Monday, June 11, 2012
Building A Desk
Jon and I had decided a while ago that when we got Memphis, we wanted to build a desk rather than buy one. This naturally thrilled me, seeing as I love power tools about as much as most girls love shoes. I truly love the smell of sawdust in the morning and the sounds of a power saw deconstructing and reconstructing wood and other objects into useful and beautiful purposes.
When we had finally settled on a design, I began to sketch it all out. We decided on a desk with a wood surface and iron pipe frame. It fit our need for both clean lines and minimal body, but also with an industrial, vintage leaning. For the desk surface, an unfinished solid core slab door fit our needs perfectly. The 32"x 80" fit exactly between the door and window sill, allowing us to both sit side by side with a file cabinet in between us. Slab doors run about $54 at both Lowes and Home Depot.
The sketches helped to an extent, but I didn't readily know the dimensions of all the joints I needed, so we ended up just taking over the plumbing isle of Home Depot for about an hour and a half testing it all out.
We tried different sizes of pipes to get the lengths we needed and tried to visualize it all together. Oooor rather I tried to visualise it while Jon did a bunch of math in his head.
We have two very different methods of approaching a project like this, which can be both helpful and frustrating when trying to understand one another. At the very least, it was a blessing to see how far our communication skills have improved since getting married, namely because neither of us ended up with a pipe upside the head from the other. I joke. (Sort of :))
For the sizes they didn't have, we got an employee to cut and thread. In hindsight, we should have had all of the pipe cut to size and threaded, because we could have saved a LOT more money and time peeling price stickers off. It just would have taken more time in the store because cutting and threading takes a while.
When we got home, I worked on sanding and staining the door while Jon scraped the goo from price tags off the pipes. I highly recommend Goo Gone for removing any nasty residue; it makes a huge difference.
Because the pipes were threaded, all we needed to do was screw them all together and then screw the flanges into the wood with 4 screws each... or so we thought.
We did come to one place where we were unable to attach a pipe because when we would tighten one side, it would loosen the other side. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.
So back to Home Depot we went to grab a Union Joint and swap out a longer piece of pipe for a shorter one to allow for the extra length the joint would add. After that, it was smooth sailing.
Our hard work paid off, and now we have a beautiful work desk to share. We may eventually add shelves above the desk and mount the monitors, but for now, we are content.
We have decided to call it the "Desk of Champions" because we felt like Champions after having built it, and continue to feel like Champions whenever we do work at it. I think it's a very fitting name, don't you?