Stickley #708 Writing Desk in QSWO

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Project by Vincent Nocito posted 04-15-2014 02:19 PM 6546 views 14 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of a Stickley #708 writing desk (aka post card desk). It is made from QSWO and measures 40”w, 22” d and 30” h (36” with the stationary gallery). I made a few changed from the original to avoid structural issues found in the antique original. The legs are laminated with qs veneer so that the rays are visible on all sides. The desk is frame and panel construction.

The stationary gallery is removable. The drawers have machine cut dovetails.

The finish is Trans Tint reddish brown dye followed by a seal coat of General Seal A Cell. The glaze coat is General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel stain followed by 3 coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. The desk is finished with clear Briwax. I sanded to 320 and 400 grit between finish coats and 0000 steel wool before the wax.

19 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


2778 posts in 4653 days

#1 posted 04-15-2014 03:22 PM

Very nice. Love the style and the color.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View pintodeluxe's profile


6544 posts in 4313 days

#2 posted 04-15-2014 03:36 PM

Great looking desk, I like the tall back panel. That should give the desk good strength over the years.
Nice job on the finishing too. Did the color change much when you applied the gel stain? The final color looks more like the transtint dye than the antique walnut color. Looks great.


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 4863 days

#3 posted 04-15-2014 03:47 PM

The color after the dye step is almost a dark salmon/pinkish color. After the Seal A cell it is a bit darker and the rays pop a bit more. The real contrast comes after the glaze and topcoat. I was trying to match the color of my bedroom set. It used a walnut gel stain that is no longer available so color matching was a bit of a challenge.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1611 posts in 3133 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 04:00 PM

Nice job. Looks really nice.

-- Jeff NJ

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4342 days

#5 posted 04-15-2014 04:10 PM

Looks like you were up o the challenges! Nice piece sir!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 04-15-2014 04:43 PM

beautiful work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3792 days

#7 posted 04-15-2014 06:26 PM

Very nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4985 days

#8 posted 04-15-2014 07:49 PM

That’s a beauty!
On the issue of stains, I do am having to relearn new techniques with these new formula’s.

-- Doug...

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 4863 days

#9 posted 04-15-2014 08:15 PM

Thanks for the nice comments. A good guide to A&C finishing by Jeff Jewitt can be found at:

I typically use 80 drops of reddish brown Trans Tint dye in 8 ounces of distilled water as my stock staining solution. I prefer the liquid dye since it dissolves instantly and does not require filtering. Use distilled water to avoid black stains on oak.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5085 days

#10 posted 04-15-2014 10:05 PM

A very classy piece of useable art, very lovely indeed.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4647 days

#11 posted 04-16-2014 12:28 AM

That is a great looking writing desk! The finish is great—really pops that ray fleck!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3756 days

#12 posted 04-16-2014 12:30 AM

Vincent, what a great looking project! It almost makes me wish that I had a need for a writing desk. The grain is outstanding and your finish accentuates it well. Thank you for sharing.

-- Art

View goggy's profile


74 posts in 4916 days

#13 posted 04-16-2014 02:20 AM

Very nice! I like the finish as well.

View BillG's profile


82 posts in 5050 days

#14 posted 04-16-2014 11:24 AM

Great job Vincent. The look is awesome as is the craftsmanship. Flush drawers always look better and you did a great job on fitting them.

Another project to be proud of.


-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 4567 days

#15 posted 04-16-2014 12:45 PM

Very nice, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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