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Walnut Secretary Desk with Resin River

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Project by MulliganWoodworking posted 07-24-2019 11:35 PM 1052 views 9 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I previously sold an oak and walnut secretary desk, and recently someone contacted me asking for a few slight modifications to the basic design. After some back and forth, we nailed down drawers instead of simple dividers, a shelf across the back, and the big one: It would be entirely made from walnut. (Which, since walnut regularly goes for $10/BF here in California, makes this a piece of luxury furniture if you ask me!).

I’m VERY happy with this piece. Everything that I did in the previous piece, like the mortises (including through-mortises for the skirt and legs) and the finish, came out much cleaner. And everything that I was trying for the first time, like the drawers and support pieces, came out very cleanly as well! I’m especially proud of the drawers, since I made the slides and pulls myself.

This is by far the best piece I’ve made yet. What do you guys think of it?

-- Mackenzie Mulligan, trying to get better every day at https://mulliganwoodworking.wordpress.com/





28 comments so far

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

603 posts in 682 days


#1 posted 07-24-2019 11:56 PM

Wow, what a beauty, and the finish is just gorgeous, thanks for sharing
Rj in az

View sras's profile

sras

5155 posts in 3609 days


#2 posted 07-25-2019 01:19 AM

Beautiful piece! You did a great job!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View swirt's profile

swirt

4143 posts in 3452 days


#3 posted 07-25-2019 01:57 AM

Wow. You nailed it. I like the river showing on both sides. Really like what you did with the angles on the drawers.I like the proportions too. It is really a nice design. Your photos of this one are a lot better too. Easier to see the details.

The only thing that catches my eye for a possible change (a very minor one at that) would be to orient the desk sides’ grain to run horizontally rather than vertically.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1790 posts in 2046 days


#4 posted 07-25-2019 02:10 AM

Very Nice Desk, you did a great on this project. job

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View cowboyup3371's profile

cowboyup3371

114 posts in 677 days


#5 posted 07-25-2019 02:17 AM

It looks fantastic; how did you do the resin?

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

View MulliganWoodworking's profile

MulliganWoodworking

9 posts in 242 days


#6 posted 07-25-2019 02:28 AM


Wow. You nailed it. I like the river showing on both sides. Really like what you did with the angles on the drawers.I like the proportions too. It is really a nice design. Your photos of this one are a lot better too. Easier to see the details.

The only thing that catches my eye for a possible change (a very minor one at that) would be to orient the desk sides grain to run horizontally rather than vertically.

- swirt

I can’t claim responsibility for the photos! Those were done by a friend who is also a professional photographer. I really like the angles on the drawers as well…everything went together really cleanly, even better than I had hoped when designing it.

For having the side pieces go “sideways”, so to speak, wouldn’t that cause issues with wood movement? I know you’re not going to get much movement with 14 inches, but isn’t it best to have all the grain going in the same direction whenever possible, so all the movement is happening along the same axis?


It looks fantastic; how did you do the resin?

- cowboyup3371

Thanks! The resin was actually a real pain this time. It took 3 tries (and 3 pieces of walnut!) to get it right, although the second attempt will do well as a entry-way table, I think. I just cut the walnut down the middle and flipped it, then cut a fake “live edge” along the inner edges (since the piece was too wide to use the actual live edge).

Then I used tabletop epoxy resin from Pro Marine Supplies along with blue and green Pearl Ex powders. You just pour one color from one direction and the other color from the other direction, and stir them together just enough to get a nice gradient. I did it in two stages this time, because if you pour too much at once, the heat gets way too intense and leads to crazy cracking and ruins the whole piece.

(I’m happy to go more in-depth on the process via PM: It’s simple, but easy to get wrong).

-- Mackenzie Mulligan, trying to get better every day at https://mulliganwoodworking.wordpress.com/

View htl's profile

htl

4791 posts in 1639 days


#7 posted 07-25-2019 02:30 AM

Super nice project!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

1013 posts in 2429 days


#8 posted 07-25-2019 10:18 AM

That is a work of art! Nice job!

-- Petey

View Hazem's profile

Hazem

237 posts in 1728 days


#9 posted 07-25-2019 12:15 PM

I dig it.

View PPK's profile

PPK

1504 posts in 1289 days


#10 posted 07-25-2019 01:17 PM

Great work. Its very pretty. I don’t really buy into the “river” stuff usually, but it looks pretty darn good on your desk. I think the grain orientation is perfect on the top. Keep on building great projects, man!

-- Pete

View pottz's profile

pottz

5970 posts in 1464 days


#11 posted 07-25-2019 01:58 PM

i say it’s gorgeous,i love the design and the way you did the river flowing between the sap wood is perfect.you can never go wrong with walnut.just a beautiful desk period.

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

View stanley2's profile

stanley2

354 posts in 4275 days


#12 posted 07-25-2019 02:18 PM

All aspects are really well done. I just did my first river pour and, in the process, learned that not all resins are the same. Not sure the table top epoxy is what you want to use. I see many in the States use System Three 105. What was your finish?

-- Phil in British Columbia

View MulliganWoodworking's profile

MulliganWoodworking

9 posts in 242 days


#13 posted 07-25-2019 03:27 PM



All aspects are really well done. I just did my first river pour and, in the process, learned that not all resins are the same. Not sure the table top epoxy is what you want to use. I see many in the States use System Three 105. What was your finish?

- stanley2

Yeah, I know the West Systems stuff is super high quality, but it’s also super expensive! The stuff I use is $60 for a gallon, and the West Systems stuff is more than that for just a quart! This stuff works for me, although I’m continuing to try to find a way to reduce the bubbling.

For the finish, I used Arm-R-Seal (semigloss) for the first time ever. it worked really well with a rag on all the vertical surfaces, the base, the drawers, etc, but it required a ton of coats with a foam brush on the large horizontal surfaces to build up enough volume for smoothing and polishing (finishing is my weakest area by far…I’m just not good at it).

-- Mackenzie Mulligan, trying to get better every day at https://mulliganwoodworking.wordpress.com/

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117711 posts in 4057 days


#14 posted 07-25-2019 04:31 PM

Looks great, super workmanship and unique design and creative use of resin .

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23197 posts in 3585 days


#15 posted 07-25-2019 05:23 PM

Beautiful Desk.

Did you find the hardener from Pro Marine to be real thick. I bought some and it did not pour and level well for me because it seemed to stay thick like the hardener even after 4 minutes of stirring. They told me I had to pre heat the hardener .

cheers,Jim

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

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