Executive Desk How To's

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Forum topic by BreadWinner posted 09-10-2018 06:01 PM 1004 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 3499 days

09-10-2018 06:01 PM

My wife really likes these types of desks for our home office. I’m debating on whether or not I should tackle a project like this or not. The desks she likes appear to have some sort of veneer on the top? Is that difficult to do yourself? Is there a resource that shows the process? Also, I’m not necessarily sold on doing a veneer top to begin with but I could see myself going with a solid wood distressed panel. Any recommendations on where to get some of the metal and wood accent pieces that I could incorporate into it to make it rustic/industrial.

Here is an example of a desk she liked (I’d probably do more of a rustic look)
Example 1

Something like this without the curves in the casework (I definitely am not ready to do that)
Example 2

4 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


5893 posts in 2473 days

#1 posted 09-10-2018 06:16 PM

If you haven’t done something similar in the past, there are a lot of skill-building elements in making a desk like that.

The majority looks to be standard plywood panels so you would need to buy veneered plywood with grain/color that matches (or can be made to match) your hardwood trim and other parts. Speaking of trim, there are a number of profiled moldings that can be a challenge to make.

The veneered top looks to be three actual (framed) panels. Certainly doable, but it would require few hundred in a veneering system (pump, bag, glues, etc) and some practice. Alternatively you could use leather (current FWW magazine has a project with leather).

Your main driver will undoubtedly be when the wife expects it to be finished 8^).

View JADobson's profile


1449 posts in 3361 days

#2 posted 09-11-2018 03:56 AM

The Woodwhisperer just finished an executive desk build. Looks pretty sharp. Probably a guild project on his site. I’d check that out.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View dday's profile


180 posts in 2680 days

#3 posted 09-11-2018 01:03 PM

You could also do what I’ve done in the past, find an old trashed desk with a real wood top for cheap ( I got an old roll top mahogany desk for $100 without the top credenza) and take the top from it and refinish it. Then build the carcass that you want.

View Tony1212's profile


609 posts in 2985 days

#4 posted 09-11-2018 01:05 PM

I wasn’t a fan of The Wood Whisperer’s desk. Too modern for me, maybe? However, I love the 2nd example in the OP. That is totally something I would love to have if I had the space in my office. But those curvy bits at the corners would scare me. I have no idea how to do such a thing.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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