Modern roll top desk

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Dave Armbrust
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Modern roll top desk

Postby Dave Armbrust » Tue, Dec 18 2007, 4:13PM

This is a design for a modern roll top desk for lap top computers that I build recently.

It was built out of maple and the roll top itself was done with zebra wood.

Each end was solid maple as they had tracks routed into each for the roll top and I did not want to see plywood ends. The top, desktop, drawer stack and the back was built using 3/4 maple plywood with solid 1/8" wood edging. The back was attached to the left side using dowels prior to finishing. The right side was attached using pocket screws inside the drawer box after it was finished and the roll top inserted. The desk top was attached using pocket screws and the holes were elongated to allow for wood movement of the solid wood ends. The back was finished as well so that it could be viewed from all angles.

Drawer fronts were solid maple with finger pulls and a simple design routed into the front. The drawer fronts were glued up as a single piece and then cut into individual drawer fronts so that the grain would flow from one drawer front to the next. Drawer box were solid maple dovetail with full extention Blum tandom slides. Left hand drawer is a key board drawer where the front folds flat, and flush, with the drawer bottom.

Finish was ML Campbell Krystal in a satin sheen. It was applied using a Kremlin MVX air assist which sprays nicely into the corners. This was important as most of the desk was assembled prior to finishing.

This was a commisioned work that I charged $5,850 for the pair or $2,925 for each desk. I do wish I would have tried harder to convince the client to make the two desk mirror images of each other. This would have made each of the two desk totally unique.

Any question please feel free to fire away. I have other examples if it is of any interest to anyone.
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Brian Shannon
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby Brian Shannon » Tue, Dec 18 2007, 4:45PM

Very nice design Dave. I like the design on the drawer fronts. How are the cup/pull areas machined?


Mark Taylor
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby Mark Taylor » Tue, Dec 18 2007, 8:36PM

I have to agree with Brian...very nice Dave! Simple clean lines - really looks sharp.

How did you do the roll-top? Amana has a new set of bits for a roll top that I have been curious about, you didn't use those by any chance did you?


Dave Armbrust
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby Dave Armbrust » Wed, Dec 19 2007, 9:30AM

The routes for the finger pulls were done using a router bit designed for it. The problem was drawing an eclipse for my pattern. Once I had this figured out it went pretty good. The bit did do some burning and I spent a good deal of time sanding this out.

The tambor was simple strips with a simple 45 degree bevel. I used a jig to align and tape the pieces together. It was then glued to canvas drop cloth material using Titebond III and a vacuum press. (See photos)
roll top jig.jpg
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby DaleKern » Wed, Dec 19 2007, 10:00AM


Nice design in eCabs and even nicer execution in the shop! Love that MLC Krystal and an AAA pump!

I have no business being in this business...

Joe Dusel
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby Joe Dusel » Fri, Dec 28 2007, 6:44PM

Very nice design! I think if you were to be making a limited production piece out of this you might want to consider doing these in a combination of natural and amber bamboo. If you haven't worked with it the bamboo comes in 4 ' x 8' sheets which would probably mill up nicely on a Thermwood router.


Michael S Murray
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Re: Modern roll top desk

Postby Michael S Murray » Tue, Jan 01 2008, 9:26AM

Hi Dave,
Very nice job from start to finish. I imagine that desk would work in several different style settings.
I am sure Jason S would agree that this one would look good in the e-cab magazine and would appreciate it if you would send it to him.
Thanks for posting it.
Mike Murray
Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface

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