Spalted Maple Secretary Desk

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Project by LoganN posted 03-26-2013 02:44 PM 2450 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This desk is made of Spalted Maple and Katalox. I’d never used this wood before (Katalox) and I’m not sure that I ever will again. It is the densest wood I have ever used and it was tremendously difficult to work with. It does, however, have a natural beautiful contrast between the heart wood and sapwood, which is what gives it that neat dark/light look of the wood.
This was made to fit in a specific corner of our house and store some papers and the kids backpacks when they come home from school. The bottom 2 drawers are actually one large drawer. Hand cut mortises in the top hold the sides in place. Inside dividers are maple and walnut. Instead of using drop front supports (which I did purchase) I opted to have the first drawer act as support for the drop front. I also decided against putting any (OK, my wife decided) hardware on the drop front because the live edge of the wood is perfect to use as a way to open the drop front.
The drawers are made of simple 1/2” ply with the ends pinned using 1/4 walnut dowels. The desk itself is 43” tall, 14” deep, and 33” wide.
I finished it with Danish oil and Arm-R-Seal. Most of these pictures don’t give a really good idea of how beautiful the spalt lines are, but I simply love the top. Hope you like it

12 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3477 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 02:46 PM

Nice piece and beautiful wood.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 3303 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 03:08 PM

Wonderful wood. It can be displayed like a natural art piece

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 03:18 PM

The grain is gorgeous! I love that side panel. Nice!

-- Jay -

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2954 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 03:45 PM

beautiful desk

View Woodbridge's profile


3710 posts in 3029 days

#5 posted 03-26-2013 03:57 PM

Logan, that is a beautiful piece. The spalted maple looks great, I really like the through tenons on the top … a nice detail, and “your” decision to use the live edge instead of hardware to open the drop front was a great idea.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View gsimon's profile


1313 posts in 2724 days

#6 posted 03-26-2013 11:24 PM

this looks amazing! Great job
The contrast is so vivid it looks to be inlays

-- Greg Simon

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30505 posts in 2949 days

#7 posted 03-27-2013 12:42 AM

Nice looking desk.

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3301 days

#8 posted 03-27-2013 01:22 AM

A beautiful desk. I love the gorgeous wood choices and the drawer supporting the desk surface looks like a good idea to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Bobsboxes's profile


1408 posts in 3274 days

#9 posted 03-27-2013 02:34 AM

Very nice use of some beautiful wood, great contrast. Welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Kenns's profile


155 posts in 3202 days

#10 posted 03-27-2013 01:29 PM

This is really a nice piece. I love the Maple. Where did you every find such a beautiful selection of wood?

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3678 days

#11 posted 03-27-2013 01:36 PM

Beautiful!! Great job, welcome to LJ’s.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View LoganN's profile


457 posts in 2511 days

#12 posted 03-27-2013 09:17 PM

Thanks everyone. This is one of my favorite pieces so far! It is a great addition to the house.
I bought the wood at Pittsford Lumber in Pittsford, NY. They have a great selection of wood at decent prices.

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