Posted by kernelbob on June 11, 2009
Jacque came by today to fit the drawer fronts to my new desk. While she was here, we cleaned up the room and took some pictures.
Lots more pictures after the break.
Jacque fits the drawer fronts. They are jatobá (Brazilian cherry) and will be as dark as the cabinet frame when they’re lacquered. The drawers are apple plywood.
(Click on any photo to see it larger.)
The keyboard tray is more wenge, and the left and right returns are more tigerwood.
That monitor is a stand-in. It’s an old SGI 1600SW, 1998 vintage, and it has a story. It probably deserves a post of its own. But it looks good on the desk.
The drawers have temporary handles made of masking tape. Jacque took them home with her to lacquer.
The open space in the cabinet will have a 12-U equipment rack for audio gear. The wall jacks are power, phone, and Ethernet. The tower PC will sit on the floor just to the right of the equipment rack.
The return appears to extend all the way through the desk.
Speaker wires will emerge from the horizontal steel rods and go up to the speakers. Roy and Jason Elliott of Elliott Specialty Sheet Metal fabricated the steel speaker stands.
Bob Machierone of The Sports Car Shop donated a conrod from a Triumph TR-4 and some transmission gears from an I-don’t-know-what. We inlaid them into the concrete. They’re decorative, but they’re also cable pass-throughs. My laptop’s power cord just fits through the wrist end of the conrod.
When we polished the concrete, we varied the depth that we ground it. Near the transmission gears, we left the cream layer nearly intact, and it’s almost a solid color. In the other shot, you can see where we ground down into the aggregate. The aggregate includes crushed granite for a little sparkle. We got the red color both by adding iron oxide powder to the mix and with an acid stain. The acid stain was completely unpredictable. It turned some rocks yellow and orange and left other rock alone. The concrete is also sealed in a couple of coats of polyurethane.
You can also see that the slab and the keyboard tray are at the same height, but the return is half an inch lower. It gives the desk a little visual interest. (It’s such a bland desk otherwise… (-: )
Jacque’s fanatical attention to detail continues in places you can’t normally see. Once again, the return appears to penetrate all the way through the desk. Also, note the way she matched the grain between the large board and the small bracket around the leg.
We got lucky and found the perfect funky ceiling fan. Jacque wants to re-make its blades in wenge, but for now they’re imitation cherry pressboard fakeness.
There’s a fair amount of steel holding the desk to the wall. We got it from Coyote Steel. The front beam is a C channel with an L bracket bolted inside. It’s both a brace and a cable tray. The left leg holds up a quarter inch steel plate and the concrete rests on the plate. Concrete is too brittle to handle a concentrated stress, and the steel plate spreads the force. The right leg meets the return which is solid hardwood. (I think it’s ash inside. Or maybe poplar.)
Again, you can see that the return appears to go all the way through the desk.
From the front, the concrete appears to be a thick slab. But it’s only 1.5 inches thick, with a 1.5 inch thick skirt in front.
So that’s my crazy desk. It’s been a year in the making (and it’s still not quite done) and it’s been an intense learning experience, and Jacque became a friend, and I’m still wondering what I was thinking when we started this project.
Be sure and check out Jacque’s computer desk photostream on Flickr. I’m sure she’ll be updating it soon.