Skip to main content

Side Project - Luke's Desk

In case you did not already know, my husband is a student. We moved to Butte so he could return to school for his Master's degree in engineering. He does a lot of homework but since he doesn't have a desk he's been working at the dining room table. He's been wanting a desk, but at 6'7" most desks are too short for him and the fancy, tall desks are much too expensive for a student's budget. Enter the lab table:
A professor was getting rid of this old desk that had been used as a lab table for many, many years. It wasn't much to look at but the legs and frame were solid oak and the desk was very tall.
The top is pine or fir which does not handle wear and abuse as well as the oak frame. Still, it was salvageable.
I sanded, and sanded, and sanded. The top was so gouged and pitted that I spent five hours sanding just that one piece. If only I could have run the top through a planer instead of doing it all with a belt sander. I forgot to take a picture of the sanded desk so here's one while I was apply the wood conditioner.
Refinishing the desk was my project but since it was for Luke he got to choose the stain color. He wanted a walnut finish with satin poly, not my first choice but it turned out well.
We found the chair for a $5 at a thrift store. It's a temporary measure but it will work well until he graduates.
The top still is not perfect. But after 64 years in a college lab it looks pretty good.
And just so you don't have to scroll to see a before and after:
All said and done the desk took about twenty hours and $40 in materials (we will be able to use the leftover stain and poly). If I was doing this for a living the desk would have been a waste of time but Luke is thrilled with his new workspace so I guess it was worthwhile.

Comments

Wanderoke said…
I think it looks great!

Popular posts from this blog

Master Bedroom Finished

The master bedroom in our house has never been anything special.  In fact, the only reason the front bedroom was called the master is that it is slightly larger than the other bedroom.  Lacking a bathroom or any special features, there was nothing master-ish about it. The room was long, but narrow, less than 10' wide. The closet took up most of the limited wall space so there were few options for dresser placement.  We replaced the casement window with single hung windows which brought a lot more natural light into the room.  Last summer we began our first floor remodel and we finally made some real changes to the floor plan.  After gutting the bedroom I framed in a new walk-in closet for the bedroom and moved the adjoining coat closet to the hallway wall.  The new layout shortened the bedroom by a few feet, but the new closet layout allowed more storage and wall space for the room.  However I neglected to take any more photos until after we finished the room, so let's jump f…

Laundry Room Before & After

Three years ago the laundry room was just a messy corner of the basement. We turned one wall into a large utility closet which made for a smaller laundry room, but left it looking cleaner. Eventually the little room got a new window, lights and insulation. A few weeks later the room was finished.  The floor tile was a clearance find for $.57 per sq ft.  We bought it three years ago and have moved the boxes at least a dozen times over the last three years.
 Last year I debated buying a premade laundry room sink and cabinet from Costco but balked at the $299 price tag.  Instead we bought cherry cabinets from craigslist, a sink and faucet from Restore and I built the countertop out of sheetformica.  Total cost $245.
The pattern on the formica can hide just about anything. That $245 price tag also includes the cabinet on the other side of the room over the freezer.  I had LED undercabinet lighting leftover from the kitchen.  I had to buy an $8 power supply from Amazon but it was worth it …

Family Room Before and After

When we bought the house the basement was classified as unfinished. The previous owners had made a haphazard effort to convert some of it into living space, but the carpentry was so bad that you would have to be drunk to consider it livable. From what we have heard about the previous owners drunk was probably how the work was done. Anyway, this space at the bottom of the stairs was used as two bedrooms; one directly in front of you and the other through the door to the left. We moved the bedrooms to the far corner of the basement so they could share an egress window well and used the two bedrooms as one large media room. The tray ceiling hides the pipes for the radiant floor heat and also distracts the eye from the beam running down the middle of the room. While we needed the tray in in one spot for practical reasons running it all the way around the room created a nice visual effect. The basement stays comfortably warm from the radiant heat for the 1st floor but we also added a ga…