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Building a Cherry Writing Desk

Building a Cherry Writing Desk

This writing desk is one of my favorite builds. Made from cherry, with spalted maple for the side panels and drawer pulls. The drawer pulls are held in place with walnut posts for a little accent.  If you are interested in the build process, here is a little build video.

I started out milling the legs and cutting them to length.  Then, I laid out the joinery and drew in the curve I liked for the legs.  It is way easier to cut all the joinery before cutting the curves.  This gives you a square reference face to work from.  It is also way easier to clamp a square block than something curved.

I cut off most of the shoulder for the tenons on the table saw.  I then fined-tuned the fit at the bench.  If one little thing is off at the table saw or the stretcher is slightly out of square, the shoulder won’t be even if you cut all four sides on the table saw.  I use a hand saw to cut the top and bottom shoulders away and clean up with a chisel.  I find it to be much more accurate. For the thickness of the tenon, I cut them just a little fat and sneak up on the fit with a shoulder plane.  I know guys who go through extreme measures with feeler gauges to set up the machines so that they fit perfectly every time.  Or so they say, but if you bump one little setting it all goes to hell.  Besides, there is a Zen quality to working with hand tools that I just like to do to finesse the fit.

Once I got the basic framework built I measured out for the side panels and booked matched them.  I used the same curve as on the legs, then decided to make it just a little more extreme so I just used my bench top sander to steepen up the curves.  (not shown in the video)

For the drawer pulled I really like making my own.  It really puts a personal touch on things that you can’t get anywhere else.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.