Reception and Selfscan Desk



Introduction: Reception and Selfscan Desk

About: I like building things with wood - both new and reclaimed wood. Profesionally I work as an exhibition builder/designer. In my spare time I build stuff with reclaimed wood.

we build these reception desks for the local library. the goal was to make 1 big reception desk to seat about 6 people with a double sided storage cabinet and an additonal 2 working desks. we also had to build a self-scan desk to house 4 selfscans and room to store the books and dvd's that are returned.


we build everthing out of rubberwood panels those were about 5100mm long, 1220mm wide and 33mm thick. we used about 20 of those panels. the main reason we used the rubberwood was because it very sturdy and relatively cheap (when compared to oak...which was the first choice as builiding material) and it's more ecological than the traditional wood choices.

the finishing was done with black mdf and ceder planks of 40mm wide and 18mm thick.

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Step 1: Sketching Everything Out

first step is to take the measurments at the location you're going to build. once that is done you can start sketching everything out in sketch up, wich makes it easier to make cut-lists and it gives you a clear idea of what you're going to do. I find this especially helpful when working on a project with different people. It gives everyone a clear view of what you're going to be building.

the big reception desk was pretty straightforeward to design, the 2 sides had to be at desk height for the people sitting behind it (in our case 720mm heigh) the front of the desk was set higher for the people sitting behind it because this was the actual reception side of the desk so the people are sitting on higher chairs to make the contact with the clients more accessible. the topcounter is the same height all the the way round the desk to ensure a uniform look.

the self-scan desk was build up in different cubes. most of these are build at a heigt of 900mm (= working height) except for 3 cubes that were build at a height of 750mm to make sure that little kids or disabled people could also use them easily at their working height.

Step 2: Measure, Cut, Assemble and Repeat.

we started with the self-scan desk. this step contained measuring everthing, cutting everything to size and assembling everything. we used reinforced screws and woodglue to assemble all the pieces. the cuts were made with our trusty Festool TS55 plunge saws.

the central piece of the desk housed all of the electric wiring and computer cables.

Step 3: Finishing the Self-scan

after building the all the elements we finished all the visible upright sides with black mdf and nailed strips of ceder onto the black mdf with 15mm space between them to give everything a nice-looking finish.

the countertops were sanded down using p180-p200-p400 grit paper and varnished with a matt varnish finish. after the first 2 coats of varnish we sanded them again using p1200 and p1500 grit paper before applying a final coat of matt varnish.

Step 4: Hiding the Computers and Adding Some Flair to the Countertops

All the wiring is hidden in the central part (the top part can be removed if ever there is faulty wiring) the computers themselves are mounted underneath the countertops. we installed small doors with ventilation in black mdf to cover up the computers and wiring.

on the countertops I routed an inlay to show clients where to put their books that need to be scanned.

Step 5: Making the Reception Desk

first off, I sadly lost most of the pictures I took of the building proces of the main reception desk (DON'T let your kids play with your phone, even if you put it on flight-mode they can still do unwanted damage and delete half of your pictures...)

the building proces wasn't that different to the one we did for the self-scan desk, measure-cut-assemble and repeat. in this case the desk is made out of 3 seperate parts, being the 2 sides which we build first and the centre part we had to fit between the 2 concrete pillars. Everything was build in rubberwood and we used woodglue and reinforced screws to assemble the whole thing.

Once we did all that we finished the upright sections with the black mdf and ceder strips the same way we did with the self-scan desk.

Step 6: Building the Two-sided Storage Cabinet

once the main reception desk was finished we assembled the storage. on the side of the main reception desk we mounted normal doors (with a hinch) on the other side we put in sliding doors because we would loose to much usable space if we put normal doors on it.

the storage cabinet is assembled using the Festool dominos system (as you can see in the first 2 pictures) the back wall was routed out to fit pieces of black mdf as backboard for both sides of the cabinet. The sliding doors are easily assembled by again routing out 2 seperate cuts to fit pieces of black mdf that are used as doors.

once the storage cabinet was constructed we could start assembling the 2 additional working desks. these were both assembled and finished the same way we made the main reception desk.

Step 7: Finishing the Storage.

The storage was finished with black mdf and ceder strips doors. hanging doors on the side of the main reception desk and the sliding doors on the working desks side

on the hanging doors we simply mounted the ceder strips onto the black mdf to make the doors. the sliding doors we had to cut the ceder into narrow 9mm strips and mount those onto the black mdf doors to make sure the doors could slide without hitting eachother.

Step 8: Finished Project

all said and done, this wasn't an easy build but i'd like to think we pulled it off nicely.

if you have more questions about the build i'll be happy to answer them.

Hope you get something out of the instructable and sorry for the lack of photo's af the actual construction (damn kids...)

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