Standing Desk
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The Woodwright's Apprentice: 20 Twenty Favorite Projects from the Wodwright's Shop By Roy Underhill

 Part 1

standing_desk_001.jpgThe standing desk. At last I have a place to keep papers in the shop, and it's too high to appropriate as a sawing bench! This standing desk brings us back to the frame construction used in making the leg frames for the workbench. In fact, it is really just four frames arranged in a rectangle, sharing common corners, the wide upper rails forming the body of the desk. The essential difference from a single frame is that the converging rails must connect to the legs with equal strength. This means that you need to cut L-shaped mortices in the legs and learn the few tricks that go along with that.

You can rip the square legs from a plank of 1 3/4-inch pine, a thickness that is readily available as milled "two-by-whatever." Plane the legs, saw them to length, and lay them together side by side on the benchtop. Square up the bottoms and measure up to locate the mortices for the lower and upper rails. A single mortice and tenon joining the ten-inchbroad top rails to the back legs would excessively weaken the legs and make them prone to splitting. To prevent this, lay out paired mortices in the back legs to leave a web of solid wood in between. Set your morticing gauge to lay out the 1/2-inch-wide mortices not down the centers of the leg but beginning 3/8 inch in from the outside faces. Setting the mortices closer to the outside corner of the legs will equalize the strength of the cheeks of the mortice, will give the tenons longer reach, and will still leave a shoulder between the legs and the rails (just for looks).

In cross section, the mortices in the corner posts intersect in an L shape. The tenons reaching within these intersecting mortices abut one another in a miter that allows both tenons to reach their maximum depth, maximizing the surface joined by glue. The process for chopping these mortices is identical to that used in making the frames for the workbench, with one small alteration: cut the first of the two intersecting mortices only as deep as the beginning of the intersection, then turn to the other face and chop all the way down. If you were to cut the first mortice to full depth, the second mortice would break through into open space and probably splinter out the internal corner, weakening the leg.




"The Woodwright's Apprentice: 20 Twenty Favorite Projects from the Wodwright's "
© 2012 The University of North Carolina Press

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