The Best thing I have yet to finish - A Wooten Patent Desk

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Project by GaryK posted 11-21-2008 07:19 AM 10379 views 20 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I figured that since raising my daughter has kept me out of the shop of late, I thought I would give you guys a look at a project I have been working off and on for the past 4 years. It’s called the
“King of Desks”

It’s been a dream of mind to make my masterpiece. I decided that it would be my own version of a Wooten Patent Desk. They were made in the late 1800’s and even back then they cost so much that some millionaires would settle for a less decorated one. There’s one on ebay that has a starting bid of $46,000 for the lowest grade desk and a high grade desk for $250,000.

More reading:

The three pictures show it in my old California shop. It’s laying on my workbench (a solid core door) face up in the first picture.

The second shows one of the doors setting on the floor and the last is the desk without one door (the one sitting on the floor)

This one below shows the picture I am basing it on. I lost the file on on an old computer and for the life of me I can’t find it online anymore. So this picture is all I have.

This is close to what I am working for. They are not exactly what mine will look like but they should give you an idea.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

45 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3980 days

#1 posted 11-21-2008 07:38 AM


This is going to be cool.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 3917 days

#2 posted 11-21-2008 07:42 AM

Wow is right. I look forward to seeing it done!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4049 days

#3 posted 11-21-2008 07:44 AM

THAT is quite a project!

Are you planning on keeping it… or selling it?

Will be interesting to see how you progress…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 3477 days

#4 posted 11-21-2008 07:52 AM

Gary, I don’t know you at all but from what i’ve read in your posts over the past months (year?) I could tell you have the type of discipline/patience that everyone wishes they had, including me. Just the fact that you take on some of the projects you do is admirable, thank you for helping to remind me to not always think about what projects will make the most $ in the shortest amount of time and the importance of the passion over the dollar…although it does sound like you could make some decent bucks even if you make the lowest grade, one per year, what do you think? I think it’s very interesting the different high-dollar niches that people find/fulfill, I would like to hear more from other woodworkers ‘n their niches they’ve found. You always have plans to crazy projects no one has usually heard of, where do you get this stuff?

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 11-21-2008 08:02 AM


This is a pretty intense piece. It reminds me of your bookcase entry. Can’t wait to see the desk (and the bookcase) finished.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4074 days

#6 posted 11-21-2008 08:27 AM

amazing Gary….always amazing…not sure if this tops the squirrel picnic table but this might get close…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4061 days

#7 posted 11-21-2008 08:55 AM

Yep, if anyone can pull this off, you sir, are the one. Can’t wait to see whatever you share about this journey!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3936 days

#8 posted 11-21-2008 12:30 PM

Whoa! That’s quite a project. Can we assume that you’ll be doing the carving as well?

-- Working at Woodworking

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#9 posted 11-21-2008 01:32 PM

You were right on the money when you said that you were working on something pretty cool. This is certainly going to be a challenging project, but it is one that is tailored for you. With the details and inlays this is going to be an interesting project.

Keep us posted on your progress. This is going to be fun just watching the piece develop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3793 days

#10 posted 11-21-2008 01:40 PM

That is beautiful! I hope you get it finished before to long, because I can’t wait to see it finished! That’s just awesome!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View cobbler's profile


350 posts in 3787 days

#11 posted 11-21-2008 01:52 PM

I can`t wait to see it complete.
Knowing your skills and attention to detail, it
will be superb.
Thanks for sharing your dream with us.

-- ''Carry on my wayward son''

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4019 days

#12 posted 11-21-2008 02:34 PM

Beautiful replica Gary. As usua,l your skill level is outstanding.
I can’t wait to see it finished..

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2734 posts in 3589 days

#13 posted 11-21-2008 02:48 PM

Sweet! Look forward to seeing it done.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4085 days

#14 posted 11-21-2008 03:03 PM

Let’s hope it keeps you busy through the next 2-3 contests.

Wait a minute! You’ve been doing this and the harpsichord and a dozen other projects plus trips to research the serving tray. Are you twins?


As usual another terrific post

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#15 posted 11-21-2008 03:11 PM

Douglas took the words right out of my mouth. Not many people have the skill and the patience to pull this off, but I know YOU do.

Now we’ll all be bugging you for progress reports. Maybe that’s why you posted it…. you wanted an extra push from your old LJ buddies? <g>

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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