Brian’s White Oak Computer Desk

In mid August I wrote about a nice little job I picked up from Bing. Brian needs a new bridge to go between the two shelf hutches on his computer desk, here’s an update.

Brian’s Original Computer Desk

First, let’s take a look at Brian’s original desk that he had custom made a few years back. Brian does high end photography so he has lots of computer equipment: battery backups, high end printers (to the left, hidden in this picture), software, extra hard drives and most importantly a high end color calibrated monitor. Well, Brian is upgrading his monitor and wants his hutch modified to accommodate it. See that shelf above the monitor in the picture below? I’m making him a wider one.

Bakke Computer Desk

Materials and Suppliers

For this project, I used white oak plywood from Compton Lumber (my favorite local source), and white oak solids for the edge trim, matching our oak doors. I decided not to buy the iron on white oak trim even though I’ve had great results with the solid wood variety from Freud. I cut strips and applied them by hand, then handplaned them flush with the case. The finish on this is Minwax Wipe-On Satin Poly. It’s an easy to use product and Fine Woodworking gave it a good review as well. So after more hours than I estimated, the case is sanded and the first coat of poly is on. This turned out really square, I took my time with the cuts, sneaking up on just the right settings, and I used the Beastmaster to cut the panels.


In this picture you can see the new bridge between the towers. This is essentially a strong box used as a shelf and to hold the towers together.

Glue Cleanup

Quick question? Do you know what sucks more than cleaning up glue squeeze out from inside corners? Two things: forgetting the blue tape trick so that you don’t have any cleanup, and not cleaning it up all the way and having it effect the finish. The picture below shows those inside corners and a bit of the solid edge banding I glued onto the case.


Plain sliced vs. Rotary sliced

One side of the plywood was plain sliced, the other rotary. Can you tell which is which? Pretty easy huh. That rotary sliced side is going to be hidden so that’s why it is on the outside.


All that is left now is to wait, lightly sand, and apply another coat of finish.

4 thoughts on “Brian’s White Oak Computer Desk

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  3. Brian Bakke

    As the owner of the computer desk described above, I’m really very pleased with the results. Beautiful choice of woods, matches the original nicely (though Matt’s piece is better quality), and careful & thoughtful workmanship. The cost was quite modest, even for such a small project, but especially considering the care and time that went into it. A very nice job all around.

    – Brian

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