So, I’ve got a HUGE list of projects that I want to make and a lot of times when I think about starting those projects, I think “it’d be easier if I had a _____”. Lately, a lot of my videos have been me taking the time to make the _____, so that I can actually get to the projects that I’ve been wanting to make. This video is also a _____.
Specifically, this is a desk in my office, not in my shop, for working on electronics, finishing 3D prints, and doing some smaller model & prop making. These are all things that I’ve done in the shop or at my computer desk but they’re also in the way. I finally decided to make a dedicated spot for them, and at the same time thought I’d use the desk as an excuse to start practicing my welding.
It’s been about 10 years since I did any real welding (restoring my 1962 Vespa) so I’m basically starting from scratch. I’m happy to report that starting from scratch isn’t actually that bad, and having this project done, I’m much more confident about using metal work in some more upcoming projects.
So let’s take a look at how I made this stool height/standing height desk.
Here’s what you’ll need:
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For the desk trim, I started with a piece of oak from the home center, and found the middle of it.
I ripped the piece directly in half.
I cut the pieces in half for ease of handling, then cut a 45° miter on all four pieces.
I set the pieces in place by my plywood top that I already had cut to size.
I marked where the miter should begin on each piece.
Using my marks, I cut the miter on two pieces at a time (table width).
I did the same thing for the other two pieces (table depth).
Each piece got glue and was lined up with the plywood top.
While the glue dried, I held the piece in place with a few brad nails.
I added this trim while the piece was on a melamine surface, which is very flat, smooth and glue won’t stick to it.
I filled gaps and nail holes with wood filler, then sanded it smooth.
I used an old t-shirt to add a few coats of tung oil finish (this is a varnish, not PURE tung oil).
When the finish dries, it hardens into a smooth, tough surface.
For the frame, I measured out the pieces of 1″ square steel tubing.
The pieces were cut to length with a cut off wheel on an angle grinder.
I lined up and clamped the pieces against a flat piece of wood.
The cuts weren’t totally straight, so I flattened the ends of the pieces with a grinding disc.
I used a magnet to hold the pieces at a 90° angle.
The pieces were clamped to maintain the angle while welding.
Using a mig welder, I added a bead along one face of the frame.
Then I could remove the clamps, flip over the frame and weld the remaining joints.
Once I was finished, I ground down all of the welds to be smooth. I madea duplicate frame for the opposite side.
Drawing the line on all four sides of the pipe helped me make a straighter cut with the cut off wheel.
I marked the center of each frame, and lined up the cross brace with the mark to weld them in place.
Then completed the welds on both ends.
I ground them down, and cleaned off surface rust with a wire disc.
The frame has some lateral flex, so I added another cross brace on the back side of the frames.
The extra brace made the frame very rigid.
After cleaning the surfaces, I coated the frame with spray polyurethane .
The frame was complete!
The table top dropped right down onto the frame.
I added a cutting mat, and put some rolls of painters tape underneath to stop it from sliding around on the table top.
I need LOTS of storage for my electronics components.
Finally, I needed a way to store my spools of wire.
I cut scrap MDF down to the length of my storage boxes.
I ripped it to the correct depth.
Then I cut two matching pieces at the same thickness as the base piece.
Using my largest spool as reference, I marked the center hole and a rough outlined shape.
Using double sided tape, I attached the two pieces.
With a backer board underneath, I drilled a 1/2″ hole through both pieces.
Then I trimmed the pieces to shape on the bandsaw.
After some sanding, I glued the pieces onto the base.
I added a few brad nails to hold them while drying.
The piece got a couple coats of black spray paint.
I painted a dowel rod by inserting it and spinning it while spraying the paint.
I trimmed the dowel to length and added my spools to it.