A New Beginning: Design & Build from scratch... #3: The Top - It has a story of it's own

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Blog entry by Chris posted 07-31-2008 05:29 AM 10995 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Just being a Galoot....... Part 3 of A New Beginning: Design & Build from scratch... series Part 4: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back..... »

I actually glued up the top more than a year ago from some old growth Oak that I had salvaged. Therein lies the story; not long after my wife and I were married and moved into our house we were offered an old upright Piano for free. My wife was a voice major in college and of course jumped at the opportunity. All I had to do was drive up to Jekyll Island Georgia to retrieve it; however that was easier said than done. Have you ever seen one of those huge old uprights? This Piano had Mfg. date on the sound board of 1903. This thing was about 5’ 6” high by ~6’ long and boy was it heavy (took six people to move it) but it sure was pretty.

It was old growth oak veneered with amazing tiger striped Oak; the keys were actual Ebony and Ivory. Well, you get the picture. Fast forward a few years and it’s 2004; we suffer the painful loss of our house and all the contents in a fire. The piano was badly scorched and completely ruined with water damage. Two days before demolition began I went back into the wreckage of our home and recovered as much of the old growth Oak as I could. It was just me, the soot, lots of mold & mildew and a few hand tools. some of it was single pieces and some were glued up panels from different parts of the instrument; such as the lid. I let them dry out at my parents house for several months then planed the scorched veneer off and found the most beautiful fine grained Oak I’ve ever seen. It has worm holes in a couple of places and other “character” marks. I went ahead an glued it up into a large panel waiting for the right use. My wife will get this desk to use for her sewing and crafts and to remember what we have both lost and gained.

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

5 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4281 days

#1 posted 07-31-2008 05:33 AM

Great story. I am sorry for the fire. Looks like you’ve manage to save a real treasure. I can’t wait to see more of your desk build. Thanks for sharing Chris.

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4613 days

#2 posted 07-31-2008 05:37 AM

I look forward to watching the progress on this.

The wood looks similar to wormy chestnut on my little laptop screen.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View kevinw's profile


199 posts in 4253 days

#3 posted 07-31-2008 04:36 PM

I agree with Todd. Not sure but what it is something other than Oak, but it sure is pretty and that is an amazing love gift to salvage it and make something else as a gift to your wife. Almost looks like Red Elm as another possibility.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4813 days

#4 posted 07-31-2008 04:50 PM

It looks like you’re going to have a beautiful desk when its done.

I’ll be watching for future updates.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4505 days

#5 posted 07-31-2008 11:12 PM

Well, It has the very similar open grain to Oak. Even if it is not (I’ve been wrong before) It’s still going to be the desktop. :)

Thank for the input everyone!

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

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