Drop Leaf Desk

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Project by sscartozzi posted 03-04-2018 01:41 PM 652 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It took me about 10 months to complete this drop leaf desk. Early in it’s construction I had my right knee replaced so I could only sit at my bench and work on the inlays and bandings. It is constructed of black walnut with secondary wood being poplar. I know I have combined furniture periods; like heppelwhite and federal. However, I made what I liked. The fans are made of maple and black dyed veneers. Stringing is holly and the compass inlays are paduk and holly. Behind the columns are hidden compartments. They are spring loaded and are released when pegs are removed which are inside the center compartment. The carcass was constructed using hand cut half blind dovetails on the top and through dovetails at the bottom. My plan was loosly based on a piece I saw from Glen Huey.

-- Steve, Malvern, PA

23 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


3123 posts in 1918 days

#1 posted 03-04-2018 02:03 PM

Very well done. The inlays are striking and I love the overall look.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15246 posts in 2548 days

#2 posted 03-04-2018 02:08 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Kelster58's profile


515 posts in 470 days

#3 posted 03-04-2018 02:16 PM

WOW, that is a very nice piece…...GREAT job!!!!!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View shipwright's profile


7935 posts in 2728 days

#4 posted 03-04-2018 02:16 PM

Beautiful Steve!
Nice sharp inlays, shaped drawer fronts, nice carving, secret compartments,..... what’s not to like.
This is a piece you can be very proud of, great work!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5830 posts in 3283 days

#5 posted 03-04-2018 02:22 PM

Absolutely stunning craftsmanship! Secret compartments….very nice! Hope your knee is doing well!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Andrek's profile


270 posts in 1839 days

#6 posted 03-04-2018 02:24 PM

Very beautiful desk, nicely done and the wood looks great, bravo, thank you for sharing.

-- andrek

View Eyal's profile


90 posts in 1496 days

#7 posted 03-04-2018 03:02 PM

very nice work steve! iv’e been toying with the idea of making a drop front, specifically the “Lady’s desk” also from a book that glen huey wrote.
i really like it, well done!

View bubbaw's profile


65 posts in 1575 days

#8 posted 03-04-2018 03:04 PM

That is beautiful. The black walnut brings it alive.

-- Isaiah 40:31

View helluvawreck's profile


30470 posts in 2796 days

#9 posted 03-04-2018 05:11 PM

Wow! You did a fantastic job on this piece.

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 Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2289 posts in 577 days

#10 posted 03-04-2018 05:18 PM

Good work, Steve. I like the inlay and details. Don’t fret the style … Hepplewhite and Federal overlap. Think of this desk as a transitional piece. Kudos!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View oldnovice's profile


6664 posts in 3297 days

#11 posted 03-04-2018 09:53 PM

What’s not to like when a project turns out so elegant?
Nice work Steve!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View bbrown's profile


229 posts in 3482 days

#12 posted 03-04-2018 09:59 PM

Well done. I not a purist and combine periods often. I’m interested in how you made the spring loads.

I like the Paduak/holly combo. Beautiful walnut too.

Great job.

BTW, I grew up in Malvern, PA. My dad’s tree nursery was on Paoli Pike and Sugartown Rd. The ’Sam Brown Nursery’ sign is still there :) Dad’s 90 in a few weeks – he plays tennis 3x/ week!

-- Bill Micah 6:8

View IantheTinker's profile


198 posts in 57 days

#13 posted 03-04-2018 11:04 PM

It tools you 10 months to build, and it looks like it took you 10 months to build. The detail and effort put into something like this is excellent. Well done!

-- “How you feeling, Roy?”... “a little unappreciated, Al...” - Die Hard

View AJ1104's profile


446 posts in 1589 days

#14 posted 03-05-2018 12:26 AM

Wow. This is a gorgeous piece. Really detailed and beautifully finished. Great job!

-- AJ, Long Island. New York

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1815 posts in 1899 days

#15 posted 03-05-2018 01:45 AM

Very nice work! All the detail you put in this is incredible

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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