Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Ideal Office

When I am at work, I usually have a lot of time to dream.

I get on Pinterest a lot.

I recently got into Ana White's website (thank you, Nickie!) and absolutely fell in love with the concept of designing and building my own fully customized furniture.  What's more, I apparently married in to tools (saws, sanders, squares, clamps, a million drill bits, etc.), and the man has a pick-up truck.  I mean, I already loved and adored my husband, but come on!  I bet he's got a pony somewhere he's not telling me about, too...

So here's what I dreamed up for our office:

This is a picture version of a Google SketchUp design.  Awesome software, if you're interested in CAD.

Dave wanted 1) a safe place to store the paper cutter, 2) a central place to keep the printer, and 3) to be able to reach over and tickle me if he needed to at any moment.

I wanted 1) a place to put everything that is so far sitting on the floor or still in boxes, 2) a way to integrate at least one of our existing pieces into the space and not be awkward-looking, and 3) be a place to hang out and maybe read a book as well as get work done.

I believe we've achieved all of these goals with this design.

Now we just have to build this monstrous, ginormous beast of a desk.


The File Cabinet/Bookcase

This piece incorporates our existing black metal file cabinet into the support structure of the desk.  The little bookcase turns the chaise/couch/whatever-it-ends-up-being into a reading nook.  I also planned the top portion of this unit to fit the paper cutter in a side-ward cubby, out of the way but still accessible.

Step one: repaint the black metal file cabinet white.  This requires ambient temperatures above 50F which, I thought, required April or May to arrive early to Ohio.  Miraculously, it occurred for about 4 hours this last Monday.

I used 150 grit sand paper on the glossy black paint, just to rough it up a bit before painting.

Then I used about 1 full can of white Rust-Oleum Professional High Performance Enamel spray paint (2.5 coats), and here's how it looks now:

(No "before" photo, but you know what a black file cabinet looks like, right?)

Dave and I bought the plywood for this unit at HD - Birch 3/4 and 1/2" Purebond made with formaldehyde-free glue.  Expensive, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

This was our 3/4 ply "cut list" (one of the cool things about SketchUp...you assemble your design, then lay it out on a standard sheet of plywood to plan your cuts! And then you color-code the pieces and add dimensions right on the drawing so it's all visible and handy).

Dave measured out and set a cut guide for our circular saw (we neither have nor probably want a table saw...way too bulky).

This is how we made all of our cuts with a few exceptions on which we used the jig saw:
  1. Mark the cut line
  2. Measure 1 9/16" from the cut line (your saw may not require the same offset)
  3. Place the straight edge on the offset line
  4. Double check your blade falls outside the line of the cut piece, not inside (or you'll end up with a piece that is about 1/4" too small)

And there were many cuts.  And many errors.  And, sadly, many voids on the edges.

Dave tackled our beautiful boards' imperfections with generous applications of the el cheapo wood filler we got in the wood products aisle.

I got a little practice with our new Kreg system.

I don't know what else they include in the bigger Kreg packages...we bought the jig (which included the drill bit and collar), the driver bit, and 3 packs of 100 screws.  The C -clamp and scrap piece of wood we already had.  And I do believe that's all we needed to drill our pocket holes.

Once the base pieces were assembled, I placed the wood plugs into the pocket holes...

...but we decided caulk would work just as well and be easier.

I was all about easier, at this point.

Dave filled in the rest of the gap with wood filler so that we could sand it flush.

Now that we are in the process of doing said sanding, I wish we'd just left the pockets open.  I gotta admit, the "craftsman's patience" ain't kicked in yet.  As a functional, non-gift-type project, I wanted this sucker finished about 7 days ago so I could be getting on with unpacking and un-suck-ifying the room (*disclaimer* the room is only sucky right now because my crap is lying around in various little piles that come up, oh, waist high).

Sigh.  It isn't done, and I seriously doubt we're gonna get it done before I leave for work Thursday.

This is where we're at:

The file cabinet will sit inside with drawers coming out of the space on the left.  The bookcase, obviously, lies to the right.  And the drawer/paper cutter top goes on top, but those pieces aren't ready to be photographed.  Again, this is piece #1 of 3...though the 3rd one already exists and just needs a few tweaks to look like the drawing.

Watcha think?
(For example, "I think it's taking too darn long")

1 comment:

  1. I think you guys are pretty industrious! And I think your new furniture is going to be great! Thanks for posting and keeping us up to speed. It's really fun to get to see what y'all are doing. Love, MOM & DAD


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