My Wife's New Desk

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Project by Grantman posted 05-21-2014 05:15 PM 3790 views 15 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been promising my wife to build her a new desk for years. Last summer, her sister told her she had to have a demilune element for the edge of her desk based on a hall table we have. I was stumped. After Thanksgiving I was watching The Highland Woodworker and Charles was interviewing Gary Rogowski and scrolling through his portfolio. He had a neat table and I paused the video calling for my wife to take a look and see if that was what she (or rather her sister) was thinking of for the edge treatment. Not only did she say ‘yes,’ she also said she liked the whole table and that’s what I should make for her. Design problem solved.

Wanting to give Gary the courtesy of asking his permission to replicate his table, I wrote to him and he graciously complied.

The table is cherry with ebony inlay. The top is 1 1/4” thick, the legs are 2” square (made from 10/4 stock), and the rest of the elements are all 1” thick. I overbuilt the frame just because I wanted to see if I could do sliding dovetails…and I did. I’ll update the post when I get a picture of the frame.

I have four coats of Waterlox on the top and three on the frame with some dark brown paste wax on top of that. I think I should have used my Micro Mesh pads to really smooth out the Waterlox but I can always do that later. The only negative was that it had a ‘new finish’ smell and it took about a month for it to fully off-gas. Waterlox had said to bring it outside and let it sit in the sun for an afternoon. Too heavy for one person and my son was away at college so it went unused for a while. But it’s fine, now.

Overall, I am very happy with the result and my comfort level with inlays, my 62 low angle jack, and tightness of my mortises and tenons. I think I jumped up another notch in the caliber of my work.

UPDATE: I added three more shots showing the frame under the desktop. Yes, it’s overbuilt but I wanted to try sliding dovetails instead of mortise/tenons for the cross pieces. The long stretchers are tenoned into the aprons so I had to cut two tenons in the support columns to go around the stretcher mortise. Let’s just say how much I love my router plane and how much it contributed to the piece.

Thanks to all for the very kind and supportive words. They’re greatly appreciated.

34 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4354 days

#1 posted 05-21-2014 05:28 PM

This is a very cool desk I like the design particularly the rounded ends and inlay great job.


View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3262 days

#2 posted 05-21-2014 05:42 PM

That’s some seriously gorgeous work. The design looks great and the inlay really takes it to another level.

-- Brian Timmons -

View ChrisK's profile


2046 posts in 3858 days

#3 posted 05-21-2014 06:04 PM

Very nice! I really like the curves on the ends.

-- Chris K

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 4449 days

#4 posted 05-21-2014 06:17 PM

A very beautiful table! The proportions look great. Your wife must be very proud of you…and she should be! Great job!!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View mc269's profile


90 posts in 2244 days

#5 posted 05-21-2014 08:20 PM

Very nice! I like the curved ends as well.

-- Mike Chaffin - Past-Time Woodworks

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 4058 days

#6 posted 05-21-2014 09:03 PM

Very good job – well done. You really nailed it.


View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3069 days

#7 posted 05-21-2014 09:59 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 hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2321 days

#8 posted 05-21-2014 11:06 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Norman1's profile


121 posts in 3544 days

#9 posted 05-21-2014 11:25 PM

Beautiful desk. I love the inlay and finish.

-- Michael A. Norman

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2784 days

#10 posted 05-21-2014 11:34 PM

” I think I jumped up another notch in the caliber of my work.”

I think the caliber of your work is EXCELLENT!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2645 days

#11 posted 05-21-2014 11:42 PM

Very impressive. You should be beaming with pride over this one.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Gary's profile


1452 posts in 5101 days

#12 posted 05-21-2014 11:50 PM

Lovely desk. The inlays are wonderful.

-- Gary, Florida

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4659 days

#13 posted 05-22-2014 12:09 AM

Well done. I love it.
Lovely caliber you have.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View pintodeluxe's profile


6158 posts in 3590 days

#14 posted 05-22-2014 12:10 AM

I love the level of detail and various design elements.
Great work.

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


7043 posts in 3924 days

#15 posted 05-22-2014 12:16 AM

The caliber of your work looks pretty notched up to me! Great looking desk—I’ll bet your wife is thrilled with it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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