Small writing desk

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Project by Bernard58 posted 06-05-2017 09:49 AM 1522 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The top and sides of this desk are made from pear wood. One of the boards had a knot that had partially fallen out, causing a hole through the board: since I had only a few boards available, I decided to keep the knot (it also adds some character to the desktop). For the same reason I kept the live edge of one of the boards at the front side of the desktop, I just removed the bark. Therefore the right side of the desktop is 4 cm wider than the left side. The desk is essentially a box, the sides are connected to the bottom and top via dovetails. At the back, I left some space for storing cables. Dimensions are: H 73 cm, W 90 cm, D 50 cm.

The underside of the desk and the drawers are made from cherry since I had insufficient pear wood for the entire desk. To add character, I lined the front of the drawers with a 7 mm piece of spalted willow. I love spalted wood because of the beautiful colors and figuring, particularly in maple. Spalted maple is however near impossible to find where I live. Therefore I tried willow, obtained after cutting some willow trees in our garden and leaving the trunks outside for about one year. This wood is very soft and is rapidly attacked by fungi and insects, causing quick spalting and resulting in very nice colors and textures. The flip side is that because of it’s softness, willow is very delicate. Wouldn’t be suitable for e.g. a table top, but for drawer fronts I think it’s suitable.

The bottom of the drawers is lined with nice handmade marbled paper, purchased during a holiday in France from a local artist. I protected the paper with a few coats of satin lacquer. The desk is finished with a few coats of Danish oil and a coat of wax.

The black drawer pulls are made from ebony and I turned the table legs from wengé.

Read more:

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23006 posts in 3560 days

#1 posted 06-05-2017 12:05 PM

That is a really neat desk and good looking wood used on it too!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1091 posts in 2767 days

#2 posted 06-05-2017 12:52 PM

That’s a really striking desk! I too like spalted woods for their patterns. They are ok to use after the application of a hardener. Can you describe how you made and attached the legs?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View doubleDD's profile


8536 posts in 2498 days

#3 posted 06-05-2017 12:58 PM

Very nice looking desk. It stands out proud with the spalted wood.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View builtinbkyn's profile


2942 posts in 1395 days

#4 posted 06-05-2017 01:29 PM

Bernard I love the whimsy and straying from tradition, that often appears in your designs. And as usual, the craftsmanship shows attention to detail and is first rate. The draw liners, being an integral part of the composition, are fun and add color. Beautiful little desk!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Bernard58's profile


100 posts in 1299 days

#5 posted 06-05-2017 01:37 PM

Can you describe how you made and attached the legs?

- Jim Rowe

The legs are turned with a pin on the upper end (approx. 3 cm long, 2 cm dia) which is glued into an angled (approx 12 °) “adapter” block which in turn is screwed onto the underside of the table. This allows for the legs to be removable when needed. I don’t have a picture of the legs after turning, but below some pictures of how they are attached (note I made a mistake when drilling the screw holes at the corners of block, the drilling angle wasn’t OK, so I had to drill new holes more in the center). Because the blocks are rather towards the middle of the desk, they are hidden from view unless you start looking under the desk.

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1091 posts in 2767 days

#6 posted 06-05-2017 02:10 PM

Thanks Bernard. I will add to my Favourites for future reference!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3321 days

#7 posted 06-05-2017 04:49 PM

Bernard, this desk turned out nicely. The wood is beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View pottz's profile


5791 posts in 1439 days

#8 posted 06-05-2017 06:41 PM

yeah ditto to the above comments,i love how all the different woods just go together for a beautiful rustic piece.i love you pulls too something out of the ordinary.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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