I have been excited about doing a woodworking projects and my brother and sister both placed in the student competition last year. You must be 13 years old by December 31st to enter the competition for that year. I turned 13 on December 27th meeting the deadline by just four days.
I knew I wanted to do a desk of some kind so my dad and I started researching desk online. The problem is the competition restricts all projects two 36×36 x 36 so many desk would not qualify. In researching we came across Davenport desks that were originally used on ships by the captain because of the close quarters these desks tended to be very small. On top of the fact that they met the criteria for the competition I also love the overall form and function of these desks.
Soon after last year’s competition we started designing and combining ideas from different desks that I liked. Then I started working on practicing the different skills that I would need to complete this project. I started by creating a prototype of Poplar and this turned out to be a very valuable exercise. I am changing a lot of things in the final project based on what I found in doing the prototype things that I liked some that didn’t work as well as I thought they might.
When I got the prototype of the base to a basic shell it was time to buy the wood for the final project. Traditionally most of these desks were made out of mahogany of some sort many times with another access would for panels or drawer fronts. I chose to go with mahogany as the primary wood with white Maple as a secondary would for drawer sides bottoms and other interior items.
1. I was able to use a couple feet off of the end of a piece of 16/4 mahogany that my brother bought for his project for the larger areas. I also bought 5/4 mahogany for the basic construction. We brought this back to the shop and gave it four or five days to acclimate to the humidity in the shop.
2. Within rough planed the boards a little oversized and set it aside to reacclimate.
I will be posting much more tomorrow including video of some neat detail that I’m doing for the base.
For more on this project see my site at http://www.planeoldwood.com/jalens-davenport-2010.html
-- Jeff Waggoner, https://www.facebook.com/PlaneOldWood/