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  • Writer's pictureMarkBuildsIt

Staked Student's Desk: Glueing Up the Top

Yesterday I opened up registration for the new Workbench Class (at Home). I am grateful for those of you who signed up and were willing to go on this journey with me in the role of explorer. Teaching online certainly isn't a new concept, but it's new to me, and I look forward to finding my way with you.

After the build up to launch, and the paperwork that followed, I was ready to get out in the shop and continue work on our little student's desk. The first order of business was to finish glueing up the cherry top.

I had hoped to source some thicker 6/4 stock from a local supplier, but they were a little light on cherry. I resorted to digging through my stash of 4/4 material and rediscovered a pair of beautiful 13 inch wide, book matched boards. At ten feet long, I could have easily gotten the material I needed from one of the boards, but in the end I decided to take a little over four feet from the same end of each so that I could preserve the book match in what remained.

They had a little too much twist in them, so I had to resort to ripping them in half before I jointed them. I could have left them full width and flattened them by hand. But I would have been left with desk top that was too thin to joint to my base. With some careful marking and remarking of the boards through the jointing and planing process I was able to pair the pieces together again. I ended up with a panel that had three glue lines instead of one. Although the glue lines are visible because of a slight shift in the grain pattern, you still get a sense of the original width of the boards.

Sometimes You Must Resist the Blinding Urge to Book Match

I didn't use a straight book-match for the panel. I enjoy the beauty of the symmetry that a book match creates. But I find the color shift created by the opposing grain directions a little too distracting. Combined with the fact that I will be hand planing the surface smooth, I decided to rotate one of the ripped and re-glued boards 180 degrees before the final glue up.

Next I'll be cutting some test versions of the Tapered Sliding Dovetail Battens. I'm hoping to learn just how much taper I can get away with and still have a joint that holds tight until you're ready to break it down again.

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