Monday, June 25, 2012

Project Monolith is underway!

One expects to see Hominids learning to use bones as weapons...

After seeing a couple of different hobby desks based on old armoires or television cabinets (like this one, source unknown), I decided to make one for myself. With no real plan other than "Take the junk from the desk and stuff it into a custom, organized armoire", I set about making my own personal hobby nest.

Of course, the first step was finding the right piece of furniture to start with. I wanted something sturdy enough to handle day to day use, but handsome enough to function as a piece of home furnishing for years to come. So nothing cheap, and nothing ugly.
Then I got picky. I didn't want anything too beat up. I can salvage/re-surface/re-finish, but I wanted to minimize the amount of elbow grease needed before I would even start converting it into my hobby mecca. I wanted doors that swing open, not the more common type that fold back into the unit on rails. I also wanted something somewhat large, as a lot of smaller TV cabinets couldn't possibly contain the massive amount of materials I needed to store. Aside from all that, I'm partial to dark wood, as it fits into a more man-cave, den environment.
After scouring local thrift stores, I decided to check Craigslist. Bingo! After a couple days of scrolling through I-forget-how-many adds, I found the perfect piece. Big, cherry, heavy, beautiful. I ended up scoring the armoire for next to nothing. Granted, it weighs several hundred pounds and I needed a couple friends and one rather large truck to move it, but it was perfect. It's simply massive, hence the name "Project: Monolith".

After getting it home and giving it the once over with a dust rag and some wood polish, I discovered it was a Hooker piece. Some online research found that it retailed for a couple thousand dollars brand new. Score!

The Plan going forward:
  • Paint rack inside one door
  • Slide out work surface
  • Lots of shelving (for tools, glues, basing materials, water effects, etc.)
  • Storage for styrene sheets and rods
  • Internal lighting for working, painting, and photography
  • Ducted fan spray booth (would be nice, but difficult)

I've begun work on the door mounted paint rack, will post more pictures soon!


  1. Now that is a splendid piece of furniture, can't wait to see it with its 'optional extras'!

  2. Thanks! I agree, I think it's a beautiful place to start. I must have looked at hundreds of different pieces of furniture over several weeks before finally finding my diamond in the rough.

    I'll have paint rack pictures up within the week!