Thursday, December 29, 2011

iPad stand from 18th century French bookstand

Folding iPad Stand
The iPad stand I used to carve for clients as part of the Custom Desk business from African sapele wood is based on an 18th century French design described by AndrĂ© Roubo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sewing machine table hinge upgrade

When I adapted a sewing machine table for a customer to fit her machine I noticed it had hinges with barrels that stuck up off the table.
Sewing machine table before hinge upgrade
Sewing table with original hinges
These might be a problem when moving cloth across the table under the machine.  I didn't have an answer at the time, but later I came across a sewing machine or card table hinge that would do the job.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Butler's tray hinge repair

Butler's tray hinge
Butler's tray hinges are made to hold a flap (originally the flap handles of a butler's tray) either horizontal or vertical.  A spring is riveted to the underside of the hinge.  This spring holds the barrel of the shorter side of the hinge in position, but over time the spring can lose its springiness and bends away from the barrel.  The result is the flap becomes sloppy and won't stay upright.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breadboard Ends

Desk with breadboard ends fitted
Desk with breadboard ends fitted
When using wood boards for a desktop, particularly oak, I usually tongue and groove the edges for strength before gluing them together.  To make the ends of the desktop attractive, and help keep the top flat, I add a board to each end and these are called "breadboard" ends.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sewing table modification

Sewing Machine Table Customized
Modified sewing table
A client acquired a sewing table with an existing swing-up sewing machine and needed it customized to fit her machine.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why use hand tools?

Match planes for tongue and groove joints
Match planes for tongue and groove joints
I use hand tools from a combination of circumstance and choice.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Making a model for a new design

Model project desk
Model project desk

I usually provide drawings of a desk design to a client.  Some clients find drawings don't quite work for them and prefer to see a model, so I build one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Where to put things

One of my tool boards
One of my tool boards
For some clients it is important that as little as possible is stored behind or under something else.  If you've reached behind a coffee cup for a pen, you'll know this can be a recipe for frustration and disaster.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rolling PC Tower Support

Rolling PC Tower Support
If you have a PC tower and stow it under your desk, you'll know that from time to time it's handy to be able to pull it out - for maintenance, to get at the back, or to plug or unplug something.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daylight on your monitor screen

Daylight reflecting on your monitor
Daylight on your monitor
If you are right-handed it's good to have natural daylight coming over your left shoulder when you're writing.  If, however, you're trying to see something on a computer monitor in bright daylight, you can be straining your eyes to read it.  This problem will depend on the time of day, the time of year, and the position of your desk.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Adjustable shelves

Dados being cut by hand in shelf supports for sdjustable shelving
Dados being cut by hand in shelf supports for adjustable shelving
There are several ways of providing adjustable shelving.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Desk experiences

My first desk
My first desk
My experiences with office desks have probably been similar to yours.  The first day in a new office I was steered by a supervisor to an unfriendly object and told "That's your desk".

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Finding out what you need from a desk.

Project desk in use

No two people use a desk in the same way, even to do the same job.

My approach is to find out how a person likes to work at a desk, where the desk is to be sited, what equipment and supplies are needed, where these should be stored, and to shape the desk to make it comfortable to use.

You can see how this works on my Custom Desk website design process page.