The tools that you use on an intensive, continuous basis greatly affect the way that you work. When Linus Torvalds ran out of space on his home desk, he simply bought a new one. My previous work surface was a pair of tables made by a popular Swedish flat pack furniture retailer. They were far too light, being essentially cardboard laminate, chipped easily, and wobbled ridiculously when I wrote. To make matters worse, they were just a tad too tall, hampering circulation in my arms.
I began a long and disappointing journey to find a better replacement. Common places to find study desks such as Officeworks failed to yield any specimina which were made with actual wood. The primary issues with substitutes such as MDF and chipboard are their poor strength and their undesirable absorption of liquids if the surface coating is damaged. Fixed drawers were also to be avoided, as they reduce valuable legroom.
Second hand sources such as Gumtree mirrored their newly manufactured counterparts. I found one table which was completely Tasmanian oak, but it was too tall, and far too large, being a dining table seating eight. Having carpentry skills in the family was greatly appreciated, and my father did an exceptional job of building a suitable desk.
The five legs can be adjusted from 600 to 900 millimetres, allowing it to
double as a standing bench, and the combination of a merbau surface and meranti
supports resulted in 45 millimetres of solid wood that should be able to take
throw at place on it. Plus, of course, it does not move
at all when I write on it.
Materials used, for anyone curious or wanting to reproduce this:
- Table top: finger joined laminated merbau, 1800 × 600 × 26 mm, $119
- Support: 3 × meranti DAR, 1800 × 140 × 19 mm, $19.07 each
- Legs: 5 × Leggz black metal legs, 300 mm round, $26 each
- Filler: Timbermate maple wood filler, 250 g, $8.26
- Finish: Cabothane satin clear polyurethane varnish, 500 mL, $26.63
- Adhesive: 3 × Selleys Liquid Nails, 320 g, $10.40 together
- Previously purchased screws and nails were used
Now to replace my chair with one that has actual leather, over the artificial tripe that's fallen apart in only a year. Where did I get this chair from? That's right, a certain popular Swedish flat pack furniture retailer. I think there might be a lesson to be learned here…