suggestions needed for a desk

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Forum topic by willy3486 posted 11-22-2009 06:52 PM 1196 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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77 posts in 2815 days

11-22-2009 06:52 PM

Hey all I am looking for suggestions for a desk. Here is what I have in mind. My daughter will be going to college next year so I would like to make her a desk. I want it to be more of a heirloom type piece of furniture. I like the streamlined or art deco look. I would like to experiment with steaming of wood to make curved legs. I was thinking of using maybe some old barn lumber I mill down and clean. I found one similar that I would like to build I think on this very site but I lost track of it. I would need to make it big enough to put a laptop on and hopefully to be able to lock the computer in it. But it would need to be big enough to use at the same time small enough to use in a dorm room. I found one style in a old magazine of mine and I posted it below. I am looking for suggestions on design,what not to do, what to do and any helpful info. Things like a ideal height from the floor to the working area and the height from the floor to the bottom of the desk for clearence would be good as well. As far as myself and experence it is as follows. I would consider myself a home hobbyist and not a pro. I do have skills to be able to look at a picture and then create my own drawings and work. I have worked in machinery so I can get exact with measurements. I have grown up with lumber projects and built my own house. I have no intentions of competing with anyone in woodworking I just want to do it as a hobby. I am not looking to steal anyones ideas and then make things for profit. I do woodworking when I get a chance to relax. But I don’t get to do it often. I just want to make her something unique for her to use. So any suggestions or links to photos would be great. Here is the desk I am thinking about doing something similar. But I would prefer something not so large.

8 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2612 days

#1 posted 11-22-2009 07:15 PM

Sorry—I don’t have a clue how you would do this desk, or even get started. I’m more of a Shaker and other types. That is an unusual desk—unique—but unusual. Good luck. But don’t worry—- some of these LJer’s on here will tell you how. Great craftsman on this website.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 2765 days

#2 posted 11-22-2009 08:19 PM

While I admire your desire to make heirloom desk for your daughter have you considered what might (probably will) happen to the desk in a dorm room? Have you ever looked closely at the standard issue furniture in a dorm room? It is virtually indestructible for a reason (although I don’t mean to brag but I along with some friends destroyed several pieces in my dorm days). Even if your daughter tries to take the best care of the desk she will have roommates and roommates will have friends. Think of how bad she will feel if she or someone else damages the desk or worse yet the desk gets stolen (don’t think it is not possible). I would suggest you build this desk while she is at college and then give it to her as a graduation gift. This will lift the restriction of size that a dorm room would place on the project and it would avoid hoping the desk survives undamaged the dorm environment.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3408 days

#3 posted 11-22-2009 08:51 PM

I saw this desk in Fine Woodworking Mag a year or so ago… They talked about how it was made… I would suggest that you start your search there.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2959 days

#4 posted 11-22-2009 09:10 PM

Have you asked your daughter is she would like to have a desk that looks like that one for an heirloom piece?

-- Bruce Free Plans

View HenryH's profile


139 posts in 2822 days

#5 posted 11-22-2009 09:24 PM

That looks like an Art Carpenter desk. You should be able to get plenty of info on making that.
I have made a desk for each of my daughters. I just posted the latest one. My oldest went to college this year and her desk stayed home. There is no room in a dorm for personal furniture and if there was I would make it out of steel or concrete or perhaps steel renforced concrete. :)
Having said that make the desk anyway. She will always have it and it will last long after college.

-- HenryH - PA

View XACX's profile


26 posts in 2528 days

#6 posted 11-22-2009 10:33 PM

For some ideas try checking out Hooker brand furniture and look at their writing tables. I think they make some of the nicest looking desks all around.

-- When life gives you lemons....Throw them at other people!

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 2765 days

#7 posted 11-22-2009 11:34 PM

Henry is correct

From Ron Cook Studios
(scroll down to Monday, August 3, 2009 to find it)
“This photo is an iconic desk design by one of the founders of the Baulines Craft Guild, Art Carpenter. The chair is, of course, by Garry Knox Bennett.”
Art Carpenter Writing Desk

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 2815 days

#8 posted 11-23-2009 03:03 PM

Thanks for the replys. I am still in the thought process of what I want to do. My daughter is in band in HS and we took her up there a few times for band camp. We got to see the rooms and how small they were. I want to make it smaller than the one above. I don’t think she would like the one above but I do know the taste she prefers. The was one similar to one she would like I saw but forgot to save a bookmark. It had bent wood legs similar to above the the actual desk area was shaped more oval than the shell shaped one above. I did a search on Art Carpenter and read about his style. I will also check into the Hooker brand furniture as well. I am in the stages of figuring out what I want to do. As far as a dorm setting I wanted to make it smaller and as durable as I could. But knowing my daughter I don’t expect her to live on campus too long. She has a few schollarships now but we will have to cover the room. I expect her to move out of the dorm. One reason is the noise will get to her and the other is we can find nice apartments cheaper than the dorm.

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