The Classic Roll Top Desk
Here's the crowning piece for our classic Rolltop Desk
Make a Rolltop groove template. Next, following the dimensions provided in the Side View Drawing, make a 1/4" or 3/8" thick hardboard or plywood template to guide your hand-held router as you cut the 9/16" wide x 3/8" deep groove on the insides of each Side (D) for the Tambour. Use a 9/16" diameter straight bit for this job and a router guide bushing with a 5/8" INSIDE diameter.
Next, using your Dado Set-Up, cut the rabbets in the rear edges of the Sides (D) that will accept the back (E). Drill 3/8" or 1/2" dowel holes in the bottom edges of the Sides (D). You can either measure the locations of these holes very carefully or use dowel centers to transfer these hole locations to the Desktop once you're ready to attach the Rolltop unit to the Pedestal Base.
3. Make the Dust Panel. Cut out parts F through J for the Dust Panel. Cut the 1/4" grooves in the Rails (F) and Stiles (G) using your Dado Set-Up, your Shopsmith Router Table Kit or Shopsmith Pro Fence System Router Table with a 1/4" Straight Router Bit to form these grooves.
Next, form the tenons on the Rail ends. Your Dado Set-Up is the best tool for this job. Drill 1/4" or 3/8" dowel mounting holes in the outside ends of each end Rail (F) for mounting the assembled Dust Panel to the Sides (D). Again, you can either measure the locations of these holes very carefully or use dowel centers to transfer these hole locations to the Sides once you're ready to fasten the Dust Panel into position.
Assemble the Dust Panel with glue, but do not glue the plywood pieces (H & J) to the rails and stiles, so everything can expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity without splitting.
4. Drawer Partitions. Cut the Drawer Partitions (K) to size and drill two 1/4" or 3/8" dowel holes on each bottom and top edge. Locate and drill matching holes in the two mating inside Dust Panel rails (F).
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