A Source for Inspiration - Desk

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Project by MarkTheFiddler posted 01-11-2015 09:15 PM 2104 views 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lumberjocks Family,

When I look at my son Mark, I see a young man I am immensely proud of. He has a heart for people that humbles me. That young man is working his way through school and still pulling straight A’s. He hasn’t touched the college fund I set up for him because we always knew it just wasn’t enough. He is making it happen. He has a dry sense of humor that I love and the boy knows how to make me laugh. We are both rather nerdy in so many of the same ways that we laugh at the most obtuse things. We laugh hardest at ourselves.

When I think about his future, I see a young man who will be fulfilled. He will find that something that makes all of his efforts pay off. He may invent something amazing and useful. He may crack a new mathematical algorithm. He may write a musical score that becomes a modern classic. He may not do any of the above except find true contentment and peace in his life. I see him moving through life with a servant’s heart and lifting others above himself with all of his might. Yeah so thinking about him brings a major lump to my throat.

One day – one of those important moments may come while he is sitting at his desk.

I did my best for him. It took all I learned and practiced from my lumberjocks friends who have been pouring into me for over 2 years. Thank you my friends. Mark’s desk not only came from me, it came from you.

The details will come shortly.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

21 comments so far

View kdc68's profile


2526 posts in 1694 days

#1 posted 01-11-2015 09:45 PM

A truly inspirational composition of a fathers love for his son…...A beautifully crafted desk. Well done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9325 posts in 3470 days

#2 posted 01-11-2015 10:11 PM

Thank you.

I am HAPPY for both of you… :)


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

View nonickswood's profile


533 posts in 1805 days

#3 posted 01-11-2015 10:17 PM

Well written and well done Mark,
I am sure your son is going to love it!

-- Nick, Virginia,

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2053 posts in 1606 days

#4 posted 01-11-2015 10:23 PM


I started this desk off with an idea for Baltic birch. You all have made such awesome cool things from plywood that I just had to join the party and try. The frame is a whole bunch of Oak. The frame is some good clean Red oak I got from Rockler when they had a nice sale on it. The legs came from a reclaimed counter-top I have been sitting on for 2 years. The cabinet facing came from that utility oak you can find at a flooring store for 1$ a foot.

The glue up for the top took quite a bit of time, then came the router planning, then sanding and sanding then finish X 8. Wow!

Patron told me how to router plane the top a little better.

Grandpa Len gave me all sorts of great advice on finishing the top.

There is a little story behind the cabinet facing. I bought some utility oak from Lumber Liquidators and inspected it carefully. My word! That stuff is just chock full of knots, warps, cracks and bad planner rips. I had already moved it here and there a few times but was getting sick of it taking space in the garage. When I bought a used planner I tried this and that hunk of lumber to check out the results. The flooring started to reveal some really cool character. I liked it.

Yup – I may buy some more – one day. Jim Jakosh shared a really cool idea for turning the knotholes into attractive features. It’s just an epoxy fill with walnut dust to match the dowels. In ways, it’s my favorite part of the desk.

I really didn’t know how I was going to tackle the drawers. It was getting really close to Christmas and I had to flat out pass on making the jigs to attempt box joints for the first time. I did cut slots for the bottom. At least that part makes me smile. The rest of the drawer frame is glued and screwed.

And then the main question. What would the drawer hardware attach to? HUH? ;) I built a little ladder for both sides. They are screwed to the legs. It worked just fine.

Let’s see what else do I have here? I built a quick taper jig to cut the legs. Since I don’t see a whole lot of future in my tapering needs, I didn’t build one of those amazing sleds with all the clamps and adjustments. I did however, screw the blocks to the sled from the underside. It will take just a few minutes to retool for the next taper cut.

The desk was sanded to 320. The color was just right after one coat of tongue oil. There are between 2 and 8 coats of general finishes oil topcoat. I believe it is a de-waxed shellac. At least that’s what I heard from one of our respected members. The bottom layers are clear, the final coat is satin. Len recommended I go with waterlox. I didn’t. That’s explains the 8 dawgone coats on the top. Yeah so – Waterlox is on my shopping list for the bathroom countertop. ;)

My first coat of finish took over a week to stay sticky and messy. Garage drying during cold rainy days is a plain old no-no. I finally cleaned it up as best I could then did the rest of the finishing in the den. Do you have any idea why those cans say use with adequate ventilation? LOL.

I like the contrasting dowels but I really didn’t need them for structural support. Still, I did make them structural so they are not just pretty. Well – except for these 2.

Thanks for reading!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View CarverShavings's profile


32 posts in 1222 days

#5 posted 01-11-2015 10:52 PM

Wow! Very nicely done! The design is simple yet the interest you added with the sideways plywood, joinery and dowels really make it stand out. You and your son are lucky to have each other.

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 1137 days

#6 posted 01-11-2015 11:24 PM

Beautiful desk from a proud father. That is great :)

-- Marty, Ohio

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2053 posts in 1606 days

#7 posted 01-12-2015 12:14 AM

My friends. Thank you so much for the very kind comments. I’m honored to know such great people on the web. My son loves it! He checked out the fit and just sat there for a while. He’s been running his hands over it
And finding new details he likes. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View dakotawood's profile


199 posts in 2201 days

#8 posted 01-12-2015 01:31 AM

Nice job Mark. And great write up! I hope to have that connection with the furniture as my kids get older. Thanks for sharing.

-- Travis, South Dakota

View MW_Woodworking's profile


37 posts in 1108 days

#9 posted 01-12-2015 02:03 AM

Great desk, I like the walnut plugs, a great accent

-- Matt ~ "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything.” - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898), author

View BusterB's profile


1910 posts in 1426 days

#10 posted 01-12-2015 02:06 AM

Mark- that’s an amazing build. It should serve him well for years but even more importantly, every time he uses it…he will be reminded of just how proud you are of him and his accomplishments. A gift most fathers wish they could give their kids I think. Well done sir.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View jasonallen's profile


175 posts in 1038 days

#11 posted 01-12-2015 03:02 AM

That’s great! And the desk is pretty cool too! I’ve already built my son a dresser and he isn’t even quite born yet. I look forward to building many more things for him, and eventually with him.

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3126 posts in 3130 days

#12 posted 01-12-2015 03:18 AM


The desk turned out spectacular! We really love what you did with the plywood top. (The plywood we get around here is so full of voids that it would never have worked for that.) Those contrasting dowels really add a special touch as well. Your son will treasure this desk his whole life knowing how you put yourself into it. Thanks for sharing your story.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1710 days

#13 posted 01-12-2015 04:28 AM

Great job! You are very fortunate to have such an outstanding son.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2053 posts in 1606 days

#14 posted 01-12-2015 04:54 AM

Howdy my friends. Thank you again for the kind compliments.

I do indeed feel fortunate to have my son Mark. He hung out with us during his entire winter break. I just returned from his tiny apartment where he lives while classes are in session. Man, it’s hard to let go. We all have to sometimes.

I may be old enough to be my little girls grandfather but I’m so glad she lives under my roof. They both keep me young. They both make me smile when I think of them.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View majuvla's profile


8664 posts in 2285 days

#15 posted 01-12-2015 07:55 AM

Inspiration is everything. The desk looks great, especially black dovel details and other shapes where you paied lot of attention.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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