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Old 03-05-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
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Building a Desk under stairs


Hi - first time posting here. I am currently finishing my basement and have found this forum to be extremely helpful so i figured i would post about an issue i am trying to figure out.

So i had originally framed the area under the stairs to simply be a closet with the door directly underneath the door at the top of the stairs but then my wife saw this desk nook in a magazine so we decided to change the plans and now I have framed in the space to match it as best as i could.

I am hoping that i havent added on too much to the already sometimes overwhelming list of tasks i have ahead of me before this project is done.

So the question that i have is how do i create a nice wood desk top? I think a nice dark hardwood would look good but I am not sure how i should go about making that happen. Would i be better off looking for an old desk maybe at a yard sale or somehting like that and taking the desktop off and cutting it to fit the space or could I go to a lumber yard and buy a nice piece of lets say mahogany or something and then cut it to fit the space or would that option likely cost a lot of $$?

I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations not just on the desktop itself but anything regarding this desk nook space....thanks!
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Building a Desk under stairs


Ayuh,.... You don't mention How Big this is going to be......

The Yard Sale desktop would no doubt be the Cheapest way out.....
Or,...
You could cut it out of a sheet of Plywood that has a nice hardwood face.....

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Old 03-06-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Building a Desk under stairs


judging from the picture it looks like it will be about 40-46 inches long and i'm guessing about 30 inches wide

if you have or can borrow a biscut joiner and some cabinet-makers clamps you could put a nice thick hardwood top together fairly cheap. price will vary greatley based on what you buy.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:43 AM   #4
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Building a Desk under stairs


That's a pretty neat set up, I've never seen that before. How about a decent piece of veneered plywood, stain/finish it, put a piece of face trim on it to conceal the layers. Looks like hardwood, costs a lot less, and you could cut it to your exact dimensions.

Biscuiting is a great idea if you have the know-how and the tools, you'll still have to buy the wood and then find a planer and sander big enough to finish it. I live near Detroit and once drove over an hour to find a place with a planer and sander big enough for a large project similar to this. You could do it by hand but the finished product would show ever single sanding flaw.

Geee I can't wait until I have vaulted ceilings and enough room for a 20-step staircase so I can build one of these like in the magazine pic!

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:30 AM   #5
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Building a Desk under stairs


Thanks for the suggestions bondo and terri. Since I dont have the tools and/or know how to do the biscuit joining I think the veneered plywood with the face trim is probably going to be my best options. thanks again for the suggestions and I will post pics down the road of how it comes out.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:12 PM   #6
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Building a Desk under stairs


I've built a few pieces of furniture with veneered plywood and it looks nice. Complement it with molding and it's better than most of the particle board junk you buy at a furniture store for 1/4 of the price!!

Here's a hutch I did last summer - it's not perfect, but nothing ever is!
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:35 PM   #7
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Building a Desk under stairs


I would do the plywood veneer. Most furniture is made from that now anyways. Make sure it is a hardwood since it will have pens and pencils running over it, you don't want it to get etched on through the paper. Finish it with a hard lacor or something else suggested for desk and table tops to help protect from indents when writing.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
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Building a Desk under stairs


I Also Agree I Just Built a Custom DeskTop for my Home Office. It is a Big U-shaped 6'x8'x6'. I also Built Custom Filing Cabinets for the top to Sit on. I wanted to use Cherry plywood, but I went for Oak cause it was more readialy available. I Picked out the best looking side for the top turned it upside down then glued and stapled a piece of 3/4 MDF which was 1/4" on each side then the top, then using contact cement I glued a piece of 1/4 oak plywood to that. Just in Case somebody stuck they're head under the desk it would look like solid wood. Then you can Put a Solid wood edging on it. I guess it depends on how many tools and time you have it might be easier to find a cheap desk.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguardBuilders View Post
Just in Case somebody stuck they're head under the desk it would look like solid wood.
that's attention to detail!
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:24 AM   #10
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Building a Desk under stairs


geez that desk must be getting pretty heavy with that many layers just to make the top.

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