Studio Desk – Part 4: The Legs

Often, my design process for DIY projects isn’t so much idea – plan – find materials. But more often starts with a wander around the local DIY stores to see what I can actually buy that is close to the idea in my head and then adapt the plan to incorporate those materials

So it was with the legs. I had a rough idea of tubular legs with wooden rails top and bottom, but it wasn’t until I was in B&Q that I spotted solid oak stair parts, including square planed 40mm spindles that would be ideal for the rails, and shortly thereafter I came across 34mm chromed steel tubing that is supposed to be for wardrobe hanging rails. These would be the legs

So with my new purchases in hand I made my way home and figured out the detail plan of the leg trestles.  I showed these in part 2, but here is a reminder:

As you can see this involves drilling some accurate holes at the right place and at the right angle.  So in many ways I was grateful that all those decades ago, I actually quite liked trigonometry at school, and some of it clearly stuck because I remembered my sin and cos rules!

So having cut the oak spindles to length and cut the chamfers on the mitre saw, I very carefully measured and market the positions for the holes. Then I measured them again and re-checked my calculations before turning to the pilar drill.

A while ago I bought this cool little gadget from Amazon that is a magnetic digital protractor.  I placed it on the pilar drill bed loosened off the bed angle adjustment nut and set the 15 degree angle required:

Handy gadget!

So now I was ready for the trick angled holes, there was nothing for it.  Let the drilling commence…

The first pilot hole
Much bigger holes…

With the drill bed back level I completed the rest of the holes.  So now it was time to turn my attention to the chromed tubing.  No power tools available for this so out came my grandfathers hacksaw (that I think is at least 60 years old, and possibly a fair bit older!) and a fresh new blade. Referring back to the plan and making sure I re-measured the depth of the tubing holes, I set about cutting the tubing to exactly the right length.

Old school (very old school!)

The fixing method, as I hinted at earlier is to run a length of thread rod through the tube and through the rails and to tighten down with a nut at each end.

Here is a more detailed drawing of that detail:

Cutting the threaded rod to length
Ready for assembly 

And so the moment of truth.  Did a 1970s comprehensive education work? Will my maths prove to be on the money…  Apparently so!

Next up… Fixing the legs to the frame!

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