I knew if I ever wanted to move on from being an amateur carpenter and handy man to a “woodworker,” I needed to tackle some more complicated joinery and make some furniture. Since my activities had all but taken over the garage, there wasn’t much room for my wife and daughter to put on/take off shoes any more. I had some scrap 2×4s and plywood laying around from other projects and had been looking at pictures of mudroom-style benches and storage for a while. The result was a very sturdy and heavy bench with two open shelves underneath sized for storing shoes.
I made the top from 3/4” plywood with maple, iron-on edge banding. I finished it with amber shellac. It was a big hit.
My wife is a tax lawyer. Since our daughter came along, she has stayed home full time but still takes a few cases from home. She needed a real desk—big enough to put the amount of paper involved in a tax case on, plus a computer, etc. She likes the rustic, reclaimed look. We looked all over, but never found anything we liked that was still affordable. So I made the classic blunder: “I’ll make you one.” Doh!
I found a source who could get me 5/4 heart pine, rough milled . . . still with the headsaw marks on the boards. I ordered three 12” x 8’ boards, jointed four edges and joined them up with biscuits.
After some light sanding and some stain, the headsaw marks really stand out.
I made the aprons from another piece of the rough-sawn pine, and leg assemblies from new framing lumber, slightly distressed and stained as close to the same color as I could get. The legs included my first ever mortise and tenon joints.
I then made some drawers, this time hiding and plugging my pocket holes.
A bunch of finishing later, the desk was mostly finished.
I’ve since made the drawer fronts from the apron material although for some reason I can’t find a picture of them.
My wife loves the desk. I’m working on a matching top for the two file cabinets behind her desk, making it into a matching credenza of sorts. She likes it, but all I can see are the things that didn’t turn out perfectly or that I would do differently the next time. I still may take the legs and aprons off this one and do something different.
-- "Sometimes the creative process requires foul language." -- Charles Neil.