After putting together all the major components of my custom desk project I started last week, I'm now ready to finish up by starting the process of sanding down the glue used to piece together my exotic wood DIY desk...
After removing all the clamps, I was able to see whether the gluing process was successful. Gorilla Glue tends to expand after application, so there were a lot of drips on the floor, as visible in the photo below (aka, Gorilla Glue stalactites).
After sanding the excess glue from the wood, I clamped a board to the surface to help square off the ends with a router. A router is basically a fast moving drill that uses the sides of the "drill bit" to cut rather than the plunging action you might normally associate with using a saw.
By setting up a temporary wall, I can guide the side of the router along the wood edge to cut a smooth and straight finish (this could be done with a number of different tools available at hardware shops).
So now the whole thing was cut to dimensions that I was happy with, about 19" x 66", a sufficiently large desk. I now needed to smooth all the corners and then add some support to keep the plane straight, remembering my initial equation of "flat surface + IKEA legs = desk". Actually, the wood is stiff enough to support itself, but the real purpose of having this hidden beam is to have a place to hide wires, cables, and other accessories related to a computer setup.
I used dowels to "pin" the straight beam underneath to the board, in addition to more glue per dowel (above and below). Then I clamped it and let it set for several hours.
The IKEA Vika Inge legs (the very same models appropriated for speaker duty recently) come with mounting brackets (shown below) which are super easy to screw in. The screws were too long for my 5/8" table thickness, so I had to dip into my miscellaneous parts bin to find some shorter ones. The legs can be mounted facing any direction for preference.
Then I got down to sanding...
At this point, the basic table was done and all that was left was the process of staining and waxing. I used Watco Danish Oil in cherry. Delicious looking. There were a few imperfections in the wood that I just left because enjoyed retaining the honesty of the material as part of the character.
Now all I have to do is wait for it dry and off-gas before accessorizing with computer setup and wire/cable management accessories....which means I'm heading back to IKEA!
(Images: Peter Treadway)