Saturday, April 10, 2010


Conn takes a break to scope out the birds. The other side of the table is a mirror image of this side. The tubs in the background indicate we are still in move-in mode. That wall is slated for bookshelves. Finally!

Even though our office isn't officially outfitted, one of the pieces is completed and in use. We needed a work table for the office where we could stow all our cutting mats and crafting utensils and have a large work space for creating. We started with the table top. We knew we had to have something durable and easy to maintain. We had used laminate before in the kitchen, and were always impressed with the new patterns and colors, especially the faux stainless. We had already decided on a bright orangey red for the long desk so we wanted something muted for the table. We gave the fabricators, Maui Countertops, a dimension of 4x6 feet but adjusted the width to 44 inches when we found out that was the maximum width dimension of the rolls of laminate.

Then we set about designing the base. Rather than go with the conventional 4-legged support, we came up with the idea to have 2 boxes, divided in ways to allow for storage of large-format posters and art as well as portfolios and have shelves to place storage boxes and books. As you can see, the top shelf is short since it's meant to have super flat things like rulers and mats.

The sketch shows all my calculations. I wanted to make sure I maximized the 4x8 plywood sheets so there was little waste. It helped that we were painting the wood since I didn't have to worry about which direction the wood grain was going. And since it's plywood, the strength is never really sacrificed. Also, since it was going to be primed and painted, filling the jig pocket holes could be done with spackle. I had tried to use the wood plugs but it proved to be more time consuming and complicated. Sanding them to be flush with the surface was too hefty a job for our medium-grade sander.

The walls and back of the deep side pockets had to be primed and painted before hand since I wouldn't be able to comfortably reach in there once it was all assembled. We made sure that there would be enough room for a person to comfortably sit in the center of the table and for the height, I had to factor in the wheels and stools we had already purchased.

It ended up taking 3 sheets of birch/maple plywood. Plus a sheet of scrap siding leftover from the office construction to use as the base layer spanning the two boxes under the laminate top. Conn had the idea to make a small connecting shelf in between the "leg" boxes once the whole thing had been assembled which has become more of a foot rest than a shelf (just visible through the stool in the pic).

This sketch shows all the calculations and dimensions in order to figure out how much plywood we needed.


baffle said...

functional and beautiful, as are all the Conn/John designs.

(luv the view of palm trees from each window too - what a lovely place to do your work).

Anonymous said...

love the new site design!

Magda said...

Amazing. Ask John how I would even attempt to construct this. I think he would like this visual. First off, I would be slurring from having a 3rd martini. Next, I am holding all the panels and using masking tape, thumbtacks and staples to put your rolling table together. Mine wouldn't even have wheels. I would place it on 4 of those stupid sneakers with the wheels that all the little shits wear these days. That would work for me.