Barnwood Desk

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Project by Matt posted 05-29-2015 08:44 PM 1950 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was an exercise in frugal wood use. My neighbor’s barn had fallen down a number of years ago, however parts of it were still covered by the corrugated roof, so the wood was essentially air drying for all those years. In need of a desk, I went in and reclaimed some of the older planks and rafters, not knowing what species they were and having to discard many pieces due to termites, water damage, bowing. Eventually, with enough jointing and planing, I got down to useable lumber. From there the project was a lesson in dovetails for me. I wanted to knock out lots of them before I started on any “non-barnwood” materials. So all of the sides and tops of both file cabinets are dovetailed and pinned. The drawer fronts are as well (even the ones behind the false fronts on the right). Then the middle shelves of each cabinet were set in place with a sliding dovetail. This was both for aesthetics, and to hopefully prevent the sides from bowing out. The desk top is made of the same random assortment of wood as the cabinets: poplar, doug-fir, oak. Old nail-holes and all were left in, and cracks in the top were dealt with using scrap walnut butterflies or “bow-ties” as I thought they matched the good-will-leather-belt handles. Arm R Seal for the finish again as well as West system epoxy to fill in the smaller cracks in the table top, thus making for a suitable writing surface.

5 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3394 days

#1 posted 05-29-2015 09:27 PM

Nice reclaim. Great looking project, I’m a big fan of doing inlay Butterfly’s

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View TObenhuber's profile


156 posts in 1797 days

#2 posted 05-30-2015 12:25 AM

Again great work dude. Awesome desk.

-- Travis, Virginia,

View blasley's profile


32 posts in 1420 days

#3 posted 05-30-2015 03:59 AM

Nice dovetail joinery. Love the hardware!

-- Bob in Okieland

View ralbuck's profile


5424 posts in 2471 days

#4 posted 05-30-2015 07:37 PM

Very well done!

I like the re-use of salvage materials!

Magnificent results.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Kate_Li's profile


1 post in 1229 days

#5 posted 08-06-2015 06:31 PM

I started writing essays at Pay for Paper and I am looking for a good comfortable functional desk. This desk is just perfect place to work!

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