The Desk...

[Sorry about the low quality photos; they were all taken years ago when digital camera technology was not quite so advanced. I'm not doing nearly as much LEGO building these days, but am focusing on other projects]

So it has been a while since I presented a new large scale model/sculpture.

Could it be that Eric has burned out on LEGO building?

Not exactly.

The projects are just getting larger...

In April of 2000 while on a business trip I received a near-frantic email from someone with an unusual request. It seems that she represented a fellow with a company in Seattle (no, NOT Microsoft). Turns out that last September this guy was hired, and in his contract of employment it stipulated that he wanted a desk made out of LEGO.

The hiring company evidently really wanted to hire this guy because their Human Resources department didn't scoff at the idea.

Sure, he could have a desk made out of LEGO bricks.

That was September 1999.

It was now seven months later, and the availability of LEGO desks was starting to dawn upon the company.

Their employee had no such desk.

And he wanted his desk.

Fortunately, that's where I come in. I'm not exactly sure how my name came up (Todd, thank you for the one referral I saw), but evidently when the emailing woman inquired on the Internet, she was given my name.

'Can you build us a desk out of LEGO? A full-sized desk, strong enough to hold a computer, with working drawers and everything?'

'Sure. I can build you a desk.'

We then flushed out the details. Brick costs were calculated. Designs were FAXed. Glue was discussed (oh... so much glue). Time schedules were planned.

In mid-June I finally received the down payment to cover cost of bricks (about $2000, if you're curious).

I began buying and building.

A few weeks later I had the desk built.

I had one more business trip on the West Coast to attend to, but when I returned, it was at the beginning of August and I now had to do the most painful thing in my LEGO career... I had to take one last, proud look at this desk... and I had to then take it apart, one piece at a time and then glue each piece back together.

All 35,000 pieces or so.

Actually, that's not quite accurate. Before I started taking it apart, I had to first roll the desk upside-down so that I could start disassembling from the bottom on one side and reassembling ground up on the other side.

A few minor design changes also had to be accommodated during the rebuilding/gluing phase, but slowly and tediously -- row by row -- I built the desk again. With glue.

About 7 pounds of glue when it was all said and done.

About 7 pounds of highly toxic, nauseous glue.

Three weeks later it was complete. Again.

Now it just has to be shipped to Seattle (which is gonna cost several hundred dollars).

What fun.

Here are some facts about The Desk:

The most interesting thing about this project was not the design of it (it was actually rather straightforward in my mind... I mean... it's a desk. Not too fancy... and drawers aren't hard at all). No, the part that took the most thought was the economy of pieces. While this desk was obviously costing the company a pretty penny, they still had a budget to consider, so I had to design the color scheme such that the bricks were used in a proportion which matched the Blue Tub distribution as closely as possible. I planned it pretty well, evidently, because in the end I had less than one Tub's worth left (except for those pesky 1x1s... about 2400 of which I used decoratively on the top).

I'm not gonna go into the trouble I discovered while gluing such a large model together (distortion of bricks, warping, etc).

It all worked out in the end.

And it should only take about a week for the glue-fumes to clear.

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