Stickley #708 Writing Desk in QSWO

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Project by Vincent Nocito posted 04-15-2014 02:19 PM 2586 views 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of a Stickley #708 writing desk (aka post card desk). It is made from QSWO and measures 40”w, 22” d and 30” h (36” with the stationary gallery). I made a few changed from the original to avoid structural issues found in the antique original. The legs are laminated with qs veneer so that the rays are visible on all sides. The desk is frame and panel construction.

The stationary gallery is removable. The drawers have machine cut dovetails.

The finish is Trans Tint reddish brown dye followed by a seal coat of General Seal A Cell. The glaze coat is General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel stain followed by 3 coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. The desk is finished with clear Briwax. I sanded to 320 and 400 grit between finish coats and 0000 steel wool before the wax.

16 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


1416 posts in 2239 days

#1 posted 04-15-2014 03:22 PM

Very nice. Love the style and the color.
Well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View pintodeluxe's profile


4185 posts in 1899 days

#2 posted 04-15-2014 03:36 PM

Great looking desk, I like the tall back panel. That should give the desk good strength over the years.
Nice job on the finishing too. Did the color change much when you applied the gel stain? The final color looks more like the transtint dye than the antique walnut color. Looks great.


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

458 posts in 2450 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 03:47 PM

The color after the dye step is almost a dark salmon/pinkish color. After the Seal A cell it is a bit darker and the rays pop a bit more. The real contrast comes after the glaze and topcoat. I was trying to match the color of my bedroom set. It used a walnut gel stain that is no longer available so color matching was a bit of a challenge.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1022 posts in 720 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 04:00 PM

Nice job. Looks really nice.

-- Jeff NJ

View DocSavage45's profile


6695 posts in 1928 days

#5 posted 04-15-2014 04:10 PM

Looks like you were up o the challenges! Nice piece sir!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodbridge's profile


3288 posts in 1504 days

#6 posted 04-15-2014 04:43 PM

beautiful work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5538 posts in 1378 days

#7 posted 04-15-2014 06:26 PM

Very nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CampD's profile


1311 posts in 2572 days

#8 posted 04-15-2014 07:49 PM

That’s a beauty!
On the issue of stains, I do am having to relearn new techniques with these new formula’s.

-- Doug...

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

458 posts in 2450 days

#9 posted 04-15-2014 08:15 PM

Thanks for the nice comments. A good guide to A&C finishing by Jeff Jewitt can be found at:

I typically use 80 drops of reddish brown Trans Tint dye in 8 ounces of distilled water as my stock staining solution. I prefer the liquid dye since it dissolves instantly and does not require filtering. Use distilled water to avoid black stains on oak.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5784 posts in 2671 days

#10 posted 04-15-2014 10:05 PM

A very classy piece of useable art, very lovely indeed.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Mean_Dean's profile (online now)


3148 posts in 2233 days

#11 posted 04-16-2014 12:28 AM

That is a great looking writing desk! The finish is great—really pops that ray fleck!

-- Dean

View AandCstyle's profile


2015 posts in 1343 days

#12 posted 04-16-2014 12:30 AM

Vincent, what a great looking project! It almost makes me wish that I had a need for a writing desk. The grain is outstanding and your finish accentuates it well. Thank you for sharing.

-- Art

View goggy's profile


73 posts in 2502 days

#13 posted 04-16-2014 02:20 AM

Very nice! I like the finish as well.

View BillG's profile


78 posts in 2636 days

#14 posted 04-16-2014 11:24 AM

Great job Vincent. The look is awesome as is the craftsmanship. Flush drawers always look better and you did a great job on fitting them.

Another project to be proud of.


-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

View workerinwood's profile


2716 posts in 2153 days

#15 posted 04-16-2014 12:45 PM

Very nice, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

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