Roll Top Desk

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Project by MJJ posted 04-28-2008 07:17 PM 7351 views 9 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project took me over a year, working one or two hours at a time after work and after the kids went to bed. The tambour was made using the Amana Tambour Door Set which allows you to create interlocking slats – no need to glue to fabric or connect with wires. I choose QS white oak because I love the way the rays look once it’s finished – but it’s really heavy to move!

The plans were from American Furniture Design, and yes…. I added 4 hidden compartments.
The finish was:
........TransTint Mission dye
........General Finishes Candelite oil stain
........General Finished Candelite gel stain
........multiple coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin

34 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3409 days

#1 posted 04-28-2008 07:25 PM

Great looking desk! Front and back look equally great!

I have always wanted to make one of those. Now if I did I would have no place to put it.

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

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1300 posts in 3194 days

#2 posted 04-28-2008 07:32 PM

Excellent work,,,,,,,,,very nice indeed!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 04-28-2008 07:45 PM

This is absolutely beautiful. I like both the design and the finish.

This is a wonderful post.

Thanks for sharing.

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

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 3163 days

#4 posted 04-28-2008 07:46 PM

Wow! Very nice, well worth the time and something to be cherished for generations.

Can you provide some details on how you finished it?

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View tomd's profile


2022 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 04-28-2008 07:47 PM

That’s a terrific desk. Great work.

-- Tom D

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3639 days

#6 posted 04-28-2008 07:50 PM

Oh, Man! I’ve always wanted one. This is just FABULOUS!

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

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3295 days

#7 posted 04-28-2008 08:13 PM

You really did good work on your desk. It is just beautiful. I hope to make something roll top some day. I hope it is half as nice as yours.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3243 days

#8 posted 04-28-2008 08:20 PM

Fantastic job!

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Texasgaloot's profile


464 posts in 3121 days

#9 posted 04-28-2008 10:16 PM

Ya done us LJ’s proud! Great work!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Billinmich's profile


238 posts in 3152 days

#10 posted 04-28-2008 11:14 PM

Great looking desk.I have that on my list of projects.Do you have plans and where did you get the bits for the tambour

-- Bill in Mich

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3295 days

#11 posted 04-28-2008 11:22 PM

I just saw an ad in Popular Woodworking for bits from Amana Tools.

View DocK16's profile


1178 posts in 3507 days

#12 posted 04-28-2008 11:28 PM

Better build another one, the kids will be fighting over this heirloom someday. Love that QSWO. Yes it even looks heavy. You’re going to have to find a place in the middle of the room so’s not to hide those lovely raised pannels in the back. Quite an impressive first post, now what are you going to do for an encore?

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

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3189 days

#13 posted 04-28-2008 11:46 PM

that is amazing! beautiful craftsmanship, I think that this will be a piece that someone will be remaking such as Norm does. great job and thanks for the post.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3188 days

#14 posted 04-29-2008 12:26 AM

Beautiful desk and wonderful craftsmanship.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View gator9t9's profile


321 posts in 3125 days

#15 posted 04-29-2008 01:46 AM

Beee you tee – full oh yes man oh man ….I too have always wanted a Roll-Top ..I have plans to make one..
You have made a wonderful piece of furniture should last for years and years. Your grandchildren are very lucky …to someday have their grandparents desk …

Thank you

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

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