Still working on my new desk: http://www.delorie.com/wood/desk /
Today's question is about supporting the center section of the top.
The primary support will be along the seam, held together with draw
bolts (although there's an arch across the widest part to help reduce
sagging). I want something along the seam that will align the
sections vertically as well as support the center section. My
original idea was just biscuits, but now I'm thinking floating tenons
would be better. Comments? Ideas? Suggestions?
I'd probably go w/ a groove/spline (essentially the tenon except
probably 3/4's the length of the edges. And, I'd add a ledge underneath
(as an add-on moulding, most likely) so it'll take somebody getting up
there to hang a picture in the corner, etc.
Just need to have enough beef in the support to handle the
unexpected--somebody, sometime _will_ look at that hunk of oak and say
"I don't need no steenkin' ladder to change this-there blulb in
that-there light!" or somesuch...
I built some "L" shaped craft benches a couple of years back that I
aligned the two sections using two #20 biscuits on each seam. No glue,
assembled them dry so when / if they have to take things apart, they
can. I used two 1/2" diameter draw bolts on each seam to hold things
together. These benches have taken a beating and the seams haven't
Other ideas will certainly work but "simple" usually works better than
some "over-engineered" ideas.
My first thought is your going to get quite a bit of expansion and
contraction with that wide of a hardwood top and I would want to have a web
frame under the center section as well as the sides that provides support
and a way to connect that allows the top move; otherwise you risk it
cracking on you. You have the back side covered but appears nothing to tie
to in the front. Either a divider in the front or a complete top web frame
would be the direction I would head in.. I would also incorporate some
cross members into the web frame for attaching the keyboard tray.
Idea... it occurs to me I could make the seam with rabbets to create a
narrow lap joint, say 1/4 deep or so. Then the center section would
be resting *on* the side sections, sort of.
I must be missing someting...I can't see that what you drew (and, sorta,
what I proposed) would present any problems, inside corner or not. Cut
rabbet in each, from top on one, from bottom of other and lay it on. You
are "coped" automatically.
I've done exactly that many times.
And, of course, if you were to choose to do that in this instance
structurally you'd want the rabbet to be on the top of the center piece
so the unbroken surface is on the bottom for maximum strength. The
problem w/ this is that it would require the edges be parallel or one
end to go in first followed by the other for assembly or putting one of
the two tops on after in place which wouldn't be all that convenient.
So, given the top is 1" material, the choice would be to make the rabbet
fairly shallow so there's a thick-enough lip to support the way and the
aforementioned unanticipated weight issues above.
Which, all in all, is why I suggested the moulding as the primary
support and the spline to serve as the alignment initially...
See photo: http://www.delorie.com/wood/desk /
Where the top sections meet at the seams, is where the desk turns the
corner. Which means I'd have to cut 22.5 degree angles in the parts
of the rabbets that go past the seam.
I'll reiterate after looking at the drawings again -- continue the front
moulding around the corner (mitered, of course) and it'll be all the
vertical support you need. And, doing so would really dress-up that
plain facing end, as well.
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