New England Desk

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Project by Chips posted 06-10-2014 04:57 PM 2659 views 3 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Looking back, I remember that my Grandmother gave each of us kids a desk upon entering the first grade. I wish now that I had continued that tradition. The desks were nothing special. Just an unpainted chest of drawers, with the top drawer letting down to create a writing surface. I think I can remember helping to assemble mine, though I might be remembering helping with one of my sister’s desk. I had three sisters, two younger than me.

Even though I probably told myself that since I was late with the desk, I was building something special. But the truth is I fell in love with the desk at Lonnie Birds wood working class when he showed us his desk with all of the locking secret compartments.

Hunting for plans I found Lonnie’s plan in a Fine Woodworking publication, and Glen Huey;s in a Popular Woodworking plan. Both plans had elements that I liked so I redrew them in Sketchup using the upper case from Glen’s and the interior from Lonnie’s.

I discovered during the build, that because I had never really worked from plans, it was hard to do. So a lot of changes went in during the build. There were a lot of steps that I worried about that went so smooth that I wondered what the worry was about, and some simple steps that went wrong because I thought they were simple.

All in all I am very proud of the largest project I have built to date.

-- Make every day the best day of your life. Chips, Mississippi

30 comments so far

View Picklehead's profile


1055 posts in 2781 days

#1 posted 06-10-2014 05:05 PM

Incredible piece of work! I bet that took you a few days, huh? Amazingly wide range of techniques must have been required. Instant heirloom.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View Brit's profile


8170 posts in 3694 days

#2 posted 06-10-2014 06:09 PM

Outstanding work Chips.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3718 days

#3 posted 06-10-2014 06:10 PM

That’s a beautiful piece. You did a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1926 posts in 2821 days

#4 posted 06-10-2014 06:24 PM

WOW! That is one of the things I dream of making one day. You did an amazing job and thanks for sharing this

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3144 days

#5 posted 06-10-2014 06:49 PM

Beautiful and outstanding work. You have every right to be very proud of yourself on this project.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30566 posts in 3190 days

#6 posted 06-10-2014 07:01 PM

Stunningly beautiful work. Instant heirloom.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4186 days

#7 posted 06-10-2014 07:03 PM

A real beauty and amazing craftsmanship too Chips.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3337 days

#8 posted 06-10-2014 07:52 PM

You’ve got every right to be proud of that. Phenomenal work.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Oldtool's profile


3031 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 06-10-2014 08:41 PM

Chips, that us one extremely beautiful piece of early American period furniture. Fantastic detail, excellent craftsmanship.
I know what you mean when you say you worried about some aspects of this build only to have things work out easily, and vice versa. Happens to me too, but when things come out good, it feels so satisfying.
Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4437 days

#10 posted 06-10-2014 08:59 PM

really very impressive. I love this desk. Alistair

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

View DonJ's profile


253 posts in 4379 days

#11 posted 06-10-2014 09:12 PM

Beautiful job! I know what you mean in regards to the seeming impossible. I’m starting the Glen Huey version and can’t seem to get my head around the distance between the desk top surface and the starting of the angle cut on the side pieces…and also what that angle should be. Since it’s fresh in your mind, do you have any recommendations for me? Once again, very nicely done, indeed.

-- Don, San Antonio, TX

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4572 days

#12 posted 06-10-2014 10:21 PM

Well that’s impressive! Great job, you should be proud, thanks for sharing it with us. I’m thinking it is cherry but how did you finish it?

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Wood Studios's profile

Wood Studios

127 posts in 3183 days

#13 posted 06-10-2014 10:27 PM

A very beautiful and impressive piece of furniture. Clearly it is an heirloom and more importantly, one of a kind since you did some combining and changing of the plans. I would say the piece is priceless.

-- I read it but I wasn't listening!!

View Gary's profile


1458 posts in 5176 days

#14 posted 06-10-2014 10:56 PM


-- Gary, Florida

View Chips's profile


199 posts in 4564 days

#15 posted 06-10-2014 11:49 PM

Thanks everyone for all the nice comments.

Kenn The finish is linseed oil mixed 50/50 with Tung oil for the first two coats, two more coats of Tung oil, and then 3 coats of wipe on polyurethane. The wood is cherry cut from a tree that wind blew over on a friends farm several years ago.

DonJ This is one of the places I made my biggest mistake. I did it by dimensions from the back and bottom. I’ll send you a PM with jpg of my side. Remember mine is a combo of Glen’s and Lonnie’s with my limited skill injected.

-- Make every day the best day of your life. Chips, Mississippi

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