Child Desk of Cherry

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Project by Willdoc posted 02-10-2013 03:43 AM 3184 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My second piece of furniture for my now 4-year-old son is complete. I think it was a fairly ambitious project as my second. Both of my boys loved to watch as it slowly took shape over an hour or two, several nights per week, for (many) weeks.
I designed this one from scratch, based on the elements of the Child Chair and Step Stool of Cherry.
Some firsts:
- first breadboard ends
-first mortise and tenons
- first time using a spoke shave
- to make first curved aprons
- first time to cut my own walnut face grain plugs (thank you veritas plug cutters)
- first time to fashion my own design wood pull
-first secret compartment made (my son’s favorite feature—he’s reaching for the secret compartment in the picture, where I stashed some loot for him to find)

Things I would do differently the second time ‘round:
- 1 or 2” table top overhang, maximum
- make the effort and buy rift or quarter sawn cherry for the top and skip the breadboard ends (don’t like them as much as I thought I would)
-Make the top a touch thinner
- Make the legs a touch thicker
-design the drawer to use under-drawer slides, the side ones detract from my dovetailing work

- the curved aprons to side joinery is with dowels
- finish is waterlox (somewhere near 8 coats… lost count)
- The top is attached bolts on washers in elongated holes to allow movement
- the walnut dowel was exactly the wrong size from any standard forstner bit, so the accepting holes were cut with a circle cutter in the drill press (which took some filing to get down to just a scosh under 1.5”.)
- the secret compartment was built in under the drawer and can hold a fair amount of top secret stuff
- in all my brilliance, I glued the underbottom panel before I bolted on the top, only to find I could no longer access the bolt heads to tighten them in…... There was (#@)#ing….. So, I decided that, all along, I was going to add decorative 5/8” walnut hole plugs to the under desk surface. It’s just coincidence that they occur exactly over the top attachment bolt heads….

There’s very little in this world better than making something that your son loves.
Happy working!

-- I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them ** Thomas Jefferson

12 comments so far

View RiverWood's profile


115 posts in 4216 days

#1 posted 02-10-2013 04:09 AM

Great job, It is a really nice table. Your write up is very helpful. Thank you very much for the tips

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

View rickyrecon's profile


4 posts in 3429 days

#2 posted 02-10-2013 04:40 AM

Making something for your children or grandchildren makes it that much more special! Very nice design – like the color too.

View Retsof's profile


134 posts in 3691 days

#3 posted 02-10-2013 06:04 AM

Nice job! It looks like a pretty straight forward table until you get into the details. I like the pencil holder routed into the drawer front. I think the breadboard ends are nice too. I have been planning a cherry drafting table for a future build, so your project caught my attention when I saw the cherry top.

-- "There seems to be a black hole in my garage that swallows up pencils and tape measures as soon as I put them down."

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4323 days

#4 posted 02-10-2013 01:46 PM

That is a wonderful desk for a young child. I like the design. Good work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4533 days

#5 posted 02-10-2013 01:52 PM

Very well done…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3799 days

#6 posted 02-10-2013 03:45 PM

looks real nice

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3646 days

#7 posted 02-10-2013 04:01 PM

awesome job,cool design.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Dusty56's profile


11868 posts in 5144 days

#8 posted 02-10-2013 04:32 PM

Very nicely done : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 4851 days

#9 posted 02-10-2013 04:34 PM

Nice job very good work and I hope that your son becomes a woodworker as well…

-- Cosmicturner

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5033 days

#10 posted 02-10-2013 04:50 PM

A wonderful little desk.


View slimt's profile


111 posts in 4394 days

#11 posted 02-10-2013 08:05 PM

What a nice desk your boys will get a lot of use out of it well done .

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3632 days

#12 posted 02-12-2013 02:26 PM

Fantastic looking desk! Love the wood, joinery and the drawer with pull. Very lucky child!

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