Break Front Secretary

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Project by thewoodninja posted 12-20-2011 06:30 AM 1305 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was for a client that commissioned it as a Christmas gift for his wife. He was very involved in the design process. I drew the piece up on SketchUp and emailed him back and forth until he was happy with the design. He had a few very specific requests. He was completely against the traditional slide out supports for the lid and he also didn’t want to have chain supports. He wanted the piece to be made of curly maple and he wanted the lid/writing surface to be a raised panel covered on the inside with leather.

If you notice in the pictures, the piece doesn’t have slide out supports but it does have chain supports. He and I now know why every slant front secretary design seen has the slide out supports. We were unable to find folding stays that were long enough to support the lid of the piece and since the issue arose at the end of the build, I wasn’t able to build in the slide out supports.

The writing surface is a raised panel that is covered on one side with a piece of leather. The client did the leather work himself. Wrapping the writing surface with the rails and styles were a beast as each stick had to be hand carved with a chisel to be able to match the inconsistencies in the thickness of the leather.

All in all I delivered it to him today and he was very happy with it. I don’t have pictures with the finish because he is having his Brother-in-Law put the finish on it. If I’m able to I will post more pictures later of it finished.

-- Kenny, Louisiana,

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 06:33 AM

Fantastic drop front desk, really nice.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 2698 days

#2 posted 12-20-2011 07:01 AM

Really Nice work I love the angles it makes it look delicate.

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3211 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 12:26 PM

Great looking desk, should serve them well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3090 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 03:31 PM

Great job!! Nice design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View helluvawreck's profile


31348 posts in 2889 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 04:37 PM

This turned out wonderfully. It’s too bad about the pull out supports. Nice work.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2712 days

#6 posted 12-21-2011 04:46 AM

A beautiful piece of work. Now your next challenge is to build folding wooden stays! Wouldn’t that be cool?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View thewoodninja's profile


2 posts in 2444 days

#7 posted 12-21-2011 05:15 AM

Thanks for all the compliments guys!

gfadvm: I actually worked out a pretty decent design for some folding stays but the client didn’t like it. The stays would have had to be at least 3/8” thick and he thought it looked too bulky.

-- Kenny, Louisiana,

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