Jefferson Desk

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Project by Aries Bergsma posted 04-21-2013 06:19 PM 2144 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While we were away on our holiday I read an article about the Thomas Jefferson desk which was designed by Jefferson and built by a cabinet maker in Philadelphia. The original desk which weighs a mere 5 lbs. is in the Smithonian. Jefferson used this desk for about 50 years, it was used to formulate the Declaration of Independance. It intrigued me and I thought I would construct one using all recycled materials. The main writing surface is made of poplar the main case is made from pine, the bracket holding the writing pad is made from 1/8 inch oak. Due to the thickness of the wood and to maintain the weight and originality I had to grind the screws down to make sure they did not penetrate through the other side of the wood. I used an old brass kitchen cupboard handle for the drawer, the face of the drawer in Staghorn Sumac. The project took me about 13 hours to build as I only had a photo and description to go by, my next project will be the Jefferson rotating book shelf.

-- AGB

8 comments so far

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2983 days

#1 posted 04-21-2013 06:22 PM

that is very slick, nice dovetails too.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4490 days

#2 posted 04-21-2013 06:33 PM

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30576 posts in 3251 days

#3 posted 04-21-2013 10:41 PM

That’s an awesome piece. Deserves top 3 status.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Amoc's profile


53 posts in 2877 days

#4 posted 04-22-2013 03:52 PM

The Origanal LapTop. Nicely done!

-- Ken from Ft Hood, TX

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3779 days

#5 posted 04-22-2013 03:56 PM

That’s a wonderful piece. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3088 days

#6 posted 04-24-2013 02:30 PM

Beautiful and unique piece. Great execution and joinery. Superb work!

View Schwieb's profile


1914 posts in 4374 days

#7 posted 05-04-2013 04:09 PM

I like this project and have marked it as a favorite. I’ll have to research this a little more and then come up with my own version. Thanks for posting. This is very nice work.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View intjonmiller's profile


20 posts in 2734 days

#8 posted 04-07-2015 04:52 PM

Beautiful work. I’ve been wanting to build one of these for a couple years, since I first saw it in (?) Fine Woodworking (?), but modified as a portable art desk for my daughter. I even bought a lot of the wood and hardware two years ago but my shop wasn’t set up well enough to really do the work until now. Her birthday is in two weeks so I need to get started! :)

Thanks for the great photos to help me with my own build!

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