Rollt Top Desk

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Project by Paul_F posted 02-05-2010 11:15 PM 1661 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project that I did as a commission for a customer in town. She had a very tight spot where she wanted a desk to keep lots of stuff just like she had with her old RR style roll top desk. We came up with this single pedestal design with enclosed book case on top. Doesn’t get her all the space she wanted but came close.

Desk is made out of cherry & cherry veneer plywood and maple for internal drawer parts. Overall dimensions are 51”L x 58”H x 24”D. The tambour is solid slats joined together with a cable and runs in a track on either side. The hinges for the barrister doors are made from 1/8” brass bar stock and the rest of the hardware is from Rockler. The desk is actually made up of a bottom unit (desk & top), a middle unit (drawer assembly and tambour with middle carcass), and top unit (bookcase).

The 1st two pictures are the finished desk in my family room ready for delivery. The 2nd two pictures are the completed desk prior to staining and finishing. – Broke my heart to cover up that beautiful cherry (all the little drawer fronts are made from a single piece of figured cherry) but all her other furniture is the dark cherry. The last picture is the desk installed in her home. The project took about 150 hours but I learned a good deal through the process.

-- Dust to more Dust -

14 comments so far

View Enthalpy's profile


44 posts in 1861 days

#1 posted 02-05-2010 11:59 PM

WOW….just WOW…Gorgemous

Nevemind who they are, you’re the one that counts

View Robert Herring's profile

Robert Herring

38 posts in 2199 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 12:39 AM

Astonishing! Did you have plans or just made it as you went.

-- Robert M. Herring

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 02-06-2010 12:47 AM

Nice looking desk, Paul.

View hunter71's profile


2229 posts in 2006 days

#4 posted 02-06-2010 01:07 AM

Beautiful workmanship. An heirloom to be sure.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


713 posts in 2328 days

#5 posted 02-06-2010 01:47 AM

WOW indeed.

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View richgreer's profile


4540 posts in 1894 days

#6 posted 02-06-2010 01:59 AM

Great work. It’s refreshing to see a traditional desk with no provision for a computer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bigike's profile


4035 posts in 2108 days

#7 posted 02-06-2010 02:05 AM

nice work, what was used for the finnish?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View a1Jim's profile


113062 posts in 2397 days

#8 posted 02-06-2010 05:27 AM

Nice work Paul

-- Custom furniture

View goggy's profile


73 posts in 2236 days

#9 posted 02-06-2010 12:09 PM

Nice workmanship and design.

View Stanley Coker's profile

Stanley Coker

210 posts in 2015 days

#10 posted 02-06-2010 01:38 PM

Very nice Paul, I’m with bigike what did you use for the finish?

-- Stanley, North Georgia

View Paul_F's profile


67 posts in 1855 days

#11 posted 02-06-2010 04:38 PM

The finish is actually built up in several coats. 1st coat (wash sealer) 1lb clear (dewaxed) shelac, 2nd Bartley PA Red cherry, 3rd Minwax Burgandy followed by 3-4 coats poly thined to wiping consistency. The plans and design are my own as I couldn’t find any that worked close enough to what I was looking for.

-- Dust to more Dust -

View RandyMarine's profile


235 posts in 2189 days

#12 posted 02-06-2010 10:28 PM

at the risk of sounding redundant…WOW! Very nice job.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View BTKS's profile


1971 posts in 2284 days

#13 posted 02-08-2010 06:22 PM

I’ll be redudnant… WOW and OMG etc etc. Great work! BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Zinderin's profile


94 posts in 952 days

#14 posted 10-25-2012 04:02 PM

Its just gorgeous Paul … exquisite work sir!

Exactly what we all wish we could make for a living (damned IKEA). 150 hours is a lot, but you should have gotten at least $6-$8K for that, and I bet you didn’t (damned IKEA).

This kind of work, is when you step of out the garage hobbyist, to expert furniture maker status.

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