Taliesin Desk Build - How's and Why's #17: All Good things Must End

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 10-28-2016 01:27 AM 2017 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: The Wood Working Blues Part 17 of Taliesin Desk Build - How's and Why's series no next part

I’m finally finished with the desk. There were a few odds and ends that needed to be wrapped up.

I decided to use figure 8 fasteners to hold the top to the base and allow it to move with the seasons. I happened to get my latest copy of Fine Woodworking and there was an article discussing how to properly connect the top and base and why it was important to allow for seasonal movement. A variety of methods were explained. I did learn that the figure 8’s along the front and back need to be angled to allow the boards to move.

I used a dozen Figure 8 fasteners spaced around the sides, front, back, and along the fronts of the drawer spacers. After using the forstener bit to drill 5/8” indentations for the base portion of the figure 8, my helper (wife) and I lugged the old glass top desk out and brought the base into the office. The top came next. Wow is it big (72”x 39”). I crawled under the desk and attached the Figure 8’s to the top. As you can see my other helpers (Charlie and Linus) helped out.

The walnut top was finished out with several more coats of Arm-R-Seal followed by wet sanding with 1500 grit paper. I’m a fan. Previously, I used Minwax semi-gloss to achieve decent results. The Arm-R-Seal provided a superior finish, providing a depth and luster to the walnut that brings all of the character of the walnut out. After lightly rubbing the top down with a 2500 grit Scotch Brite I applied Behlen’s Finishing Compound and hand rubbed it which brought out the gloss.

The last item of business was adding the stained glass panels to the legs.

It took a little fine tuning with a chisel to get a perfect fit, then some clear silicon used like glue on the back of the panels to get them in place.

Here are some pictures of the desk along with the lamp that was one of the inspirations for the stained glass.

As you can see, the drawers are still waiting for the stained glass panels. They will look much better than the original idea of just a piece of glass.

I learned some new techniques, re-discovered ways to do things that I forgot, and the end result is a magnificent desk. I’m going to wait for the final glass panels before I post it in the Projects. I still need to make a clock to hold the Mowtawi Frank Lloyd Wright tile, and I’m working on a bill box that will use the same design from FLW’s Oak Park Studio stained glass that the entire project is based on. Lastly, I’m going to attempt to build the Kevin Rodel chair to go with the desk.

My most sincere thanks to Jim Young for the Sketchup plans and a lot of encouragement and suggestions, along with other LJ folks that read the blog and commented. A big thanks to Alex and the folks at Glass Heritage for the amazing glass panels and for putting up with the all of the additions and changes. Also, thanks to Kevin Rodel for designing such a wonderful piece of art. I wish I could afford to buy some of his creations. Since I can’t, this will suffice.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

6 comments so far

View WhattheChuck's profile


455 posts in 4636 days

#1 posted 10-28-2016 02:51 AM


-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View BurlyBob's profile


8833 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 10-28-2016 03:54 AM

That’s fantastic.

View sb194's profile


197 posts in 4094 days

#3 posted 10-28-2016 03:11 PM

Stunning! Top notch work, and looking forward to seeing the chair to go with it.


View JimYoung's profile


407 posts in 2663 days

#4 posted 10-30-2016 01:49 PM

Hi Earl,

That really came out great. The stain glass panels are a perfect fit for this desk and the execution is top notch.

I wish you many happy bill paying sessions at your new desk.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View Macan's profile


10 posts in 1945 days

#5 posted 11-26-2016 01:19 AM

Awesome job! I’m hoping to get time to build this desk myself this winter. Your blog will be very helpful and very considerate of you to take the time to journal your work.
I like your personal touches!

View grimgrinnin's profile


5 posts in 1646 days

#6 posted 01-29-2017 11:10 PM

Wow – beautiful!

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