In the last blog the dovetails had been cut and fit for the bottom section of the custom drawing desk. If you missed it, here’s a LINK to that one and before I talk about the remaining work, let me share the end result!
As you can see, the only variation was to eliminate one of the paper hold downs, unlike the drafting that I’m accustomed to where your paper is held down at each corner an artist only needs to have the paper secured at the top of the board. At least that’s what I’ve observed when modeling.
The bottom of this is also made of 3/4″ Baltic Birch plywood. I like the ClearKote option, it’s easy to keep clean and virtually nothing sticks to it, even glue can be scraped off easily once it’s dry! The bottom is glued into a 1/4″ groove, the thickness is needed to secure the hardware. Prior to the final glue up the inside and outside of each piece was worked over with a smooth plane to get that final, quality furniture finish.
The hardware chosen for this is from Rockler Woodworking and it is their #30155. These are a pretty robust pair of supports — almost overkill for this light of a project. It has 14 pre-set stops that hold the top at angles ranging from 0° to 50°. The top is hinged to the bottom with a brass piano hinge repurposed from an old piano. The directions that came with it were pretty vague, only giving measurements from the barrel of the piano hinge to mounting brackets. What was missing was how to align them to the box and top. After drawing a center line on the bracket the location was marked on masking tape. That tape was extended to the end of the box and over the sides.
Since the top was partially attached to the box it was closed and turned upside down to transfer the location to the top. Now I could extend that line on the underside of the lid to establish the corresponding center. Then it was a simple matter of centering the bracket, pre-drilling the holes, and the bracket. Once I was sure all worked well the remaining screws were added to the piano hinge and all that remained was cleanup, attaching the paper holder bar, and a coat of wax.
The plywood didn’t require any finishing but the Walnut bottom was given two coats of Osmo Polyx Oil, it’s an environmentally safe product that I’ve been using since Watco oil has changed their formula so drastically to meet EPA requirements. The artist I designed this desk for does amazing work, this is her instagram link . She posted these two pictures of the pen work she did of me at Divinity Tattoo. Check out the second one, these were done with pens and represent about 6 hours of studio time! I decided that a good way to end this project was to make a video of how it operates and post it on my YouTube Channel, you can find it through this link.