Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a commercial reception desk

along with the 14' fumed, fsc, quartered, figured eucalyptus table, we've been working on a painted reception desk for a client in boston. it's a crispy commercial project designed by the worldwirde architectural firm, gensler. the granite is from johnson granite and marble of proctor b=vermont. loyal readers may recall that they also did the granite for the large conference tables we made last year. click the photos to enlarge them ...
cad plan view and granite layout ..
no overhangs, everything flush and fitted ... though it looks easy, now that it's done, there were a number of interesting and exacting challenges to solve along the way ... timing was one, and we had to order the granite and the glass before we even started building the piece. the glass will actually not arrive until about a week after we deliver it this friday. fortunately, there is a commercial glazier working on site and he will install the glass when it arrives, saving us the trip.
the glass is mitered and 'back painted' and will cover the low protruding, overhanging counter face, the short return, and the far end, and is bordered by 1/4" satin stainless edge pieces. not having the glass on hand, we cut mitered 1/4" mdf panels on the cnc to the exact sizes of the glass we ordered and hopefully, our tape measures are the same. there is not much room for error and few places for adjustment now that everything else is finished.
we made a slick jig for sanding the stainless steel edges and sent them on edge through our wide belt sander. probably not a recommended application, but it was the only way we could come up with, and it worked perfectly ... the flat pieces were no problem and we sent them through with the exhaust off and used an old 80 grit belt. there were virtually no sparks or heat build up, and i would say it was a valid technique for surfacing them to create the 'industrial' look required.
the miters were cut to rough length and adjusted and fitted using a 45/45/90 jig on the edge sander.
we framed the piece with timber strand, a stable flat stud material becoming more popular in high end housing projects around here. it's not cheap, but it is flat, straight, square and stable. except for the weight, it's a pleasure to use.
we also created a flip down 'door' for the electricians, which i am sure they will approve of ...
and a sturdy 8/4 ash and steel frame to support the +/- 600 pounds of granite counters.
the blue line denotes the largest piece that had to fit in the freight elevator .. 44 x 42 x 80".
the granite was cut from one large slab so the grain matches over the entire counter surface.
lastly there is a little box of drawers that supports the frame end and ties everything together. below you can see the steps in the simple assembly. looks easy now that it's done.
the corner piece will be set first over the wiring feed and the L shaped 'glass' piece is attached from the inside of the desk.
here trevor is installing the screws to secure the two main pieces together.
the granite frame is next. it sits temporarily on two angle iron pieces, and then is securely bolted to the stud framing with 4" 'timberlock' hex head lags.
the drawer box is slid in to complete the base assembly and the removable panel on the inside back wall is installed last.
the first piece of granite is slid into the corner, and the rest are added to complete the puzzle.
and while we were at it, we put some cardboard on the top of the eucalyptus table frame and took a quick snapshot ... all in, all done .. onto the truck for boston tomorrow.
crazy wood that eucalyptus ...

1 comment:

Ari Z said...

Even the desks have to look perfect at an architectural firm! The finished product came out looking great. I'm sure the client was really pleased.