Wooden Desk Tidy



Recently I devised a method for milling a neat looking profile using a chamfer bit at the router table, so I decided this desk tidy/ organizer would be the perfect application for it.











The first step is to make the desk tidy’s tray, used to hold ones paper clips, sharpener etc. Using a ball-nosed router bit at the router table, a stopped pass in the stock is made to the full depth of the final tray. This pass will provide clearance for the “nub”, which the bearing of the  chamfer bit, which will be used, is mounted to.

Although I used a ball-nosed bit for this, the clearance could also be made using a v-groove bit.


Next using a large 45mm (diameter) chamfer bit (with the bearing removed) the profile of the tray can be cut. By stopping before the end of the stock a curve is left by the chamfer bit.

Because of the size of this router bit there is a lot of torque involved. For safety, the tray should be cut in numerous shallow passes, with the bit speed set slow.


To finish the tray a radius is cut on the stopped end, the offset is the same as that of the sides and is ~10mm.




If you do not happen to have a chamfer bit as large as the one I used there are other ways of making a tray for this project. Perhaps some curved molding at the tablesaw, or even some hand carving?


Next a cup to hold ones pens and pencils is turned, for this I used a beautiful spalted log.

First, using a roughing gouge, the log is turned round.




Holding the blank with a chuck the cup can be hollowed using a bowl gouge.





Following the initial hollowing  the inside of the cup is smoothed using a side cutting scraper.





Next, to finish the cup, it is reversed on the chuck and the base flattened and the cup sanded.





To join the tray to the cup, a cut-out is made in the open end of the tray to accept the cup.





Here you can see how the cup and the tray come together. To achieve a more natural looking join I curved the points  of the tray in towards the cup, helping the tray and the cup to blend together.










To provide strength to the joint between the cup and the tray of this desk tidy, holes are drilled for dowels. Because I did not hollow to the full depth of the cup enough room was left at the base to drill holes for the two dowels, without coming through the walls of the cup.








To glue the tray to the cup epoxy is used, this is because it is difficult to get a perfect joint and the epoxy will  fill any small gaps there might be, which regular wood glue might not.








Once the adhesive has cured clean-up can be performed with a chisel and the desk tidy  sanded in preparation for a finish. To finish this particular desk tidy I used a blended finishing oil which highlights the highly figured wood used for the cup.


Here are some images of the final desk tidy: