Natural Edge Mesquite Desk

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Project by Dusty123 posted 06-01-2012 06:33 PM 4859 views 16 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a 1 3/4” thick mesquite desk. Both the top and legs are made of book matched Texas mesquite. The top is from one tree and both the legs came from another. Working with mesquite you learn how to fill the cracks to where it looks like the normal black streaks in the wood that naturally occurs. I cut the side edges off with a chain saw and then just sanded it lightly. It left a very interesting edge with a lot of character but still smooth to the touch. The finish is 3 coats of gloss Waterlox and the final coat of satin Waterlox. After finish cures over 4-5 days it is rubbed down with 0000 steel wool and wax.

15 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3057 days

#1 posted 06-01-2012 09:31 PM

That is beautiful


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Stormy's profile


164 posts in 2398 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 10:38 PM

Beautiful wood. Nice job on the table. I thought God created mesuqite only to cook steaks. I didn’t realize it was such a pretty wood.

-- Stormy: Sometimes the wood just tells you what it wants to be.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2891 days

#3 posted 06-02-2012 01:06 AM

You did a beautiful job bringing out the character of that mesquite. I like the design and the finish appears perfect. I also REALLY like the chair with the cowhide back.

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

View WoodLe's profile


155 posts in 2997 days

#4 posted 06-02-2012 01:22 AM

That’s really nice! I like all the character and the way it stands out.

-- Wooster, Ohio

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3438 days

#5 posted 06-02-2012 03:32 AM

That’s a beautiful desk. With something that pretty to look at, how would you ever get any work done?

-- Hal, Tennessee

View pariswoodworking's profile


389 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 06-03-2012 12:07 AM

That’s absolutely beautiful!!!

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View daves1's profile


188 posts in 2967 days

#7 posted 06-03-2012 01:32 AM

So cool looking! I’d love to see how you attached the table to the legs.

View WILLIE's profile


56 posts in 2985 days

#8 posted 06-04-2012 05:40 AM


View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3390 days

#9 posted 06-06-2012 04:58 PM

Nice job.

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

View Bj_D's profile


10 posts in 2379 days

#10 posted 06-12-2012 01:32 PM

Awesome job. How are the legs coneted? I’m working on a table project and am looking for some direction.

-- It's hard to focus on the daily stresses when using power tools.

View Dusty123's profile


29 posts in 2402 days

#11 posted 06-13-2012 02:28 PM

Connecting the top and not making it to noticeable was a little difficult. As you notice on the is desk there are no drawers that usually would have added the stability to a desk. So to attach the legs to the top I did a couple of things. Fist the top is 1 3/4” thick so I made a mortise in the top 1 1/4” deep to accept the tendon on the legs. Then I drilled pilot holes diagonally from the bottom of the top through the mortise with large wood screws. This worked pretty well, but there was still movement in the desk. So I added triangle blocks, used pocket hole screws on the inside of the blocks so the screws could not be seen from ether side of the desk. the blocks were attached to the inside portion of the legs and the desk top. If you look closely in a couple of the pictures you will see the triangle blocks. They are also made from the same Mesquite so they blend in pretty well. I did not use any glue in attaching the legs because there would be no way to move the desk if we needed to. It is very heavy. Hope this helps.

View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

192 posts in 3615 days

#12 posted 06-18-2012 01:13 AM

Nice work, I am working on something similar but out of Tasmanian Rose Myrtle. However, I have had a ton of problems with the wood cracking and warping due to the climate change (high humidity to low humidity in Arizona). Curious how you flattened the top. Did you use #8 or less bench planes or just sand the top.

-- Matt, Arizona

View Dusty123's profile


29 posts in 2402 days

#13 posted 06-18-2012 04:28 PM

Matt, Sounds like you are working on a challenging project. What your goal should be is to get your top as flat as you possibly can then seal it on all sides as quickly as possible. I can tell you what I do and maybe that will help.
The table in the picture above is made of Mesquite which is a very stable wood. I have no problem with warping with Mesquite, but it does quite a few cracks in it which I have to deal with. I have done Pecan or hickory tables before, and the problem with Pecan/Hickory is that it does move allot. In those cases, we sand the top flat, finish it down to 220 grit and then seal it with the finish on all for sides right away. The first coat we try to finish on all four sides at the same time to encase the wood in finish. The rest of the coats can go on one side at a time.
To flatten the top I use a 50” dual drum Woodmaster Drum sander.
It is a good sander and for my shop works on single phase 220 Volt power, I would love to have something bigger, but I don’t have the space or access to single phase.

It the top wider then about 48” then i do it in multiple pieces then join the edges with a straight edge and a router bit, then use biskets about ever 6” to align the two halves of the top.

To fill in the cracks in Mesquite or other woods I use system three epoxy.
I have used it for years. It is very strong and performs very well with finishes. There is three speeds of hardeners designed to be used at different temps. The key things with system three is to use the correct hardener for the temp of your shop, measure exactly, and mix twice as long as you would think you need to. I mix in large plastic Dixie cups. We mix each cup before using for a timed 3 min. Yes we do time it because it is very easy not to mix enough.

Finishes I use vary from job to job, but I do like spraying Waterlox finish.
It will darken the wood but gives a very durable and great looking finish. I normally spray two to 3 coats of gloss, sanding with 320 grit between coats, with a final finish of satin. If you do multiple coats of satin, it will start to blur the small details of the finish. It is very important to finish the top and the bottom of your desktop with the same number of coats of finish. this should greatly help in the stability of your top. If your top is endgrain use 220 grit sand paper and hand sand the finish into the top and let dry. Sand smooth then finish as normal. Doing this will fill in the endgrain and leaves a smooth finish. If not the finished top will have thousands of tiny pin holes all over the top.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can help further.

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


856 posts in 4203 days

#14 posted 04-01-2013 03:52 AM

Awesome! I like it! Gonna make one too. ;)

View Athreck's profile


1 post in 1550 days

#15 posted 09-26-2014 02:52 AM

What are the dimensions of the desk?

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