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Forum topic by MJCD posted 09-29-2017 09:19 PM 827 views 3 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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603 posts in 3148 days

09-29-2017 09:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: desk contemporary desk writing desk

I’m hoping the images post correctly.

The Desk is a throwback to a writing desk approach, with the primary focus to regain my desktop from computer monitors, keyboard, and mouse (though, in use, it’s excellent serving my computer needs as well (monitors are on the shelf, keyboard & mouse sit there, as well, when not in-use.

Some Details:
The base & legs are European Beech, with the desktop & shelves being Walnut; some functional accessory Walnut pieces are used to cover tenons (where the legs intersect) and as a spacer/bracer on the back legs.
The desk is about 60” wide, at the back; and 56” at the front; and 25” deep, 5/4 Walnut used for the desktop. Primary arcs (desktop: front, back, sides; the shelf and base are formed by a 93” radius; and the individual radii are connected using a 2.5” radius curve. The legs are have a progressively increasing width, bottom to top; as well as a progressive arc, bottom to top.

All joints are M&T, and the risers (which support the Shelf) are M&T, as well.

I’ve been asked if I could share the build-plan; and I will, once I document it. Of course, I have no dibs on the design, so if anyone is interested in additional details, I’ll be happy to provide them.

Everyone, Do Take Care.

6 replies so far

View pontic's profile


797 posts in 1385 days

#1 posted 09-29-2017 09:21 PM

Freak’n Awsome!!!~

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View bk3132's profile


11 posts in 1017 days

#2 posted 09-29-2017 09:25 PM

Awesome. I love the sapwood streaks in the walnut. Plays nice with the beech legs. How long did it take you to make this beauty?

View MJCD's profile


603 posts in 3148 days

#3 posted 09-29-2017 11:04 PM

Build time is about 20 hours, once I had the leg template settled – the legs have a complex geometry, and I tested several profiles before settling into the one used. Also, the 93” radius, used throughout, required some trial & error – 93” radius yields a 5” rise over 60” (width), which is the gentle curve I had in mind.


View L3Woodworks's profile


41 posts in 4269 days

#4 posted 10-01-2017 01:21 AM

Talk about leading by example….Damn! I’m following.

-- We are all just one moment of arrogance away from disaster

View LucasElef's profile


10 posts in 1024 days

#5 posted 10-02-2017 03:33 PM

Very nice! I’m interested to see how you did the legs without cutting out from a huge expensive section.

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603 posts in 3148 days

#6 posted 10-09-2017 03:32 PM


Great Question – clearly, you can see this as a major design issue.

I fretted this, and tried several alternative layouts; as there can be incredible waste, and burning-of-cash – the Leg’s overall width (13” from outside bottom to outside top). As you know, much depends on the board’s width… which was 6” in my case.
The decision came down to:

1) a 4-board wide side-grain to side-grain glue-up, then nesting the profiles of legs 1-3; 4-6 slightly offset from each other (to allow for bandawing) – this nesting approach moves the next leg down about 3” from the preceding board, offset by about 2” to the side (tough to explain). The 1st leg spans boards 1 & 2, part of 3; the second board (its starting edge about 2” offset from the previous board’s starting edge, and about 3” lower; also spans boards 1, 2 & 3; Leg 3 would start overlapping boards 1 & 2; and potentially span to board 4. At this point, you have to begin the sequence again, 25” lower than the starting point for Leg 1.

2) an end-grain to side-grain ‘extension’ which becomes the curved portion of the leg, once bandsawn. This approach is significantly more board-efficient; however, you now have end-to-side grain issues: wood movement can weaken the joint, and the aesthetics can be compromised.

If I was rich or selling this for a hefty sum, I would opt for door #1, without hesitation; being a former finance guy, and funding it myself, I chose door #2. Part of my decision rests on the stability of European Beech (low wood movement) and its tight grain (the grain-mismatch at joint is not pronounced).

I’m detailing all of this, for my own purposes (a ritual of mine); and I’ll make it available to LJ members – if anyone would be interested; when complete.

Again, Great Question.

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