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  #41 (permalink)  
Old January 18, 2011, 08:11 AM
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nice work so far...looks like it's going to be real sturdy...must be nice to design the desk the way you want it...

I currently have a wallymart desk...i like it alot...but ofcourse, i can find some improvements for it...

inspiring...but i'm to lazy to make my own...kudos...
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old January 24, 2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Some Drawer Work

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalcowboy View Post
now its time for lots of wood filler and sanding! I was lucky enough to have a 23 guage nailer for alot of the cabinatry stuff, hardly any holes to fill!

how do you want to finish the desk off?
Hmm, a 23 guage eh.. that would have been nice - you'll see why in the next few posts.. I'll be staining it with a dark cherry / mahogany finish and then most likely several coats of polyurethane gloss (Brushed on). Any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cul8erppl View Post
nice work so far...looks like it's going to be real sturdy...must be nice to design the desk the way you want it...

I currently have a wallymart desk...i like it alot...but ofcourse, i can find some improvements for it...

inspiring...but i'm to lazy to make my own...kudos...
Heh, thanks cul8erppl, you can see the desk I was currently working with.. I finally had to do something about it!

I used a fairly similar process as the drawer faces, I started out by cutting myself some fresh trim strips from this piece of maple:



Hit the miter saw and sander, and lay down some glue:



Then with the nailer. Whoops, one more split.



Here's a before and after shot from the sanding. You'll notice the maple strips got burnt pretty badly when I put them through the table saw (The blade is getting a bit old). After a bit of sanding, they look as fresh as ever:



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  #43 (permalink)  
Old January 24, 2011, 03:22 PM
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After trimming all of the drawers and faces, I had to get some wood filler to fill in all of the screw and nail holes, as well as the small voids between the plywood and solid wood. All in all, this process went OK - not as nice as I would have liked.





For the mostpart, I used Elmers Natural Colour Wood Filler. While it did the job, the colour matching wasn't exactly... inconspicious, to say the least. I also tried mixing some sawdust from the random-orbit sander with some wood glue, with not so great results.











You can clearly see, in the end result, that the sawdust/glue filler looks more like glue. It has an almost transparent look to it. I guess I should have used more sawdust?





Anyways, I finished up the rest of the voids and holes with the regular Elmers stuff:





And then sanded it it all up:





Anyone have any tips on how I can further hide the holes? I will have to go over them again with some more wood filler just to smooth them out completely, but even so, I have a feeling that the stain will accentuate all of my filling, which is not the desired effect, to say the least!!

I have ALMOST determined the stain / technique I will be using. I'm getting some very nice, richly coloured red mahogany / cherry right now on my test boards. With that in mind, has anyone used darker wood filler than the natural wood, when staining dark with good effect?
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old January 24, 2011, 06:59 PM
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I've used the same Wood filler on a desk project and ended up staining it dark red. It doesn't look that bad to be honest, barely noticeable.

But your best bet is to test it, make a hole, fill it, sand it and stain it. You'll see if you like the result.

Coming along nicely! Very nice!
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old January 26, 2011, 08:09 PM
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You could check out some of the wax fillers available from Lee Valley. They have some good stuff in their woodworking catalog. I think you can mix them to get the bets colour match you can. The only way to minimize the gaps between the edge strips and the ply would have been to use a planer on the hardwood to get rid of the blade marks from the saw. and don't worry too much about the back and the end of the sides of the drawers, you won't be able to see it when its installed

If you're applying the finish by hand, consider sanding between coats with progressively smoother sanding discs. If you can, even a small electric sprayer from home depot would do an ok job for cheap and save tonnes of time.

Have you considered a semi gloss? Personally i'm a big fan of not quite as much lustre as a full gloss. Makes it a bit less shiny.

If you are using a rub on stain, keep wiping as much as you can. it'll darken quickly if you leave it too long. the inside corners of the drawers are going to be a pain, but at least they are pretty hidden.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old January 27, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADay2Long View Post
I've used the same Wood filler on a desk project and ended up staining it dark red. It doesn't look that bad to be honest, barely noticeable.

But your best bet is to test it, make a hole, fill it, sand it and stain it. You'll see if you like the result.

Coming along nicely! Very nice!
Thanks ADay2Long - I've been working on some stain samples in the past couple weeks, but I've neglected to do testing with the wood filler. I'll have to make a few more samples when I find the colour I like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalcowboy View Post
You could check out some of the wax fillers available from Lee Valley. They have some good stuff in their woodworking catalog. I think you can mix them to get the bets colour match you can. The only way to minimize the gaps between the edge strips and the ply would have been to use a planer on the hardwood to get rid of the blade marks from the saw. and don't worry too much about the back and the end of the sides of the drawers, you won't be able to see it when its installed

If you're applying the finish by hand, consider sanding between coats with progressively smoother sanding discs. If you can, even a small electric sprayer from home depot would do an ok job for cheap and save tonnes of time.

Have you considered a semi gloss? Personally i'm a big fan of not quite as much lustre as a full gloss. Makes it a bit less shiny.

If you are using a rub on stain, keep wiping as much as you can. it'll darken quickly if you leave it too long. the inside corners of the drawers are going to be a pain, but at least they are pretty hidden.
I love Lee Valley. I was there a couple weekends ago and bought myself a few nice things. I'll have to look into their wax sticks, or some other colours of wood filler to mix and match.

I am applying finish by hand, using a gel stain - I've been working with test pieces for the past few weeks and everything is going well so far. I think it'll be a different story when I go to stain the desk surface, since it is so huge - I'll do the underneath portion first, that's for sure.

As far as the decision for gloss vs. semi-gloss - I can always go for gloss and if I decide I don't like it, it's not a problem to put a satin or semi over the top of it to reduce the shine factor. We'll just have to see how it looks!!

I'll have a real update up here in a day or two - things have been really busy at work lately and I haven't had much time to put into this project.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old January 31, 2011, 03:10 PM
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Default New Sponsor - Crucial!

Received a nice package in the mail a couple weeks ago that I've been meaning to show off...





What could it be?



Woohoo!!!







That's:
4 x 2 GB of 1600Mhz CL7 Ballistix RAM from Crucial and
2 x 2 GB of 1333Mhz ECC, Registered RDIMM RAM from Crucial!

So it looks like for the main system I will have some options. Currently I'm thinking either a socket 1156 Core i5/i7 or a newer Sandy Bridge socket 1155. The only issue that may occur with the Sandy Bridge is that those Crucial Ballistix are rated for 1.65 Volts, which I understand is a bit over the recommended voltage for RAM for the 1155 boards. There is a possibility of looking at an AMD AM3 system as well with a Phenom x4 or x6 - I have not made up my mind entirely yet.

For the server system, I am almost definetely going with a Xeon processor - which motherboard is still in the air.

Aren't they so nice? ;)





Can't wait to open them up and test them out! It'll have to wait for now, however.

So here's a distraction - my cat! She's going to have some kittens soon!



Big thanks go out to Crucial, who are officially the first sponsor for The Ultimate Computer Desk



Stay tuned, lots of updates in the pipeline!
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old January 31, 2011, 03:54 PM
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1333mhz cl7 sticks sponsored, good on them.

It's definitely a sweet project I know I'm following it closely.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old February 3, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Default Trimming the Desk Surface

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Originally Posted by jibz View Post
1333mhz cl7 sticks sponsored, good on them.

It's definitely a sweet project I know I'm following it closely.
Thanks jibs - I was pretty psyched when Crucial decided to send the gear as well - now I can't wait to plug them in!! :)

Last time I left off, with regards to the table surface, I had just finished gluing and screwing it together. I put it on the backburner for about a week to dry while I worked on the drawers, and now I'm going to take it down in preparation for putting the outer trim on it.

Here it is:



All 4 sides were a bit off, with regards to the flushness. This was expected, as the initial sizing cuts were pretty rough, and it's better to have extra material than not enough.



Took out a straight-cut flush bit for the router, and some 60-grit sandpaper for the random orbital sander, and got to work. I did two passes with the router, because since the bit is not 1 1/2" tall, I couldn't trim the whole side of the table with just one pass.











And, after a bit of work, the final result:







The next step is to take a long strip of maple and turn it into trim for the table surface.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old February 4, 2011, 08:15 AM
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For the top trim are you going to mitre the ends? bit more work, but should look nice. especially for this surface, try and find a jointer or a planer to smooth out the trim strips for a lot less filling and sanding! can't wait to see this done!
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