My Top 5 Specifications and Constraints: Desk Drawer

The project that I will be undertaking for this class is a High quality wooden desk drawer. The aesthetic for the drawer that I am trying to achieve is industrial modernism. The drawer is complimentary to a desk that I have built previously in this same style.

Top Specifications:

1. Must match aesthetically.

Given that this drawer is being made for a desk that already exists, it is vital that it does not stand out too much from the rest of the design. The color of the wood needs to compliment the tones around it and the style of the drawers needs to match as well.

2. Must fit well within the space.

There is currently already a gap in the desk where the drawer will be sitting. It is vital that the drawer properly fits these dimensions and all of the angles on the desk align properly with the angles of the drawer. This is also important in order to maximize the amount of storage space that I maintain.

3. Must slide smoothly.

The entirety of this desk was designed with functionality at the core. I need to install a drawer that slides smoothly in and out of the space in order to prevent the drawer from becoming an annoyance or an interruption to my workflow.

4. Completely removable.

I want my desk to remain modular and customizable. This means that this drawer must be designed in a way that allows for me to completely remove it in the case that I don’t want to be using it. This also makes cleaning out the desk significantly more convenient.

5. Drawer handles.

The area in which this drawer will be installed sits beneath a slight overhanging upper area of the desk. This makes accessing the top edge of the front of the drawer very difficult. Because of this it would be hard to have a drawer design that does not include some sort of drawer pull for ease of access. These handles must also match the rest of the desk aesthetically.

Top Constraints:

1. Materials.

Sourcing wood that matches the other wood that is on my desk will be difficult. It is important to me that the tones of the woods compliment each other well, so I will have to take my time to source the proper materials.

2. Time

Time is always a scarce commodity for me. Hopefully, putting in some design work up front now and throughout Spring Break will give me enough of a buffer to where I will have enough time throughout the rest of the semester to properly fabricate my designs. Ideally, I would like to make two matching drawers for each side of my desk, but if I run out of time I may only be able to make one.

3. Skills

I have my fair share of woodworking experience, but I could always improve. I know that I possess the ability to get the job done, but I am not one hundred percent sure that I have the necessary skill to complete the job in a way that lives up the my high standards.

4. Money

Ideally, I would like the drawer fronts to be made out of a high quality hardwood like walnut or maple. However, my budget right now is a bit tight, so I am going to try my hardest to scavenge for some really good quality scraps before I end up breaking the bank on some wood from the hardware store.

5. Access to woodshop.

Due to my work and school schedule I have a hard time making it into the shop during normal operating hours. The BTU woodshop used to be my go to, but due to new policies and restrictions, not all of the tools are available for after hours use anymore. I will definitely be able to find the time to make it in , or to use some class time in order to complete this project though.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Peter Jakubczak
    March 31, 2023 11:16 am

    This is a super cool idea and I like the functionality of the project. I think your greatest challenge will be keeping the drawer moving smoothly. As Cody mentioned^, I think keeping the drawer on rails would be a good path.

  • I think it’s super cool that you’ve built your own desk. I’ve always wanted to do something like that. Will the drawer be on rails or slides at all? Or will be guided by the hole it’s supposed to slot into? I also wonder if you could ask local carpenters for some scrap since it seems like the drawer itself will be pretty small.


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