Writing Desk

  • Advertise with us
Project by DonnBialik posted 03-15-2011 03:39 AM 2141 views 13 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this writing desk for myself out of sugar maple. The stretcher has a through tenon on each side, the aprons are joined using mortise and tenon jointery, the drawer is constructed using pinned rabbet joints which I had fun with. The top came from a piece of fiddleback maple I found sitting in the maple bin and wasn’t marked up so I snatched it up for $3 a bf. I finished it with tung oil, let that sit a week or so, then used some transtint dye on it, then used a coat of buttonlac shellac on it. I did a rub out with 2000 grit sandpaper and waxed it.

I wanted to make a spare looking desk, and tried to incorporate some Maloof and Hans Wegner stylings into it. Like if the Shakers moved to Denmark.

If I do it over, I think I’ll close up the top curve on the side aprons, make a slightly stronger curve on the larger front apron and not offset the drawer (which was cool to try but might look better with a less figured wood).

18 comments so far

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 03-15-2011 03:46 AM

Absolutely beautiful.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2347 days

#2 posted 03-15-2011 04:01 AM

Very nice desk.

View blackcherry's profile


3230 posts in 2862 days

#3 posted 03-15-2011 04:09 AM

Wow, plenty to like the curves , apron and stretcher make this a real eye candy piece. Nice work love the wood as well, thanks for posting…BC

View smartlikestick's profile


54 posts in 2617 days

#4 posted 03-15-2011 04:13 AM

I love the design of the desk – the eccentricity of the drawer makes the piece.

-- -- Mike Beauvais

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2503 days

#5 posted 03-15-2011 04:15 AM

very nice concept, and the work speaks for itself.

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

225 posts in 1729 days

#6 posted 03-15-2011 04:27 AM

This is delicate and rare…with a whole bunch of strength, it just ‘fits’ all around to me.

-- Stephen Mines (

View pimpson's profile


73 posts in 1908 days

#7 posted 03-15-2011 05:46 AM

I like the curves on the apron and the through tenon nice work.

View Dusty56's profile


11777 posts in 2727 days

#8 posted 03-15-2011 06:11 AM

Beautiful top although I’d like to see it with more overhang. I agree that the front apron looks “heavy” with those slender legs attached , especially when viewed from the side and the drawer just distracts the eye from the nicely figured wood. Just one fools honest opinion : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bricofleur's profile


1292 posts in 2232 days

#9 posted 03-15-2011 05:15 PM

Congrats! This desk is very elegant and looks so light. Great job! This desk is unique and by offsetting the drawer you made it officially unique. Please, don’t regret!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View hickeymad's profile


158 posts in 2049 days

#10 posted 03-31-2011 05:24 AM

Love the sculpting. It was brave to put the drawer off-center. I rather like it. I really need to sculpt more of my pieces. What was your process for the shaping (tools, techniques)?

View DonnBialik's profile


30 posts in 2007 days

#11 posted 04-03-2011 05:48 AM

hickeymad – Well, the arcs on the aprons and stretchers were done with a baltic birch template and a pattern routing bit (after the jointery was completed). After cutting the mortises for the legs, I turned the sections that didn’t interfere with the jointery, then glued it up and hand shaped the rest. Buy a pattern bit and a microplane and just go for it. It’s very rewarding.

View Grit's profile


32 posts in 1620 days

#12 posted 05-11-2011 03:30 PM

Lean, strong, functional, and beautiful.

Great design and craftsmanship.

-- "Be more human."

View helluvawreck's profile


18752 posts in 1905 days

#13 posted 05-11-2011 05:46 PM

It’s very nice and turned out beautifully. My hat is off to you for a job well done.

-- 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 Moron's profile


4929 posts in 2932 days

#14 posted 12-10-2011 06:13 AM

caught the whisper of my eye


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Ty's profile


26 posts in 1619 days

#15 posted 12-29-2012 10:48 PM

Gorgeous! well-done!

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics