free woodworking project plans

Writing Bureau Plan

A classic antique reproduction writer's bureau, with a hide away desk and a built-in cupboard for storing odds and ends.

1. Cutting veneered material normally entails the use of specialised machinery, therefore it's a good idea to contact your local cabinetmaker. For an extra fee they will also be able to apply the veneer edging. When using veneer board which has a pronounced figure such as Blackwood, it is important to take into account the grain direction when positioning pieces for cutting. When the finished piece has the flow of the grain intact the unit is much easier on the eye.

writing bureau

2. If you'd like to apply the edging yourself, use a household iron. Set it to the hottest temperature, hold in place to melt the glue and move along the edge following with a block of timber pressing down the edging. Allow to cool before trimming. Trim the ends by cutting the underside with a sharp utility knife and the edges with a smooth file.

3. Set down the end pieces in pairs and mark out positions of shelves. Pre-drill screw holes. To attach the shelves to the ends pocket screws can be used. They can also be attached by using a biscuit joiner otherwise decorative wood screws can be used. Apply a small amount of wood glue to the edge avoiding using excessive amounts of glue and remove off any excess with a damp cloth. Screw and glue top shelving and attach to unit by screwing through the inside ends and top.

4. Attach doors with cabinet hinges. Cut one piece 68mm off either end of the centre fascia piece, these two pieces will become the fronts for the pull out supports.

5. Attach centre fascia piece to the writing bureau by attaching a length of scrap block to the back that will be positioned on top of the shelf. Then screw into block from underside of shelf. Slide pull out supports into holes. Glue the fronts to pull out supports with epoxy, after attaching brass.

writing bureau plan

6. Cut piano hinge to the length of the flap and screw it to the top of the shelf. Slide out supports, place flap face down and attach hinge to flap.

7. Drill holes for handle positions.

8. Sand down the entire bureau and remove all sharp edges. Apply finishing as desired and attach brass.

Woodworking Project Plan Materials:

3 x Blackwood Veneered MDF 2400mm x 1200mm x 17mm     1 roll pre-glued edging     Wood glue     1 metre piano hinge and matching screws     5 small brass handles     4 cabinet hinges and mounting plates     Epoxy glue

Writing Bureau Project Cutting List

17mm Tasmanian Blackwood MDF:     2 Ends: 1183mm x 500mm (1L)     1 Back: 1200mm x 1000mm (2L, 1S)     3 Shelves: 966mm x 500mm (1L)     1 Top: 313mm x 998mm (Edge 2S - 34 1L bottom)     1 Desk flap: 488mm x 998mm (Edge 1L 2S - 34 1L top)     1 Middle panel (fascia): 53mm x 998mm (4S, either end is cut off for fronts of pull out supports)     1 Lower Shelf: 966mm x 350mm (1L)     2 Vertical divisions: 500mm x 50mm (1S)     2 Doors: 610mm x 495mm (4S)     4 Slide out supports: 500mm x 47mm (2L)     1 Kickboard Panel: 72mm x 998mm (1L, 2S)     Internal Shelving (Top):     4 Vertical pieces: 200mm x 235mm (1S)     1 Top: 965mm x 235mm (1L)     1 Bottom: 965mm x 235mm (1L)

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