March 3, 2015

The Office is Gone, Long Live Jake's Bedroom

This weekend was very exciting in the forty-two roads household - Jake officially moved into his own bedroom! Of course that room used to be the office, and part of the challenge was figuring out how to decamp from the giant sprawling 8 foot desk and consolidate our office needs into our bedroom. My solution? After searching high and low for something that would fit, I realized that I could simply create a custom-fitted desk that fits perfectly in a nook by a window:

It is most built from IKEA parts, but removing the existing drawer fronts and cutting new ones out of maple plywood and adding nice bar handles (thanks, Nancy!) really gave the whole thing a more expensive vibe. The table top is a really pretty piece of butcher block which I successfully cut by myself with only a power jig saw. It was... probably not the most appropriate tool for the job. But on the plus side I have a really great sense of how to handle that thing well now!

Once I had cut and sanded the plywood to the right dimensions - well, actually about 1/8" smaller to highlight the look of the eased edges more - I super carefully measured and created all the same holes and things that IKEA uses on the obverse side so that I could just attach them with the existing screws and dowels. The main issue was creating a channel for the drawer bottom to fit into. Since I don't have a router, I just used one of the carving heads on my Dremel. The result is wonky but totally functional, and basically invisible since the drawer bottom now covers my not-totally-straight carving job. Here is a closeup of the drawer unit:

(Oh, and a tip - IKEA's website only has the Alex with narrow drawers, but in stores they have the Alex we actually got, with a hanging file system in the bottom.)