Mini-Desk Project, Pt. 1

So, I finally got a little shop time this weekend after spending most of Saturday doing a massive cleaning of the pantry closet in the basement. The massive heatwave didn’t help things much, as it had this habit of sapping my energy right as I got things going. First I had to do some straightening up, which in this case meant purging a pantry closet in the basement. That allowed me to move some stuff that had been on the shop floor into the closet and gain some floor space back. Seeing as this is my first real project since being bitten by the woodworking bug, I want to use this as a chance to put to use what I’ve learned trolling the internet, reading blogs and books, and viewing video podcasts and see what comes out the other end.

Since this isn’t supposed to be a primo piece of furniture, I went with pre-dimensioned lumber from the big orange place. The top is the best piece of 2×4 3/4 plywood they had in stock which will be edged in 1×2 maple. The legs are 2×2 poplar blanks and the apron will be 1×4 maple. I’m planning on somehow either tapering the legs or give them a little Greene & Greene treatment at the bottom, it all depends on which one I might have more luck at.

I started by taking the rough outside dimensions-about 26″ x 45″-and subtracted 1 1/2″ from each side to account for the edging, and then cut off the waste at the table saw. Next I measured for the cutout that would define the L-shape of the top. The perpendicular cuts turned out to be pretty easy, especially after catching this tip early on Matt’s latest video. My problem came when I tried to cut the 45 degree angle with the jigsaw-that didn’t turn out so well at first. I found my best plywood blade so there wouldn’t be any tear-out, took a gentle curve into the cut, and that’s when it happened. First of all, my steady hand wasn’t so steady, so the cut wasn’t quite straight, and I picked a blade that was too long. Because of that, the blade apparently deflected to one side during the cut so the cut was neither straight nor plumb-it actually produced a very wavy back cut.


So how am I planning on fixing this? I have a couple of ideas but would like to see what someone else would suggest. I have no problem making a new cut up to maybe an inch back from the present cut, but what’s the best way top keep the cut both straight and plumb? I look forward to any ideas out there, so let’s here them.

Posted in Projects
2 comments on “Mini-Desk Project, Pt. 1
  1. Paul-Marcel says:

    You’re not kidding about the sapping energy part… I feel like an anti-bear: I hibernate in the summer for lack of energy!

    To fix that problem, a pretty easy way would be to use a router and good flush bit. Clamp a straight piece of, say, MDF to the underside where you want the new cut to appear the use the router up to guiding the bit’s bearing on the MDF (this assumed a ‘flush’ bit with the bearing on the end instead of a ‘pattern’ bit with it up by the collet). Maybe clamp some blocks on either end to act as stop blocks so you don’t go too far.

    My favorite flushing bit is a down-spiral bit since it would use the MDF as a cut backer and the spiral works well with the ply.

    • BeavesBench says:

      Paul-Marcel-Thanks for the great idea! I was planning on using my Bora clamp bar clamped to the piece and then use it as a guide for my jigsaw. Unfortunately I don’t have a flush trim bit, but I do have a pattern bit that should do the trick-just reverse where the MDF guide goes. BTW-I really enjoyed the ACME Tool Co. bit in your latest video-nice touch!

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