Cherry Desk

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Project by Lenny posted 12-05-2020 04:07 PM 1478 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cherry desk was designed by Charles Durfee for Fine Woodworking magazine and appeared in issue #164 July/August 2003. The desk features a cabinet behind which resides three drawers of varying size. A fourth (pencil) drawer sits above the cabinet and a pull-out writing surface sits above the pencil drawer. The hideaway keyboard tray makes for a sleek look when it’s not in use. I’m very pleased with the desktop. To assure consistent color I made it from one ten-foot board of 8/4 stock. The desktop is 5 feet long, 26 inches wide and 13/16” thick. The cabinet is 24 inches square. This was a complex project that was a lot of work. Joinery runs the gamut and includes mortise and tenon, frame and panel and dovetails. While Durfee used solid maple for the drawers I opted for Baltic birch. Finish is three coats of Waterlox satin. Sorry for the photos. I took them as an afterthought so I had to pull out the desk from its location.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

23 comments so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


903 posts in 1112 days

#1 posted 12-05-2020 04:12 PM

Well made. I love frame and panel work. Are the stiles extended to become feet/legs or are they separate?

View Lenny's profile


1728 posts in 4860 days

#2 posted 12-05-2020 04:23 PM

BlueRidgeDog, thank you. They are extended. Two foot blocks are added to the front to mimic the side and back panels.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Oldtool's profile


3401 posts in 3524 days

#3 posted 12-05-2020 04:39 PM

Really very nice desk Lenny, beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

The top is excellent, and I assume that you re-sawed the 8/4 board, was this difficult?, how did you do it – by hand or machine?
I was tinkering with re-sawing yesterday, on soft pine, and the blade drift on my bandsaw was driving me nuts. I tried skewing the fence to match the drift angle, didn’t help. So if you have a good method, please inform.


-- "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 Lenny's profile


1728 posts in 4860 days

#4 posted 12-05-2020 04:47 PM

Thanks Tom. Yes, I cut the board in half along its width giving two five foot board. I resawed those boards giving me four roughly one inch thick boards. As for technique, I follow Alex Snodgrass’ methods. He claims if you have a properly tuned/set up band saw and a good blade there is no such thing as drift. I use “woodslicer” blades from Highland Woodworking. If you don’t know, Alex is a regular at the Woodworking Shows. You can do a YouTube search on “Alex Snodgrass bandsaw”.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Brodan's profile


457 posts in 2635 days

#5 posted 12-05-2020 04:57 PM

Wow. Beautiful piece of furniture.

-- Dan, TN

View swirt's profile


7092 posts in 4305 days

#6 posted 12-05-2020 07:10 PM

Great work on the desk. Well done. Seems like a really nice design too.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4376 days

#7 posted 12-05-2020 07:42 PM

Nicely done! You are a great craftsman. Glad to see you are still at it. I think Cherry is one of my favorite woods. Hope you are doing well and are having a Blessed holiday season. We haven’t been back east for some time now for obvious reasons. We are doing GREAT and looking forward to our next trip your way and maybe a cup of coffee or lunch with a fellow woodworker and lumberjock buddy.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


9309 posts in 2045 days

#8 posted 12-05-2020 10:35 PM

indeed …. this is 1 very nice desk ..... and will only get nicer as time goes by .... I love all the classic joinery …... GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View BurlyBob's profile


9511 posts in 3598 days

#9 posted 12-06-2020 12:18 AM

Really nice job. I would love to see it in a few years when it’s aged to a deep red. I bet it will look spectacular.

View Eric's profile


2830 posts in 1206 days

#10 posted 12-06-2020 01:24 AM

Looks beautiful, fine craftsmanship. Tony said it will look even better with age

-- Eric, building the dream

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6879 posts in 5312 days

#11 posted 12-06-2020 04:52 AM

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23270 posts in 5009 days

#12 posted 12-06-2020 04:55 AM

Nice desk Lenny.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Lenny's profile


1728 posts in 4860 days

#13 posted 12-06-2020 09:09 AM

Thank you for the kind feedback everyone.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Peteybadboy's profile


4327 posts in 3282 days

#14 posted 12-06-2020 11:48 AM

nice desk Lenny.

-- Petey

View LarryB's profile


127 posts in 3961 days

#15 posted 12-06-2020 01:18 PM

Wow, Lenny. That’s a great piece of work. It reeks of lots of hours. Nicely done. I second the comment about Woodmizer blades. My resawing efforts have greatly improved. It also takes a substantial bandsaw also.
Keep up the good work!

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