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Desk for my daughter, Reclaimed Pine Heartwood and Maple

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Project by Ryan Sandler posted 10-21-2019 01:37 AM 516 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My 8 year-old elder daughter requested that I make her a desk for her to do her homework on. I may have overdone it a bit—she’ll grow into it, but at 5-feet long, it’s quite a lot of desk for a little girl. Guess I should have scaled things down. Took me long enough too—I started back in April and just delivered last week…

Very grateful to Brett for sharing the plans for his Walnut and Maple desk, with an honorary mention to BroncoBrian, whose Purpleheart and Maple rendition of Brett’s plans I first stumbled across.

The top and drawer fronts are ~100 year old pine heartwood, formerly floorboards from the kitchen of my ~100 year old house. For the top, although the boards started out around 13/16”, even with cauls I had to plane it to about 11/16” to get things flat, making for a relatively thin top. The many nail holes are filled with West System epoxy, colored with some black pigment that I had sitting around from an attempt at colored concrete many years ago. Body is all hard maple, nothing too exciting there.

I’m really please with how this turned out. Made a lot of progress with my skills—the dovetails on the drawers are my best yet. Also during this project I finally figured out how reliably to get my chisels super sharp (thanks to a Paul Sellers video), which was a big help with chopping mortises in that hard-as-rock maple!





9 comments so far

View mel52's profile

mel52

1066 posts in 800 days


#1 posted 10-21-2019 02:46 AM

Beautiful desk and I love the look of the reclaimed Pine. Excellent job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile

wildwoodbybrianjohns

429 posts in 83 days


#2 posted 10-21-2019 05:59 AM

Yep, great work. And NO pocket screws, yay. Looks like it will last her a long while.

Cheers

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View swirt's profile

swirt

4313 posts in 3507 days


#3 posted 10-21-2019 12:35 PM

That is a great desk. Well done. And trust me you did not make it too big. I built a 5’ long desk for my son a year ago and he is already complaining that it is not big enough.

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

View Wintergreen78's profile

Wintergreen78

45 posts in 275 days


#4 posted 10-21-2019 04:35 PM

That is a nice looking desk! I’m watching Paul Sellers videos and working on my dovetails now too. You’ve given me something to aim for.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#5 posted 10-21-2019 09:02 PM

Nice desk. That pinned open mortise/DT deal you have on the leg attachment is different.

Lotta pale colored woods, but with enough difference that the pieces look colored. Nice choices.

” Also during this project I finally figured out how reliably to get my chisels super sharp (thanks to a Paul Sellers video), which was a big help with chopping mortises in that hard-as-rock maple!”

A learning thing, is always a good thing.

I like the Maple because it’s pretty honest. Whack it there, and it spilts there, so many wanna chunk out. Sharp does help though..

-- Think safe, be safe

View Ryan Sandler's profile

Ryan Sandler

31 posts in 990 days


#6 posted 10-21-2019 11:24 PM



Nice desk. That pinned open mortise/DT deal you have on the leg attachment is different.

Lotta pale colored woods, but with enough difference that the pieces look colored. Nice choices.

- therealSteveN

The dovetail for the stretcher was in the plans, but the open mortise was more because I blew out the mortise wall with an unwise levering :-P. Figured I’d just roll with it. The joints between the back piece and the back legs have closed mortises, since I was more careful on those.

Possibly interesting tidbit on the wood color: the variation on the top is in part because the middle third is the “bottoms” of the original floorboards. The bottoms of the floorboards were of course unfinished and exposed to the air of the basement for decades, and colored pretty significantly as a result, enough to still be noticeable after planing. When I glued up the top, I did it in three pieces so I could run them over the jointer. Ended up deciding to flip the middle section over to get a three-broad-stripe effect, though it’s muddied somewhat by some natural color variation in the back third.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#7 posted 10-22-2019 03:50 AM

Like I said, good use of wood.

-- Think safe, be safe

View NormG's profile

NormG

6493 posts in 3539 days


#8 posted 10-22-2019 04:02 AM

You really did a nice job on the desk, it will be around for a long time

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

124 posts in 180 days


#9 posted 10-22-2019 08:54 PM

That is really, really nice.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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