they’re not too deep.  From the photo, it looks like they’re wider on the original desk – maybe 17 or 18 inches, and maybe 10 or 11 inches deep.

Personally, I’m always looking for more surface area close at hand at my desk.  To that end, I’d consider making one of the desk drawers a pull-out writing surface instead of a drawer (but that’s just me).

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Screws from the bottom.  With the rounded edges of the table top, aligning the organizers is a bad idea.  If you look at the photo the top of the organizer aligns with the desk top, and mirrors the rounded edge of the desk top. It’s a really nice design. 

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17 minutes ago, Barron said:

With the rounded edges of the table top, aligning the organizers is a bad idea.  If you look at the photo the top of the organizer aligns with the desk top, and mirrors the rounded edge of the desk top. It’s a really nice design. 

I don’t think anyone was suggesting having the side of the organizer be flush with the edge of the top. In his drawing, the desk top overhangs 2”, while the organizers are set in 3/4” (estimated dimensions).  I was suggesting to have those match, so the desk top and organizer top are aligned, and the organizer side and legs are aligned.

 

It is a nice design having the top of the organizer overhang and rounded to match the desk top. 

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A 3/4" sapele desktop with a 2" high x 3/4"maple apron 44" wide would handle a 300 lb man sitting on it according to the Sagulator.

The bottom drawer on the desktop organizers will require the space in front of them to be clear to open them. If you left that bottom drawer out and the bottom of the organizer it would yield a place to slide a stack of papers. Just a thought...

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Nice desk! Personally, I would not attach the organizes to the top. Put cork or other low-skid layer on their bottoms, but leave them loose.

For an interesting twist, make the organizer tops with an under-edge bevel, and add some half-dovetail rails under the main drawers, stopped a few inches from the front and rear aprons, so they are mostly hidden. Then the organizers can slide in and hang as auxilliary drawers, for times when you want the top clear.

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19 hours ago, Ronn W said:

Very pleasing design.  While the cut out in the front apron is pleasing to the eye, it is removing wood fromt he apron where it is needed the most.  Consider less of a cut out if it still looks good to you.  I am not saying that the desk is not strong enough as it is, just that it could be stronger and still look OK.  I would attached the organizers with wood screws from below. 

Are those contrasting dowels that I see in the legs next to the 2 drawers?  If so, you w hy not use similar dowels (in the organizer tops) to attached the tops to the organizer?

I think the desk would llok strange with a 1 1/2" top but you mi ght be able to go 7/8" or maybe 1" if you still like the look.

you may not like this idea at all but.......I like center drawers in my desks.  What if you were to increase the apron to 6" at the side drawers and 4" at the center.  This would allow for a center drawer and deepen the end drawers.  Then doulbe check to make sure your thighs still fit under the drawer.  Your call.

Have fun - great project.

I was thinking about a bigger apron but I’m not sure 6” would be easy to pull off without making everything beefier. It looks like dowels yes. I’m thinking adding them in as well. Just not sure where all to go with them. 

18 hours ago, gee-dub said:

Form follows function so a desk is going to be as unique as the person using it.  I am not worried about the front apron as I doubt you are planning on leaning your weight in that area.  The design is very much a writing desk.  Is that how it will be used?  I guesstimated the height from your other dimensions and assume the writing surface to be about 30" - 32" which is high for a keyboard if computer use is your plan.

The organizers could indeed be screwed to the top from underneath using through holes.  Setting on dowels would work as well if you want it to break down.  It is an attractive design for the style.  As to function, you can judge that better than any of us.

Ya still working on exact height but it will be a computer desk more than a writing desk though. I have a 27” iMac that will be sitting between the 2 organizers. 

18 hours ago, JohnG said:

I’d decrease the side overhang of the top. Then align the organizers so the outside edge is in the same plane as the outside edges of the legs. 

If possible, I’d also adjust the width of the organizers to have the inner edges of the aligned with another feature- the edge of the drawers or the start of the cutout in the apron. 

 

Ok I’ll take a look at alignment of things. 

16 hours ago, G Ragatz said:

It’s a handsome desk.

I agree with the suggestions above to align the outside edges of the organizer boxes with the outside edge of the legs.  I like the size of the overhang on the top as you have it – but if you want to make the top thicker, I’d keep it to no more than 1” and put a wide bevel on the underside of the overhang to keep the edge at about ¾”.

You might want to give some thought to what you would be storing in the organizer drawers.  At only 8” wide, you won’t be able to store 8.5x11 paper in them.  If it were me, I’d sacrifice some width in the cubbies, if necessary, to get a wider drawer.  It might also make sense to make the organizer units wider overall, as long as they’re not too deep.  From the photo, it looks like they’re wider on the original desk – maybe 17 or 18 inches, and maybe 10 or 11 inches deep.

Personally, I’m always looking for more surface area close at hand at my desk.  To that end, I’d consider making one of the desk drawers a pull-out writing surface instead of a drawer (but that’s just me).

Ya I think I will be increasing the organizers size since I was thinking about the paper issue too haha. 

So for the pull out writing surface would it have a drawer front to match the other side or no? 

14 hours ago, Barron said:

Screws from the bottom.  With the rounded edges of the table top, aligning the organizers is a bad idea.  If you look at the photo the top of the organizer aligns with the desk top, and mirrors the rounded edge of the desk top. It’s a really nice design. 

Agreed 

14 hours ago, wdwerker said:

A 3/4" sapele desktop with a 2" high x 3/4"maple apron 44" wide would handle a 300 lb man sitting on it according to the Sagulator.

The bottom drawer on the desktop organizers will require the space in front of them to be clear to open them. If you left that bottom drawer out and the bottom of the organizer it would yield a place to slide a stack of papers. Just a thought...

Well I got a ways to go before I sit on the desk and break it then haha. I don’t ever plan on having anything heavier then my arms and iMac on there anyways. 

Yes debting on how I can solve the paper issue

9 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Nice desk! Personally, I would not attach the organizes to the top. Put cork or other low-skid layer on their bottoms, but leave them loose.

For an interesting twist, make the organizer tops with an under-edge bevel, and add some half-dovetail rails under the main drawers, stopped a few inches from the front and rear aprons, so they are mostly hidden. Then the organizers can slide in and hang as auxilliary drawers, for times when you want the top clear.

Hmmm non skid bottoms ... I’d be worried about them not necessarily getting knocked off but getting moved enough to not be aligned and driving me crazy haha. 

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I think you dimensions are too small. I didn't quite see in skimming the thread if you are constrained to an area but I'd never only allow 2' for the chair spot. Even if you do fit in the 24" you won't get freedom of movement. Also a 27" computer thingy that you have will be tight in 24". I don't know how wide yours is but measure it and add some space on either side so you can move it around between the organizers. I the drawers in the organizer look off to me. I think they should be the same width as the base drawers. From the picture the width looks like it keeps thing uniform between the two parts. Also you have 2 slots on the sides of the organizer. What is going to fit in that space? If you can't think of anything that's fine but if you have an idea measure it to make sure that they are big enough.

I would not attach the organizers either but what you could do is put like a molding or trim piece on the top that will make sure they always end up back in the same spot. This way if you want to remove/move them in the future because you decided to get a dual monitor setup you could. The computer world is still changing so don't do what the CRT TV entertainment center crowd did and lock yourself into a box. You will regret that.

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You could add a slight 1" backsplash with magnets or a shallow knotch for the organizers. Then they could be left with just a felt bottom and no attachment. Magnets from below would be possible but take some planning & testing . 

If your 2" aprons were made of 5/4 hard maple you could sit on the desk with your wife/secretary/girlfriend........that's just static load.......

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54 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

If your 2" aprons were made of 5/4 hard maple you could sit on the desk with your wife/secretary/girlfriend........that's just static load.......

Dynamic loading usually takes a 1.7 safety factor instead of a 1.0 :D

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See this is why I asked ... some good ideas I had problems thinking about ... 

1439491537_deskdim.thumb.JPG.5f9dc7bf5111d9180ec0b5bcadee69c6.JPG

Latest Model, I took out the 1 side of cubbies and made the drawers big enough to hold 8.5 wide paper.

The red is the width of the monitor, which is about 26" to be safe.monitor is really around 25 1/2" heavy

 

5 hours ago, Chestnut said:

I think you dimensions are too small. I didn't quite see in skimming the thread if you are constrained to an area but I'd never only allow 2' for the chair spot. Even if you do fit in the 24" you won't get freedom of movement. Also a 27" computer thingy that you have will be tight in 24". I don't know how wide yours is but measure it and add some space on either side so you can move it around between the organizers. I the drawers in the organizer look off to me. I think they should be the same width as the base drawers. From the picture the width looks like it keeps thing uniform between the two parts. Also you have 2 slots on the sides of the organizer. What is going to fit in that space? If you can't think of anything that's fine but if you have an idea measure it to make sure that they are big enough.

I would not attach the organizers either but what you could do is put like a molding or trim piece on the top that will make sure they always end up back in the same spot. This way if you want to remove/move them in the future because you decided to get a dual monitor setup you could. The computer world is still changing so don't do what the CRT TV entertainment center crowd did and lock yourself into a box. You will regret that.

Not really constrained in size per say, but I dont want a 10' wide desk to fit tons of options haha. RIght now I am at 4'8 which is what the design is on the website, I would say 5'6" or so might be the biggest I would want to go, not sure though. The office it is going in is 9' x 12'8 .. so not the biggest room. The one thing that may help though is I want it to run the width of the room so I will have plenty of room on each side.

I did adjust in my 2nd revision to make there more room to fit the monitor in between the organizers instead of in the front. 

The drawers not all the same size does look funny after you mention it. I am thinking of making the apron drawers 9" to match the organizer. 

As far as not attaching the organizers ... could I do the "cork" like sticky bottom and then maybe a 1/4 - 1/2" overhang on the back panel of the organizer to always keep it aligned on the back?

 

5 hours ago, wdwerker said:

You could add a slight 1" backsplash with magnets or a shallow knotch for the organizers. Then they could be left with just a felt bottom and no attachment. Magnets from below would be possible but take some planning & testing . 

If your 2" aprons were made of 5/4 hard maple you could sit on the desk with your wife/secretary/girlfriend........that's just static load.......

when you say shallow notch ... you mean like route out the side of the organizers about 1/8 deep or so and they could just slide in? I do like the idea of magnets though ... I think that might be a decently easy idea to pull off.

4 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Dynamic loading usually takes a 1.7 safety factor instead of a 1.0 :D

 

2 hours ago, wdwerker said:

Good to know. No telling when such info may come in handy .

LOL!!! as much fun as that movie scene could be ... the Lady would have to be mighty drunk and then I am sure we would brake the computer with the desktop clearing method they always do, unless I have some damn impressively strong magnets haha 

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Strong cylindrical  magnets could be inserted into the bottom edges of the organizers and covered with felt. The same magnets would need to be within an 1/8 under the desktop. The strength of a magnets pull drops off rapidly with distance.

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=DC6  this is a link to 3/4" dia x 3/8 thick strong disc magnets . If they are 5/32 apart you would have around a 10 lb pull force. A pair imbedded in the desktop 1/8 below the surface and a pair imbedded flush into the bottom of each organizer then covered with 1/32 of felt equals 5/32 distance. 

You can use their pull force calculator to vary the diameter & thickness for "case 3" magnet to magnet strength and find a combination that fits your needs.  At $4.88 each 8 of them will add up quick. 

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9 hours ago, bushwacked said:

Ya I think I will be increasing the organizers size since I was thinking about the paper issue too haha. 

So for the pull out writing surface would it have a drawer front to match the other side or no? 

 

My thought on the pull-out writing surface was that it would still have a drawer front, to maintain the symmetry of the design.  It might also be possible to make the writing surface a "lid" on an actual drawer, so that you could lift it off and still have some storage space under.  Rabbet two edges to keep it in place.

Thinking about your revised plan, I think the organizer drawers will still be too small for 8.5x11 paper, after accounting for the thickness of the walls of the drawer, and the fact that you need a little space to get your fingers in, or you'll never get the paper out.  Your idea of making the organizer and desk drawers the same width makes sense to me - and then position the organizers so that the drawers are aligned vertically.  Also, I agree with Chestnut - if you have the space in the room, a little wider desk would ease some of the constraints on the design.  I don't think another 4-6" in width would make the desk look mis-proportioned.

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On 8/12/2018 at 9:19 AM, wdwerker said:

You could add a slight 1" backsplash with magnets or a shallow knotch for the organizers. Then they could be left with just a felt bottom and no attachment. Magnets from below would be possible but take some planning & testing . 

If your 2" aprons were made of 5/4 hard maple you could sit on the desk with your wife/secretary/girlfriend........that's just static load.......

Dang!  All three?????

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