Friday, May 27, 2016

Recycled Build By DGS Desk

Grade 6 and 7 students at my grandson's school have a Genius Hour assignment. Each day they were to work on their self-chosen project for one hour.

The project started on April 5, finished May 24 and presented in class May 30 by video (each student made a video) and when possible the actual project.

Students could choose to work with partners or by themselves. Grandson (B) decided he wanted to build a desk for himself using only pre-used materials. 

I decided to share his process in a post because I am so proud of B and his decision to make a desk.

Genius Hour 2 month progress. Started April 5th.

Spiders and webs and dirt.

Tried out some great old black posts from my collection for the legs. Hauled, washed.

The vintage well worn black posts were too big for B's desk legs but the posts are now free from spiders and dirt and if you have read my recent posts, the posts make a  great background for photos.

There was a lot of discussion about what could be used to build a  recycled materials desk and how that might happen.

Starting to work on the legs:

B went out behind the shed and found a couple of 2x4's that were supposed to be part of a dog house. Measured.

Cut to length.

These were turned into the legs with Grandpa's help (a lot of help) with the table saw. B wasn't really allowed to use the table saw. Four legs were cut down from the 2x4 lengths. There were safety lessons using a table saw included.

Figuring out what to use for the desk frame:

B found a well used small well used shelf and hauled it in from the shed and removed the shelf and metal braces. 

This became the frame for the desk. A piece of plywood was needed for the 'bottom' and there was just enough 1/4" plywood left over from our 2007 kitchen reno (floor). Cut, trimmed and sanded by B.

B measured the inside of the frame and used those measurements to draw the lines on the plywood. 

He cut the plywood to fit inside the frame bottom for the desk.

A bit more cutting was needed to make a good fit. He drew a line with a set square first.

B glued the plywood to the back of the shelf (now it is the inside base of the frame) and weighed the base until it was dry.

Supplies Brought Together:

The top of the desk is left over from a curb side find that Grandpa removed when he took the desk apart (used the drawers for a kitchen drawer project, see here).

The only 'bought' items are the 8 each of bolts and nuts, washers and acorn nuts. Couldn't find enough matching bits and pieces in our various junk containers.

More Working on Legs:

The Drill Press was used (Grandpa and B) to make 8 holes in the legs (2 in each). The marks for each hole were carefully measured and marked before drilling.

The holes had to be finished with a hand drill. 

Matching leg holes to frame:

The legs and the frame had to be drilled (matching) so a lot of careful measuring, 
checking for accuracy, drilling and sanding happened.

The leg pieces were each placed on the marks the frame and they were carefully matched to the previously drawn lines/marks so that the table legs were all placed equally in place.

A hand drill was used to drill through the leg holes into the frame. Each leg and frame match was numbered (1, 2, 3, 4) so the matches could be made later then covered with painters tape so they wouldn't be painted out.

Underpainting the legs and frame:

Next up was painting the frame and legs. Used Zinsser oil base stain block (left over from another project). Borrowed my paint brushes,.

The frame and legs were painted with 2 coats of Zinsser.

Next up - painting the frame black with paint left over from another project and surprise, chalk-clay turquoise inside the frame. DGS could tell the difference in ease of painting between the latex black and the chalk-clay turquoise.

Legs were bolted to the frame.

The black paint was over painted with white after the legs were attached. B decided to make the desk all white outside.

Wheels (thrifted) were added. Hinges and safety hinge to lid/frame attached, BAM 2016 stencilled.

The desk has secret storage (inside, that was B's idea when he first decided on his project).

He plans to use this desk for years and years and years. Great project for a 12 year old and his Grandpa.

Finished. Project presented in class. Desk in his room.

Featured by Kathryn at The Dedicated House

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  1. enjoyed the trip through all the steps with your grandson. Image what he will do if he keeps up with junking his furniture!

  2. Great way to show a kid that just because things are old that they still have a use, even if that means creating a new use. Fabulous finished product!

  3. That is so awesome! I love that he used recycled materials and made such a great desk. Wonderful to learn and work with his Grandad! Great job!

  4. What a great project! No wonder your proud - it turned out great! I like that he got to learn from his granddad and I like his shirt!

  5. Joy, I absolutely love the idea of something like this being incorporated for school. There's so much to learn through carpentry or other things like that. Your grandson is a cutie!

    Happy Thoughts of Home. We sure enjoy having you. ;)

  6. Your grandson used his time wisely and I applaud him for recycling all the materials for the desk. He did a great the color he did the interior of the desk!
    Have a great weekend, Joy.

  7. What a great project! So nice that your grandson and his grandpa could work together. Your grandson should be very proud! Thanks for sharing with us at Funtastic Friday, Joy.

  8. Good lesson learned and a wonderful table to be very proud of. Give him an A+.

  9. Joy,
    This is just the best little lesson in life and your grandson warmed my heart.
    Wishing you a pleasant Memorial Day Weekend,

  10. I am impressed. Good job though I do think the kid has an incredible advantage over others. Three arms (see drill press pic). So, I think we have to re-title this blog teenage mutant carpenter. Always room for a mutant out here off the grid. Especially one who can build!

  11. Wow, your grandson did an amazing project with his grandpa here, I'm impressed! It turned out beautifully and i love that everything is recycled!

  12. Oh my what a spider! The desk however looks fantastic. Thank you so very much for joining us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  13. This is so awesome. It's so great that he wanted to build something so functional. It looks like a great job! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  14. I love love love this post! Genius Hour is a fabulous idea. Its wonderful that he was able to work on this project with you two, the skills he learned and the memories made, what a special time! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Wow, what a talented boy! It's so nice that he has such supportive family too!


  16. I LOVE this! Your grandson made an amazing finished project, but even more important your grandson MADE a finished project. That is wonderful. Loved seeing the photos through every step of his journey. Great job!

  17. He did a Great job on this! Thank you for sharing! You are one of the features at the Round-Up from the Before & After party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope you have a lovely day! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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