Admiral Nelson Desk

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Project by Charles Maxwell posted 02-06-2008 04:00 AM 4588 views 7 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a navy guy, I moved my family to a new duty station about every 2-1/2 years. I did that for 25 years! Before leaving for the next duty station, my wife and I purchased one object (art, furniture, etc.) that we would embody our memories of our time in that host city/country. While assigned to London, UK., we found a chair maker (Stewart Linford) in High Wycomb (about 25 miles due west of London) that made beautiful reproductions. He had a series of Nelson Chairs (of Admiral Nelson fame) that were constructed with wood salvaged from Nelson’s flag ship, HMS VICTORY. You naval history buffs may recall HMS VICTORY in the Battle of Trafalgar where Nelson’s fleet defeated the combined efforts of the Spanish and the French fleets. We purchased one of the chairs (at great expense) but, could not afford the companion desk. So, like most of you, I decided to build the desk which is what you see here. The chair in the photo is the Nelson Chair from Stewart Linford’s shop. Sorry, I can’t take credit for that fine work! The desk stain is a bit lighter than I had hoped for. Someday I’ll restain it to a darker color. The desk is solid white oak and all joints are pinned with 1/4” oak dowel.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

18 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3952 days

#1 posted 02-06-2008 04:26 AM

nice project posting. I love the design.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3958 days

#2 posted 02-06-2008 04:30 AM

I wonder how close to the place where Nelson was shot was the wood was taked from or the spot
below decks where he died.

I have a small piece of the USS Constitution taken during a re-fit.

Very nice desk!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Gustav's profile


26 posts in 3757 days

#3 posted 02-06-2008 04:36 AM

Nice story and a nice desk. I like the finish, looks nice but I see your dilemma with matching it to the chair.

-- I can build us one.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3961 days

#4 posted 02-06-2008 04:49 AM

That’s a great piece, has a real warm and cozy look to it but elegant at the same time. Nicely executed.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4056 days

#5 posted 02-06-2008 05:04 AM

Very nice job. I am interested in the plans, did you design this yourself from pictures or were you able to find plans somewhere?

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4188 days

#6 posted 02-06-2008 05:22 AM

Great desk!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3966 days

#7 posted 02-06-2008 07:38 AM

Wonderful work – great choice.

Did you do the turnings too?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3844 days

#8 posted 02-06-2008 11:48 AM

Very nice, and the history that goes with it really enhances the project.

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 3875 days

#9 posted 02-06-2008 01:32 PM

A box with maple from Ike’s HQ, a chair built from the HMS Victory, what other cool stuff have you got stashed away?

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3949 days

#10 posted 02-06-2008 02:07 PM

That’s some fine work Charles,

Really great job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3932 days

#11 posted 02-06-2008 04:25 PM

Great work, Charles. Great story about the chair.
A navy man with a piece of The Victory. Excellent!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 3762 days

#12 posted 02-06-2008 10:05 PM

Well now looks like to me that you went from Commander to Admiral in just one sitting. Outrageously beautiful. Great compliment to the chair is your hand built table replica. Handy guy you are Skipper. Great job. Thanks for sharing this with us.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3776 days

#13 posted 02-07-2008 02:30 AM

DocK16: I don’t have plans, rarely do. I just estimate from photos then embellish!

Shaun: Funny you should ask…I made 5 living room tables with Teak wood that I acquired from USS WISCONSIN (BB 64) while I was a LT and teaching navigation at NROTC, University of Wisconsin – Madison. I’ll make point of posting those tables soon.

All: Thanks for your too kind comments. Max

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#14 posted 02-07-2008 04:39 AM

That is a very nice desk.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4035 days

#15 posted 02-07-2008 11:00 AM

Great story and even better desk. Well done.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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