Recently, as a part of my studio gardening project, I had to get a new bookshelf and a corner desk to fit the changed layout. I finally found a lovely looking and reasonably priced bespoke furniture maker, made the order with drawings and got a delivery time of 3-4 weeks.

Well, as it happens, the seller is a total waste of space. After few days of trying to get them to reply, I decided to just claim if from PayPal and lo and behold the seller appeared like a bee to a honeypot. Argumentative, complaining..he had too much to say and nothing to back his words with. Basically, he said the furniture would arrive in the next 72 hours. And it did! On Friday evening, just before the end of the day, we had a delivery. The only issue is that the shelf is 6cm too high and so uneven on the top that I’d need to drink my coffee from a baby bottle with a teet. Furthermore the desk itself is completely wrong shape, and some 45cm off the ordered size. Needless to say, both go back and I want nothing to do with this truly bespoke seller.

But, its been a month and my studio is still having all books in piles and its been pretty miserable to not have a desk. So having a moment of total unpresedented trust in my carpentry skills, I decided if these charlatans can make furniture, why could I not make it myself.

I had a pretty good idea what I wanted. Totally bespoke, little weird, rustic and not at all that finished. I wanted pine and dark metal. Something light, yet with a twist.

So I found these 210mm wide and 21mm thick pine planks and bought 3 of them from Ebay.

Making the wood look old and scratched is not at all that difficult after a certain delivery company half did the work to me. Just some dark beeswax, and two old socks. Roll a little cling film on fingers, and then slide your hand on the doubled socks. Perfect sponge for spreading the wax.

I stained them with a pair of my old socks that always twist in the shoes and really make my days pretty awful. I got them back now, HA! Thats what happens when you don’t behave yourself. Tell that to your pink twirly friends that still sit in the draw!

Beewax dries really quick, so in the morning all was ready for the next step. I had found these really cool old style brackets, and some plumbing steel pipe, which I thought would go with the rustic style I was after. It was pretty quick from then on.

Mark the places, drill little holes, and fix the leg. Simple, and also fast.

I found out that its easier to always keep the plank I was working with on the floor, thus working ‘upside down’. That way all stayed in its place, screws did not fall from the screwdriver, and much less cursing followed. I could say it was suprisingly easy to put the shelf together.

The self in final test.

In the end the shelf was done, and I stacked it up with books and plants, just to decide if I wanted any extra legs on it.

I do.

I think it totally needs tiny bit of elevation, so I will add miniature legs on it in few days, to make sure it stands above the ground. I’m pretty happy with the result. All in all it took just two hours to make, and about £90 in materials. I think if I had used narrow wood, it would have been much less, but as I wanted just a single steel pipe in each side, I chose to go for the extra wide 210mm planed pine, which in lockdown came with a delivery fee. Not the cheapest option, but I’m pretty happy about it.

Now what still remains to be done is the modified corner desk. I have another 3 pieces of the same wood left, and some metal table legs, but joining wood planks together is all new for me, so I have little trepidation still as to how I might actually achieve a flat surface. It is to be thought about.