Building a Veneered Maple Desk with Jared Patchin--Part 2

By Jared Patchin | Posted: 02/08/2014 8:00AM


click image to zoom

While working on the top of the desk, we were also plugging away at the two legs. The legs were constructed in the usual way, except for one crucial difference…the 4″ thick build-up of plywood at the top of each leg. The build-up provided some much needed stability and strength, as the bolts would pass through the plywood, and thread into the metal bar at the other end.

We first machined all the threads and screw holes into each steel plate, laying out the placement of each screw and bolt hole to correspond with the framework of the top. We then clamped each plate to the top of the leg, transferred the placement of the holes, and drilled six holes that were wide enough to allow the bolts to easily slide through.

click image to zoom

We then laid the 1/4″ thick steel plate onto the underside of the top and, taking extra care, positioned it in roughly the correct spot. The screws that we used to attach each plate to the underside of the table top were 2″ long, and 14 of the 16 screws were attached directly into the grid work of the top, thereby eliminating the chance of the steel plate ever working loose over time.

click image to zoom

After securing each plate into position with two screws, we bolted on the legs and double checked the reveals of the three sides to make sure they lined up exactly where we wanted. With the fit dialed in, we secured the plate down with the remaining 14 screws.

click image to zoom

With the skin attached to the inside face of the legs, we drilled the holes which would allow access to each of the six bolts. We used a 7/16″ ratcheting wrench to tighten down each bolt, since once it was dropped over the top of the bolt, it would never have to be re-position. The process of tightening down each bolt was not very fast, since you only had a 1.5″ diameter window to work through, but it was simple, and resulted in a rock-solid connection, free of any wobble or racking.

We also added an internal block beneath each bolt to prevent them from falling into the hollow void of the leg, prior to being bolted into the steel plate.

click image to zoom

The seams on the front and back of the table, and on each end, came out pretty perfect.

click image to zoom

The six small holes are access ports for each bolt, and the lower hole is the entrance for the power cable to travel down through the leg and out the back. Each bolt hole was plugged with a solid Maple grommet.

A closer look at the cable management hole at the back of each of the legs.

click image to zoom

Here is the finished table, 112″ long, 38″ deep, and 30″ tall, with four pencil drawers spanning the entire underside of the desk. The table was broken down and shipped flat-packed to the client in Kansas City, MO.


About the Author

Jared Patchin J Alexander Fine Woodworking Network

Jared Patchin

Jared Patchin started woodworking professionally in 2008 when he set-up J.Alexander Fine Woodworking in Boise, ID, where he builds custom crafted furniture and cabinetry. He started building furniture at the age of seven when his father bought Shutter Crafts. He has developed his craft since then, moving from making wooden swords for himself and his friends to building some of the finest furniture and cabinetry available. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two young sons, who have taken over the sword making side of things.

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left


Search our database for woodworking equipment, supplies and services:

Select a category:

Feedback Form
Feedback Form