Mahogany Desk - D.O.T.F

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Project by twobyfour16 posted 10-15-2016 03:55 PM 697 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So my lovely lady needed a new desk. Her’s was way too big (and a little ugly), so off I went to my lumber pile. I had a bunch of ribbon grain African Mahogany – including a couple boards that were almost 14” wide – perfect for a desk top. I sketched a couple ideas to show her (I’m not an artist), agreed on the general idea, and jumped right in. Took a few months, but I finally got it done. Definitely a Design On The Fly.

This was my first attempt at Inlaying – and it fortunately turned out ok. The inlay is curly maple, everything else is Ribbon Grain African Mahogany. The front of the desk looked like a head board for a bed before I put the whole thing together.

We also wanted to have a drop leaf so she would have a little more room in the office, when necessary. This was my first attempt at doing a “rule joint”, and I was pleased at how it turned out. Not perfect, but not a disaster. The drop leaf is held up with some special hardware I picked up at the local woodworking store.

The joinery is mostly loose tenon – using the Festool Domino. The main top is made from two pieces of 14” wide material – edge glued together. I cut the curve in the drop leaf using a circle cutting router jig prior to cutting it away from the main desk top. The return part of the top was also a two piece glue up, but it is a bit narrower.

It has no drawers, per her request.

The legs all have a relatively gentle curve on two sides.

Overall, I think it turned out ok. My only concern is that is may look a little too “busy”. That ribbon grain sure has a lot going on there. I’m hoping that when it gets covered up with papers, computers, etc, that it will look a little more ‘tame’.

Bottom line, she is very happy with it – Mission accomplished! Learned a lot on this one.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking!

p.s. – my newest acquisition was VERY helpful during this project:

-- Allan, Portland, OR

13 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2981 days

#1 posted 10-15-2016 04:02 PM

Awesome desk, Allan! Where’d you get the drum sander?

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View majuvla's profile


8714 posts in 2290 days

#2 posted 10-15-2016 04:04 PM

Beautiful desk, beuatifull wood. This folding possibility is always useful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View twobyfour16's profile


69 posts in 2907 days

#3 posted 10-15-2016 04:53 PM

Captain Skully – I’ve been looking at that model of sander for a couple years now – bit the bullet this year & bought one. Got it from the local Woodcraft store. Best tool purchase ever, for sure. I love that thing.

-- Allan, Portland, OR

View helluvawreck's profile


22697 posts in 2289 days

#4 posted 10-15-2016 05:14 PM

Allan, you did a fine job on this beautiful desk and you have also made a fine presentation of it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View gsimon's profile


1153 posts in 1536 days

#5 posted 10-15-2016 06:58 PM

love the legs!

-- Greg Simon

View Thinman's profile


40 posts in 2780 days

#6 posted 10-15-2016 07:05 PM

OOOh nice. I love the front panel but mostly I’m impressed with the rule joint. Good Work.

-- Jeff

View BB1's profile


421 posts in 270 days

#7 posted 10-16-2016 01:37 AM

Very nice. I really like the overall look…not too “busy”...just very eye catching. What did you use for the finish?

View rtbrmb's profile


458 posts in 1811 days

#8 posted 10-16-2016 12:55 PM

Looks awesome- love the legs. The D.O.T.F. worked out for you and most importantly she is happy.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View david38's profile


2394 posts in 1766 days

#9 posted 10-16-2016 02:13 PM

nice desk

View twobyfour16's profile


69 posts in 2907 days

#10 posted 10-16-2016 02:22 PM

BB1 – Regarding the finish, I started with one coat of General Finishes Seal-A-Cell on everything. Then, 3 coats of General finishes Arm-R-Seal on the base, and 5 coats on the desk top. Finished everything with a coat of Briwax paste wax.

-- Allan, Portland, OR

View dshute's profile


192 posts in 2109 days

#11 posted 10-16-2016 10:39 PM

Really nice design and workmanship.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

View WhattheChuck's profile


220 posts in 2983 days

#12 posted 10-16-2016 11:59 PM

Doesn’t look too busy to me. Mighty fine!

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View BB1's profile


421 posts in 270 days

#13 posted 10-17-2016 01:29 AM

Thanks for the info on your finish – that is an area that I have a lot to learn so when I see a project like yours that really pops, I like to see what what used.

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