We started to like building different types of furniture combining metal and wood. So, we decided to make a home office desk combining the two materials. We are not so good at welding, but we can do it so that each welded product is as strong as possible and looks pretty good. There are a lot of defects remaining after welding, but none affects the structure of the product.
So, let’s start talking about the main elements:
The square tubing metal frame of the desk
1. We started building the metal frame by using 6m long square tubing.
2. We cut the square tubing at the required length, in order to build the separate elements
- rectangular frame (two square tubing for the length of the frame and two for the depth of the frame)
- the legs of the desk (four for the height of the desk and two for the horizontal part of the legs)
- the reinforcement of the metal frame (the length is equal to the length of the rectangular frame minus two thicknesses of the square tubing). For this one, we welded two pieces lengthwise (there wasn’t a long enough piece remaining)
3. We cut the ends of the square tubing at 45 degrees (except the reinforcement and one end of each leg)
4. We beveled all the cuts in order to weld them easier and stronger.
5. We welded the metal frame. This is what we came up in the end:
5. The next step was to grind and sand all the welds so that we get smooth surfaces
As you can see, after the grinding and sanding process, some holes are visible.
6. We filled all the holes by using a two parts polyester filler (we talked about this process in another post: welded metal brackets). This type of putty is very useful for a beginner welder.
7. After the filler hardened (it took about 10 minutes), we sanded it with 120 grit sandpaper, until all the corners became very smooth.
8. We applied a layer of polyurethane primer. It is a special primer for metal surfaces.
We waited a few hours for the primer to dry.
As you can see, thanks to the filler, there are weld marks and no holes.
9. After lightly sanding the primer, we applied a layer of polyurethane paint. The color was a matte black.
10. After the first layer dried, we left the frame overnight. We didn’t completely cover all over the surfaces, so we sanded the black paint a little bit to be able to apply a second layer of paint.
After the second layer we were pleased with the result:
- the metal frame
- the weld between the metal legs and the reinforcement square tubing
- the inner welded corner
The oak wood top of our home office desk
We will explain in a few words how we built this beautiful oak wood desk top, but you can find more details in the how to build, step-by-step, a thick oak wood tabletop post.
1. We built the desk top by using the 4-way panel clamps.
2. Because we used rustic oak to build the top, we filled all the knots (they were pretty big) with oak colored putty before sanding. It usually takes a lot of time for the putty to dry, so we saved a lot of time.
3. We sanded it and we cut it to the needed size. To make sure it was the same size with the metal frame:
- after cutting it with the circular saw, we fastened it with screws to the metal frame
- we routed its edges with a long blade pattern flush trim router bit using the metal frame as a template. You can also use a top and bottom bearing flush trim pattern router bit. This way the top will have the same size and shape as the metal frame
4. We sanded all the surfaces and edges of the top:
- the edges using the belt sander until we removed all the router marks
- we slightly rounded the top edges of the desk top using a sheet sander. If you want to make the edges rounder, you can use a roundover and beading router bit
- we lightly beveled the bottom sharp edges by hand
5. We applied a thick layer of polyurethane primer
6. After the primer dried, we sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper.
7. We applied the polyurethane varnish
As you can see in the picture below, the sharp edges and also the sharp corners were rounded and very well sanded with 120 grit sandpaper
We have chosen the oak wood planks so that we can match them and get a beautiful grain top.
8. We installed the desktop with screws. Before painting the metal frame we drilled some holes from bottom to top in the metal frame. We enlarged the first hole, to hide the heads of the screws.
We took a lot of photos in daylight because we liked a lot the natural look of the desk top and the way the black metal frame matched the color of oak.
You can see that the desk top has the same dimensions as the metal frame because we routed the shape before sanding it.
In the daylight the beauty of the oak wood desk top grain looks perfect.
And, of course, we took a lot of photos of our industrial home office desk in it’s final place: