This project was designed and constructed by Jens Sehm of As You Like it Fine Furniture and Custom Woodwork in Ashland, Oregon. Jen’s gave me permission to document the construction process.
This project is made from solid quarter sawn white oak hardwood. The final thickness of the boards is 1 ½”. The overall size of this project is 6’ 6” wide, 8’ 6” tall and 13” deep. The shelf cubbies are 17” square. The cantilevered desk is 57” long and 18” wide. The basic construction methodology is mortise and tenon joints. Mechanical cams are used to hold the outside sections of the case together.
This project is very large and heavy. It requires at least 2 people to move it around. It was constructed in two stages: the first stage was assembled and glued in a workshop; the second phase was assembled on-site with mechanical cams and tenons to facilitate moving. When building a project of this size, it is important to know the ceiling heights, door widths, corner turns and hallway runs, otherwise you may not be able to install it.
The project was stained with black aniline die and finished with satin varnish.
This project requires basic woodworking skills and access to woodworking machines. Woodworking machines have sharp cutting edges and are NOT forgiving. You should be properly trained in the use of these machines. Ensure that you wear safety glasses and hearing protection, use push sticks, hold-downs , clamps and a cutting sled to cut the project parts safely.
The most important aspect of this project is making the various component parts square and flat. This project requires precise stock prep, sizing and joinery. Any minor measurement, cutting or joinery mistakes will be multiplied many times over and the unit will not align properly.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very difficult, this project is a “7.5”.
Approximately 220 board feet of rough sawn 2” thick quarter sawn white oak hardwood.
150, 180 and 220 grit sandpaper.
Glue (yellow woodworkers glue)
10 sets of 4 - Heavy-Duty Universal Connector s(Rockler Woodworking supply PN#57218. Price $11.59)
1-3/8'' (35mm) Forstner Bit, 3/8'' Shank (Rockler Woodworking supply PN# 21214. Price $12.19)
18 @½” x 3” lag bolts
Tools & Equipment Needed:
Table saw with a cross cut sled
Festool Domino jointer
Planner or flat bed drum sander
Bar or pipe clamps
Step 1: Stock Prep
This project is made from solid wood. Purchase a minimum of 120 board feet of 2” thick quarter or rift sawn white oak. You will need 5 pieces that are 9’ long and at least 7” wide.
The final piece is 13” wide so 2 boards will have to be glued together to achieve a 13” width.
Joint one face of each board on a jointer.
Make the other side parallel using a planer. Size the boards to a little more than 1 5/8” thick.
Sand the boards on a wide belt sander to 180 grit. Reduce the thickness to 1 ½”.
Make one edge square to the faces using a jointer.
Using a table saw, cut the other edge of the board parallel. Leave the boards as wide as possible.
NOTE: It is best to mill a couple extra boards during this process in case you make a mistake in the joinery.