Arts & Crafts Writing Desk

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Project by mjon posted 03-12-2008 05:10 AM 10249 views 23 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This desk is made from solid quarter-sawn white oak. The top weighed a ton, and was hand-planed. The drawers feature hand-cut dovetails and the square pegs are ebony from recycled piano keys. The finish was first dyed with a Mission Walnut dye, and then I followed that with two coats of dark Danish oil, followed up by two sealer coats of Waterlox, followed up by four coats of a linseed/beeswax mixture. On the top I used Waterlox high-gloss, and then buffed it all out for a nice sheen. The dye really makes the quarter-sawn oak pop. I’ve made several pieces for this customer, and this is the way I’ve done all of their pieces. Stain is evil, stain is bad—but it works for Mission-style furniture, so what can I say?

Thanks for all your great comments – What was that I read about Ellvis and Norm in the same sentence?

26 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4546 days

#1 posted 03-12-2008 05:16 AM

Great job. Seems that a lot fine hand work went into it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4643 days

#2 posted 03-12-2008 05:18 AM

Wow! Boy did that grain pop. I love the finish. I like the hardware as well. Great job.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4379 days

#3 posted 03-12-2008 05:21 AM

This is a wonderful table. The joinery looks good and the finish brings out the best qualities of the wood.

Very nice project.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dano's profile


222 posts in 4589 days

#4 posted 03-12-2008 05:29 AM

Sweet, I like it, only wish I had some place to put a piece like it.

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4831 days

#5 posted 03-12-2008 05:31 AM

That turned out really nice. I like quarter sawn white oak a lot and use it in most all of my projects. Great craftsmanship.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4540 days

#6 posted 03-12-2008 05:52 AM

great grain selection ! you do nice work.

welcome to lumberjocks

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4331 days

#7 posted 03-12-2008 06:06 AM

Outstanding job on the desk. You did a beautiful job on it. The finish really makes the piece. Thanks for posting.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4554 days

#8 posted 03-12-2008 08:29 AM

Wow – superb job on this piece!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4623 days

#9 posted 03-12-2008 09:45 AM

Beautiful choice of wood and the finish is spectacular. I really like the clean uncluttered design of the desk – another project that allows the wood to be the star. Very Nice Work!

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4491 days

#10 posted 03-12-2008 11:06 AM

What a beautiful piece! Great craftsmanship, thanks for sharing it.

-- Robb

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 4340 days

#11 posted 03-12-2008 11:54 AM

Great desk! I agree with you—solid qswo can get very heavy—- quick!
Dye/stain combo is really the best way to get the grain to pop and showcase the Arts & Crafts style.


View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4884 days

#12 posted 03-12-2008 01:21 PM

This piece is sensational, truly great work!
I love the look of the whole piece.

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4609 days

#13 posted 03-12-2008 02:46 PM

Beautiful desk, You do great work. Thank you for the post.

-- Hope Never fails

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4302 days

#14 posted 03-12-2008 03:02 PM

Very nice. I like the design.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4776 days

#15 posted 03-12-2008 04:21 PM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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