How To Build an Executive Desk

My career as an Architect is built upon visuals. So I decided I needed a unique and powerful hand crafted executive desk. I also knew some parts had to be pre-fabricated. I could finish assembled desk components, but the active parts of the executive desk had to be durable.

The first step in building the desk was to decide the material and finish of the desk top. Executive desks are generally very highly finished, as a matter of prestige. Modern design of the desk has allowed for non-traditional materials, and an Architect must be different, anyway. So I looked all over town for an interesting, smooth material for the top. I finally found a store that was selling Cypress stumps and slabs. Most of the slabs were too small for a good executive desk. It took a lot of time wandering the showroom before I came to the 'perfect' slab. The material was an inch and a half thick and measured a rough thirty-six by seventy-eight inches. There was also a root projecting off to one end, perfect for a radio to sit upon.

I was interested in the function of the drawers as well as the appearance, so I chose two drawer file cabinets as the end supports of the slab top. The height of the files plus the slab were perfect for a comfortable writing surface.

But raw metal cabinets do not make an acceptable finish for the 'public' face of an executive desk. Therefore I purchased miscellaneous pieces of matching wood to fit vertically around the files for the exposed faces of the executive desk I had in mind.

My design for the desk included overhanging the top on the ends as well as the front and back, so I placed the file cabinets under the executive desk top at seventy-two inches apart, out to out. I put them in their final location. Next I sawed, fit and planed the wood wrap for the pedestals of the executive desk so the wood was just lower than the top of the files. I stained and varnished the pedestal wood.

I drilled holes on the pedestal bases, one each. Then I carefully measured the holes overall and front to back. I drilled matching holes in the bottom of the executive desk top, so the top would sit solidly on the pedestals with pegs to hold it. I was prepared for a problem in setting the top, but with four friends and amazingly accurate hole placement the pegs seated the first time. Now I have the executive desk of my dreams. I finished it with stain matching the pedestals and varnished it for that executive sheen. I was a happy Architect, and we had a good party to celebrate.


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