Antique oak double roll-top desk help

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Forum topic by Callred1975 posted 04-17-2017 02:45 AM 1134 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1688 days

04-17-2017 02:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: antique oak roll top desk identification

I’m an amateur and need help with a project. I found a very nice antique double roll-top desk that was strored and forgotten in the back of a garage for about 30 years. It’s solid oak, well made, and in excellent condition. The only problem is, it’s missing the legs. My question is… What would be the best way to attach legs to this desk? Keep in mind that, while I’m competent, this will be the first time I’ve attempted to work on a valuable antique.
Also, if anyone knows how to identify this piece I’d appreciate advice. There are no labels or writing anywhere on the desk. The person I got it from had it for 30 years and knew nothing of it’s history when he got it. Thanks

8 replies so far

View gmc's profile


75 posts in 3439 days

#1 posted 04-17-2017 10:38 AM

You will need to post some pictures to get any help otherwise we will be guessing. There are a lot of very talented folks here but they need to see what your desk looks like. If you need more post in order to do that add some comments to some of the other threads here, there are plenty of non woodworking related subjects. Welcome to the site.

-- Gary, Central Illinois

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3580 days

#2 posted 04-17-2017 11:19 AM

Were the legs part of the carcass and simply cut short? Your only option would be to add legs using dowels as connecting pins in that case without knocking the entire assembly apart. But without seeing the piece no one here can really say.

View LittleShaver's profile


778 posts in 1903 days

#3 posted 04-17-2017 01:15 PM

While you’re taking pictures, get one of a corner viewed from the bottom. I have an old Hoosier that has short legs that fit into metal brackets on the underside. Maybe you’ll get lucky and have something similar.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Callred1975's profile


3 posts in 1688 days

#4 posted 04-17-2017 04:31 PM

I tried to post pics last night, but the website must have been messed up. I kept getting errors. Here are some pics.

View Callred1975's profile


3 posts in 1688 days

#5 posted 04-17-2017 04:39 PM

Here are some more pics…

View ChefHDAN's profile


1829 posts in 4133 days

#6 posted 04-17-2017 06:46 PM

REALLY confusing pics, does it have 2 tambors???

I’m guessing pic #1 goes on top of pic #4 and there are no file type drawers, only legs to the casework holding the drawers??? Total guess, none of the pics appear to show where legs would attach. Did you find it in parts of disassemble it into the pieces shown? If there is space between the casework and the drawers then you could consider buying legs in oak to fit/function. Some better pictures would help with thoughts to help you, specifically where you believe drawers would attach.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 2048 days

#7 posted 04-18-2017 12:44 AM

You may want to try simple oak panels at the end of the drawer caucus. Something simple like 2’ deep x 2’-6” high panel from 3/4” oak plywood and edge band the panel edges. These are approx. sizes, you would need to determine the height by what you need for knee height and the depth will be dictated by the carcass depth. It looks like a very simple attachment, just screw it into the underside of the carcass below the drawers. If you get ambitious you could even put in a short back panel that would run between the leg panels for rigidity. Then get a little artsy and add some panel molding in the field of the panels to compliment the draw fronts …. simple, functional, and its your work :)
You could have a lot of fun with that desk :)

View mrg's profile


886 posts in 4283 days

#8 posted 04-18-2017 02:55 AM

Look up Finewoodworking yr of late 1981 or early 82 issue had plans for a roll top desk like that. It had a base as JayCee described.

-- mrg

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