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Maple and Walnut Writing Desk

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Project by eyekode posted 910 days ago 2404 views 17 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a writing desk that I built for a quiet place where my kids can study.

The base and frame are made out of maple. The front and drawer fronts are cut from a single board for the continuous grain effect. The base joinery is all mortise and tenon. I was lucky with the wood selection. What looked like scrap maple in the rough turned out to have beautiful figure on the inside.

The top, drawer knobs and drawer sides are black walnut. I turned the knobs on my lathe and fixed them to the drawer fronts using a through wedged tenon.

The drawers are made with half blind dovetails on the front and through dovetails on the back. The drawer bottom is 1/2” thick book matched maple.

All of the walnut is finished with the oil finish made popular by Sam Maloof: 1/3rd BLO, 1/3rd Tung Oil, 1/3rd urethane (I used poly). The maple is finished with multiple coats of blonde shellac only.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this project. And as I sit here typing at the desk it is also a pleasure to use :).
Salem





31 comments so far

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 940 days


#1 posted 910 days ago

That looks great, I have used and seen many contrasting woods in a single project, but this really pops, great choice and it’s a fine looking desk.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Philip's profile

Philip

1106 posts in 1173 days


#2 posted 910 days ago

Wow, woodworking at it’s best right there. Well done my friend.

-- If you can dream it, I can do it!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112018 posts in 2211 days


#3 posted 910 days ago

cool writing desk nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View bytebullet's profile

bytebullet

32 posts in 940 days


#4 posted 910 days ago

excellent looking desk, my wife would love this in our house. great looking timber and joints. thanks for sharing

-- Rod, London UK

View dtblack's profile

dtblack

7 posts in 1102 days


#5 posted 910 days ago

A really clean, graceful design – it has a traditional Shaker/Federal feel, but made a bit more contemporary with the deep bevel you used on the top. I really appreciate a few of the finer details: book matched figured maple drawer bottoms, hand turned knobs affixed with through tenon joinery, and the super tight tolerances on the drawer reveal. Very luxurious. . . congratulations on crafting a beautiful piece of furniture!

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

320 posts in 1269 days


#6 posted 909 days ago

Truly built by a craftsman! Great wood working and design. Inspiration inspiration inspiration!!!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2613 days


#7 posted 909 days ago

Very good looking table. That was a great choice of woods.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View cplant's profile

cplant

226 posts in 1198 days


#8 posted 909 days ago

my favorite part is the drawrs….nice work

-- "...if america is any indication, i was born into one great big vacation...." RMB

View eyekode's profile

eyekode

27 posts in 1416 days


#9 posted 909 days ago

Thanks for all the kind words! I was aiming for modern Shaker with the beveled top and the drawer knobs. I probably could have gone thinner with the legs to make it more Shaker-ish. But I chickened out and left room for more tenon :).

Wood selection took me quite a while. The maple was truly luck of the draw. I have a wonderful QSWO board from a local sawyer that is simply amazing. This project started out as building a table for that one wonderful board. But when I milled the maple it was so interesting the project changed completely into finding a top for the maple base :). For the life of me I could not match the maple from the base with any other maple I could find. In fact this is the third top, the first one was the QSWO. The second one was some other maple I had but when I planed it found the colors/tone was completely different and didn’t match. I even went back to where I got the maple to find more from the same tree. All that was left was very plain and I really wanted the top to be a major point of interest.

Look for another project in a couple months that makes use of the QSWO top. It screams out for an Arts and Crafts design.

This is the first project I have posted to LJ and I appreciate the warm welcome!

View aurora's profile

aurora

206 posts in 1886 days


#10 posted 909 days ago

love your desk, .... even the drawers are a work of art !!!

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4910 posts in 1476 days


#11 posted 909 days ago

The story of the build helps me appreciate it more. :) Looks like you have been doing this for awhile? Bookmatched drawer bottoms? LOL! Sweet!

I often say “I’ll come back fore more’ if I like something and it’s usually gone?

Nice work, look forward to your next piece.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View wrench's profile

wrench

297 posts in 1248 days


#12 posted 909 days ago

Beautifully done. The wood and work are both amazing. Thanks for sharing.

-- J Wrench Syracuse New York

View grumpy749's profile

grumpy749

216 posts in 1011 days


#13 posted 909 days ago

This is truly a beauty. Tables are my favourite projects and this one really stands out. I often use maple and walnut in my work but often experience trouble staining maple. Your finish is beautiful. Figured maple is the best.

-- Denis in Grande Prairie. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mistery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.....Pink !

View eyekode's profile

eyekode

27 posts in 1416 days


#14 posted 909 days ago

Doc, I have only been building for a couple years but I read a lot and take inspiration from the projects posted here and other forums. Maybe I have matured some in my WW though because I usually tell everyone what I did wrong and never mention the things that went well. The bookmatched drawer bottoms are the result of buying a new bandsaw with more than 6” of resaw. I just had to try it out :).

Thanks Grumpy. I have to admit I have very little finishing skill. Before this piece I was pretty much a one trick pony using BLO/MS/Poly mixture on everything. But it imparts a little yellow to maple and I wanted the maple to stay as pale as possible. The shellac was really easy to apply and it doesn’t hide the wood. I now have two tricks!

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1196 posts in 2109 days


#15 posted 909 days ago

Beautiful detail.. book matched drawer bottoms… you went all out… and I like the detail of the knob install… it is those details that set you apart from others. Well done.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

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