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Drop-front Cherry Secretary

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Project by drsurfrat posted 09-16-2020 10:41 PM 614 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Drop front secretary made of cherry. We are waiting for the wood to darken and even out, hopefully. It is 44” tall, and 34” wide, and 16” deep when closed. Finished with Watco ‘natural’ Danish Oil.

The mechanism to support the desk when opened is automated. The support bars are linked to the desk surface and come out when you open it. See post:
https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/310740

I wanted the mechanism to be stainless, but didn’t want shiny, so I ended up using the Caswell stainless steel blackener. It worked well in my opinion.

It is all mortise and tenon, and was quite difficult to plan the order of the glue up. I think I dry-assembled it about 100 times before the first drop of glue. Especially hard was the front angled corner, 5 different parts come together there, and it is also where the stress concentrates when you lean on the desk surface.

I logged my time, and it took about 170 hours without the design time. My excuse: the only power tool I have is a table saw for ripping, everything else was done by pull saw, chisels, hand planes, etc. Nice and quiet. Oh yea, a random orbital sander (power tool?), not so quiet.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me





15 comments so far

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

11196 posts in 1831 days


#1 posted 09-16-2020 11:05 PM

nice work doc,i love cherry one of my favorite woods.you should put it outside for a day youd be surprised how fast it would darken.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View drsurfrat's profile (online now)

drsurfrat

82 posts in 34 days


#2 posted 09-16-2020 11:41 PM

Thanks. I would take it outside except that (remote) school has started and it’s already being used. I’ll just have to wait.
Cherry is my -and also my wife’s- favorite, which makes design choices easy.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View swirt's profile

swirt

5453 posts in 3819 days


#3 posted 09-17-2020 01:13 AM

Nice work. And seconding Pottz’s recommendation, sunlight will darken it up pretty quickly.

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

View Eric's profile

Eric

403 posts in 720 days


#4 posted 09-17-2020 01:14 AM

Beautiful piece, very well done. Impressive is the hand tools use.

-- Eric, building the dream

View pottz's profile (online now)

pottz

11196 posts in 1831 days


#5 posted 09-17-2020 01:32 AM



Nice work. And seconding Pottz s recommendation, sunlight will darken it up pretty quickly.

- swirt


yeah ya gotta be careful if project takes awhile,ive had boards that were partially covered have dark spots where the sun hit and light areas that were covered.thats when the sander comes out.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

4693 posts in 2469 days


#6 posted 09-17-2020 10:47 AM

beautiful desk and more so that it was made using “hand tools”

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

340 posts in 2274 days


#7 posted 09-17-2020 12:24 PM

Nice work. I’m curious, did you do the floor inlay?

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View hockeyfan_019's profile

hockeyfan_019

43 posts in 80 days


#8 posted 09-17-2020 02:01 PM

Just FYI, if you want rapid darkening, try using a solution of lye to expedite the process. Since lye is a strong oxidizer, you get instant results. If you want to get an idea of the results, spray a bit of “Easy Off” oven cleaner on an off-cut, main ingredient = lye, but also has other “bad” stuff like soaps for cleaning. Best to use a weak lye solution made with lye crystals and water, but use plenty of water, work in a well ventilated area, and wear safety glasses, gloves, and a ventilator. You will be shocked and amazed at the speed of the results, and the depth of color you can achieve virtually instantly.

-- Most of my tools are older than I am

View grovemadman's profile

grovemadman

659 posts in 4619 days


#9 posted 09-17-2020 02:13 PM

That’s a good looking piece of furniture!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1217 posts in 448 days


#10 posted 09-17-2020 02:17 PM

Great hand tool work! Total inspiration.

View drsurfrat's profile (online now)

drsurfrat

82 posts in 34 days


#11 posted 09-17-2020 04:07 PM

Thank you all.

The desk’s in use, so it will have to take sunlight from the window… which is probably e-glass and blocks UV.

The floor came with the house, not my work. It does make my piece look better :)

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View Calmudgeon's profile

Calmudgeon

340 posts in 2274 days


#12 posted 09-17-2020 04:21 PM

I have a house full of cherry cabinetry and millwork (and all new Low-E windows). Trust me, provided the finish doesn’t contain a UV protectant, it will age just fine in any room with natural light. The only pieces I’ve built that are slow to age are vanities and medicine cabinets in windowless bathrooms.

For my own purposes, I’m happy to let the process take a while. That’s why it’s called ageing, after all.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4867 posts in 2836 days


#13 posted 09-17-2020 09:41 PM

Excellent work…A good looking and useful desk.

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

2286 posts in 2414 days


#14 posted 09-17-2020 11:41 PM

Very nice work on a great desk. I really like the slick trick opening mechanism.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View drsurfrat's profile (online now)

drsurfrat

82 posts in 34 days


#15 posted 09-18-2020 12:23 AM

ad majorem dei gloriam
thanks, it was fun to design

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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