Re: Best material to make built-in desk?

Dear Chris,
    The choice of desk wood depends on the look you want and your budget. All woods can work in one form or another. All will be sealed in the finishing. The most popular desk wood is oak and then mahogany.
    A plywood top with edge covered in matching hardwood works well to 8'-1". Beyond that you either have to have expensive special order plywood or make a joint. If the joint is part of the design it will work all right.
    Build-in desks are usually built in. That is, they are supported by the studs in the wall and are custom fit to the exact size of the opening even if the opening is a little out of square, or out of plumb, or the back is not quite straight. These become part of the house.
    I have mastered a Web site on low stress computer desk plans since 1995. All our plans, more than 50, are now free (URL below).
    The type of desk you describe is called a door and filing cabinet desk. Traditionally it was made with an interior door and two short filing cabinets. This style is cheap and popular with students.
    The more complex version is called a Hutch desk. It has cabinet in the bottom, the desk top, and a over head part with shelves.
    I have plans for both types is you want to see them.
    Thanks,
    Tom Riley snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
    Woodware Designs     http://www.charm.net/~jriley/woodware.html
Check out our new Book:
"Look the Future Straight in the Eye" http://www.charm.net/~jriley/jeremiad/book.html
On 29 Mar 2004 15:59:40 -0800, cf snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Chris) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Chris) wrote:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been looking all over for the proper height cabinets. It seems that it's going to be very difficult to find finished or unfinished oak cabinets that are smaller than 34" high. I think I need about 29" or 30" to be comfortable. I'll keep looking....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The steel cabinets at the Office Borg will be the right height. They will just not look as nice as oak, of course. They are often used for student desks. Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Rich asks:

Think about removing the toe kick area, something that isn't useful on a sit-down desk anyway. If a cabinet is halfway well made, you should be able to measure and cut that area off quite easily with a handsaw or circular saw. I build most of my stuff with separate toe kicks anyway, but commercial stuff most often is one-piece. Check construction your local dealer or HD or Lowe's. Tip the cabinet up and see how the toe kick area is attached.
Taking that off gives you just about 30" on most 34" tall cabinetry, but on some you may have to leave 3/4" of board to hold the bottom in place.
Charlie Self "It is not strange... to mistake change for progress." Millard Fillmore
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Some of the "semi-custom" cabinet companies do have desk sections with a lower surface. Go to a dedicated kitche cabinet shop rather than a big box outlet like Home Depot.
You could also use a keynoard ullout to get a lower surface for the keyboard work area.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.