Slant front desk #1: Feet and carcase

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Blog entry by Don Newton posted 07-04-2008 03:35 AM 3404 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Slant front desk series Part 2: Disaster »

Let me start by saying this is my first blog and I hope I don’t screw it up too bad.
My current project is an 18th C slant front desk. The material is Honduras Mahogany. I came up with the design from various pictures in books about American Furniture, particularly “Master Craftsmen of Newport” by Michael Moses.
The starting place was the ogee bracket feet. Believe me these are a project in themselves! I used 8/4×5 1/2” material. All of the shaping was done on the table saw, band saw and cleaned up with a series of cabinet scrapers, files and sandpaper from 80 to 150 grit.

The carcase sides were glued-up and cut to size/shape. Then the sliding dovetail and dados were cut. The dovetails only go 3” back from the front with the rest of the side being dadoed 1/8” deep. The dovetails and dado will house the frames that join the sides together and support the drawers.

You can also see the glue blocks reinforcing the bracket feet. Care must be taken that the grain for the blocks is oriented the same as the mahogany of the foot (horizontal).
The mahogany top is joined to the case sides with a rabbet. The last thing that will be done after the drawers are installed will be to put the back on. More about that when the time comes.
The feet are attached to the carcase, to get it off the floor, and we finally have an idea of the proportions!

As you can see my shop is in my basement. It does get a bit challenging juggling for space but I have a wife that tolerates the noise, piles of wood and sawdust.

In my upcoming blogs I will describe the dovetailing of the drawers, fabricating the desk lid with breadboard ends and assembling the drawer sides with the fronts.

For now I have a piece of 8/4” mahogany that will be resawn to get all of the drawer fronts.

So far all of the material for this chest came from the same piece of material. The piece was 8/4×20” x 120” long.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

8 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 07-04-2008 04:23 AM

very cool i really like those legs. the sliding dovetails are nice too. that what i am planning to do on my armoire! thanks for the post

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

794 posts in 3856 days

#2 posted 07-04-2008 12:46 PM

Looking good! If the rest of the piece turns-out as nice that’s going to be one good-looking desk!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 07-06-2008 01:01 AM

Looks fantastic so far can’t wait to see it completed. Thanks for the blog.

-- Billp

View Raymondz's profile


64 posts in 3636 days

#4 posted 07-06-2008 01:10 AM

Great looking job so far!

-- - Ray

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3727 days

#5 posted 07-06-2008 01:13 AM

Great work!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 3649 days

#6 posted 07-06-2008 06:02 AM

That looks like a good start. Please post the finished project so we can see it when your done. Really nice.

-- Steve-o

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3696 days

#7 posted 07-14-2008 06:02 AM

Thats looks a nice start.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3839 days

#8 posted 07-14-2008 06:13 AM

Those legs are really crisp! Keep blogging.

-- Scott - Chico California

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