Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY Live Edge Desk

I haven't blogged much about my recent reorganization project for David (not too many people have a need to organize a kinetic sculptor's studio) but I just finished a project for him that is truly blog worthy. David (my hubby for the newbies) needed a desk space in the gallery area, and he wanted it to be more interesting than a kitchen table. Together, we designed and built a stunning live-edge birch peninsula desk that fits the space beautifully. It is artsy yet functional.

One end is supported by the wall and the other by the end we cut off the wood slab. Using the wall as a support provides excellent rigidity. And we love how the natural shape of the tree works well as the support.

We purchased a 2' birch wood slab roughly 22" wide and 9 feet long at our nearby Woodcrafter's Supply Store. In fact, David and I were in there shopping for a shop vac system and saw they had a supply of live-edge wood. It was knowing that I had a resource for such a beautiful resource that inspired this design.

Live-edge wood designs leave as much of the natural wood character as possible. We chose this slab because of the gorgeous wood grain and the imperfections - like this notch on one end.

 And this bump on one side........

We designed a very minimal desk to compliment this complex piece of wood. Although massive in weight, it floats in the space it bridges.

And, it's not just beautiful. It is functional as well! David does all his designing on the computer and is often working on two laptops at once. Here he has the space to do that, and have a cup of coffee as well.

I have spent a large chunk of time during the past three months helping David organize and upgrade his studio space. David's studio is located in the house next door (next door for us is a 400' walk through the woods). I designed this "house" to be a workshop/studio/gallery/guest house all within the basic structure of a contemporary split-entry raised ranch. Although it has the bones of a house (for resale value of course!) it is set-up in an entirely unique way for David and his kinetic sculpture business.

The lower floor is his workshop complete with some of the new organization. (See all those labeled storage bins? That would be my doing :-)

And the upper level is the gallery space.

In order to get the CO (Certificate of Occupancy) back in 1992 when we built this house, the structure needed a kitchen, so there is a minimal kitchen in place. The floor plan is open and what would be the living/dining/kitchen area (if this where really a house) are all open to each other. We put the desk where the kitchen table would be. David had been working on one of those old folding tables out of press board that weighs half a ton. Ugly, to be sure. And visible, hence the desire for something unique

Now he has this space instead.....

I think he can continuing being inspired here!

Tomorrow I will post a tutorial on how we made this desk. In the meantime, check out David's work here.

Update: Tutorial on making this desk is now posted here.

And his blog for is here.  That is my other job - maintaining his website and blog as well as this one.

© 2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy


Sharing this post at some of these link parties. They are worth checking out for other ideas.


  1. That looks great! We have a bar in our basement made with two mirror image slabs and we love it! Great job!


    1. That must be stunning. I have seen dining tables done with the mirror images but that is beyond my wood working skills and the tools I have access to. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Very cool!! Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!

  3. This is so beautiful. Found your link on DIY Showoff!

  4. HOW gorgeous is THAT?! WOW! Just beautiful. TFS!