Posted May 07, 2014 by Elmers
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    Wood and Leather Executive Desk

    A stylish and functional desk with back lighting that you can build yourself.
    • Moderate to Hard

    Supplies Needed

    • Elmer's ProBond Advanced
    • Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue
    • 2’x3’ piece of leather (or other minimally porous fabric)
    • ¼”x4”x3’ piece of plexiglass
    • Sandpaper (80 grit, 120 grit)
    • Finish nails
    • Fabric Tacks
    • ¾” x 4’ x 8’ Hardwood Plywood (or equivalent sq/ft of ¾” dimensional lumber)
    • Circular Saw
    • Jig Saw
    • Router with ¾” straight bit (optional)
    • Drill/Driver
    • Drill bit set
    • Sander (Random Orbital is best)


    1. 1.  Cut the lumber.
      (A)   Legs: 42” tall, 10” deep at the top and 18” deep at the bottom (cut two). Connect with a gradual curve at the front. For the curve, use a jig saw, cutting just outside the line. Sand to the line.
      (B)   Shelf: 10” x 36.5”
      (C)   Desk: 24” X 36.5”
      (D)   Front Spacer: 5 ¼” x 36”
      (E)   Back Spacer: 5 ¼” x 36”
      (F)   1” strips of wood length of light space (cut two)
    2. Mark a line on pieces (A) at 30” for the desk height and 36” for the shelf height.
    3. Using a straight edge, route a ¾” wide by ¼” deep groove (“dado”) at both lines.
    4. Cut or drill desired shapes in piece (D), which will reveal the plexiglass and let light through.  
    5. Cut a piece of plexiglass large enough to cover all of your cut-outs for piece (D). 
    6. Using Elmer’s ProBond Advanced, spread the glue on piece (D). Place the piece of plexiglass on the back. Put piece (E) on top and apply pressure with books or other heavy items. Your back spacer (E) will ensure pressure is evenly distributed.
    7. Spread wood glue generously in the dados and then place pieces (B) and (C) between pieces (A) and clamp.  
    8. Using wood glue on bottom of (B) and top of (C), slide piece (D) in and finish nail in from the top of the shelf and bottom of the desktop. 
    9. Using small cabinet lights, strip LEDs or rope lighting, place the lighting behind the plexiglass. (The space created for the lighting will be called the “light space.”) 
    10. Glue and clamp pieces (F) to the top and bottom of your “light space,” inset from the back of the desk the thickness of your back spacer.These strips provide something to screw your back spacer into and it can be removed as needed to address lighting issues.
    11. Drill a hole in the center of piece (E), at least 1” in diameter for your electrical cord/plug.
    12. After you attach your lighting mechanism to a cord, place (E) into the desk and screw in at the top and bottom.
    13. Cut a piece of leather to the exact width of your desk surface, with an extra two inches of depth (to wrap around the front). If you don’t want to mess with tucking the corners, cut half-circles away from the corners to expose the wood underneath. 
    14. Cut a piece of wood the same size as your desk surface (to distribute pressure on the glue surface). Spread Elmer’s ProBond evenly over the desk surface, lay down the leather and set the piece of wood on top. Apply weight. Wrap the leather around to the bottom of the desk and tack in.
    15. Finish with preferred clear coat.

      Created by Peter Debelak | Soulcraft Woodshop and Gallery


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