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Forum topic by steve posted 11-25-2014 11:25 PM 1023 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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363 posts in 1415 days

11-25-2014 11:25 PM

I have an antique desk in for repairs.
It has already been altered from it’s original condition, and lost authenticity.
The owner is not concerned with that aspect, and never plans on selling the desk.
I am looking/seeking some replacement MAHOGANY unfinished gallery spindles, and rail for the top.
It is missing.
I included a “example” pic from a desk that has a gallery, but I do not need a bottom rail (as in pic), I need 15 total spindles, the 4 corners, and middle back, (5 total) should be a little different from the (10 others) in rest of the field, and a rail for top…I can make the rail, but the spindles are what I am seeking.
They are 1/4” tenons, but can be made a bit larger, I am thinking the spindles should be no more than 2” at most, and around 5/8” apprx.
I would like to have Mahogany, if possible…I have found Birch, Oak, and “Hardwood”, but cannot find them in Mahogany.
Also, the “original” mortised-in hinges (see pic) for the desk drop lid, have been replaced with the two field hinges shown (notice empty mortises for originals)
The original hinges “automatically” extended the lid supports when lid was opened.
I have ‘heard’ that these hinges are very RARE, and impossible to find.
She would love to have the supports come out “auto” if I can pull it off/?
Any suggestions on the hinge dilemma…it is that important, but would really make her day.
The gallery up top is my main concern.

Pics below – I have many more pics, also.

Not sure if I did this in the “correct” forum, and apologize ahead of time, if I didn’t.

-- steve/USA

19 replies so far

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363 posts in 1415 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 10:04 PM

PLEASE help…I am begging for some advice! please.

-- steve/USA

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1157 posts in 2112 days

#2 posted 12-03-2014 10:08 PM

I would start here.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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13571 posts in 2040 days

#3 posted 12-03-2014 10:08 PM

Steve, I wish there were something I could offer in the way of advise or materials… I’d love the see the solution to the ‘auto-hinge’ question in particular. Hopefully this ‘bump’ will get folks reading and providing input. Good luck.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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363 posts in 1415 days

#4 posted 12-03-2014 10:16 PM

thanks guys…I am going to take some more pics, of the internal area of the old hinge area tomorrow, and post them…one person mentioned some old hinges, that had a “hockey-stick” type of attachment to the supports…I see where it would have brought the supports out, but finding these hinges, may be unattainable

-- steve/USA

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1727 posts in 1623 days

#5 posted 12-04-2014 08:12 AM

Spindles, I know there are some lumberjocks who have a Vega Duplicator that they can make. As it goes for the top rails and bottom is easy enough providing you have a profile with all the measurments… A moulding company can duplicate.

Do any of these hinges look like what you need?????

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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259 posts in 1269 days

#6 posted 12-04-2014 02:30 PM

Here’s hardware for the auto support. Took awhile I couldn’t remember where I saw them.

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5839 posts in 3007 days

#7 posted 12-04-2014 07:00 PM

I personally don’t like the rails at the top I think they make an otherwise nice desk look cheap and tacky.Just my opinion of course however the desk is a great idea,It is just a pity you could not turn them yourself it would be an easy enough job.I did this same set up for my neighbour in oak for some kitchen cabinets he was gifted.I wish you well, and also success in finding your parts .Perhaps someone near you, might turn you some for Christmas.Alistair

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

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217 posts in 1007 days

#8 posted 12-04-2014 07:31 PM

I’m wondering whether a doll’s house supply store might have “bannister rails” that would work for the gallery spindles? There must be something in Google …

Sigh. Apart from that all, I can offer is a woodworker’s handshake and a muttered “good luck” ...

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2198 days

#9 posted 12-04-2014 08:16 PM

Do you have an age of the piece? With that, I might email the folks at Williamsburg and see if they know what you need. They do sell things but more importantly, they may have a picture or drawing. With that, you can have one made a any good machine shop – pricey but doable.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1415 days

#10 posted 12-04-2014 10:02 PM

I was just checking in…and seen ALL the support from you nice people…thank you.

I am in a rush right now, to go out…but I will get back to this thread tomorrow…
with answers, and more pics..

thank you all again!


-- steve/USA

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1132 posts in 881 days

#11 posted 12-05-2014 01:32 AM

Check this site.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View steve's profile


363 posts in 1415 days

#12 posted 12-05-2014 10:50 PM

First…the age is approx. late 1800’s very early 1900’s.

As far as the mini gallery on top…I only wish to replace what was originally provided with the desk…if it had not had a gallery, I (or She, the customer) would have never wished to add one.

The gallery did not have a bottom rail (per pics), it would have had 15 spindles. 5 would have been a bit larger in diameter. meaning bulkier, they would be the 4 corners, and the middle of the back, the 10 remaining in the field should be a bit slender than the other 5, and all will need to be 1/4” tenons, by 1 3/4” – ish high, maybe 1 1/2”. I can make the top rail myself, but I am VERY interested in having someone mill/turn these spindles for me, out of “Mahogany”, subject to pricing.

The Rockler Hinge set (screen shot added), is on the RIGHT-track, It has the EXACT “Hockey-stick” type of pull for the supports…but it is a side mount type…and (per pics) this desk “had” a face mounted, mortised-in type.
I “may” or may NOT, be able to adapt this hinge to the desk, but would very much prefer to TRY to find a hinge that could get in these mortises, or at least mount the same way, and I could enlarge the mortises, or lesson them. And, I am pretty sure it would not work with the way the desk lid has an overlay of sorts.

I am very grateful for all the support from members!
I asked for help…and got a great response…Thank you all!

If ANY one can turn those spindles for me, I’d be interested in working out the details…I would give you rough drawings, dimensions, etc…

As far as the hinges – I really hope I can find a solution…

-- steve/USA

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363 posts in 1415 days

#13 posted 12-16-2014 10:25 PM

I got some spindles mailed, today. I did a quick ‘mock-up’ of the example gallery, to be.
The top rail is just some Poplar I used for mock-up, i have some Mahogany for the new one.
I will soak the spindles in the Red Mahogany stain I am using for the desk (spindles I purchased are in Birch),
I think they will fade-into the rest of the desk nicely.

I am still waiting on the Rockler hinges…I have a nice plan laid out to adapt them to the desk.

Thanks again for all your help, ‘jocks’ :)

-- steve/USA

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363 posts in 1415 days

#14 posted 02-25-2015 01:32 AM

I am not sure if anyone is still interested in what became of my search for drop front desk lid hardware for a Early desk, that would make the supports come out “automatically” when the lid was opened…but i RETRO-fitted a pair of hinges that someone alerted me to from Rockler. The video of the retro-fit, and operation is posted on Youtube -

It works flawlessly…many hours still to go on desk…Winter has been rough, and we are not doing much at the moment, because it just costs too much to heat the shop for work.

Thanks to all who helped me.

-- steve/USA

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363 posts in 1415 days

#15 posted 02-25-2015 01:36 AM

...oh…btw, the TV was on, and I also have a breathing issue, ha…so it was a bad editing day :)

The video was taken on my phone, and the supports have yet to be sanded, and waxed, everything is still in project mode, thnx

-- steve/USA

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