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We often get the opportunity to design and build unique pieces of furniture. The desk
described here is one such piece. While it presented some design and construction challanges, it was fun to do. It
was built to fit in a home office we built previously, and had a few design limitations.
First it had to fit in a small space, and it had to permit use by both the husband and wife, often
at the same time. Both the sides and the rear are large enough for a desk chair, so it can be multi functional. It
also had to match the furniture we had already built for the room, which meant using Quilted Makore veneer,
Mahogany lumber and Black granite.
The curves of the desk mimicked the curves of the cabinets in the rear of the room. This detail
alone made it impossible for the client to find a stock desk at any furniture store, and almost guaranteed us the
job, as we did have the matching veneers.
After having done a "mock up", shown below, (see mock ups article under the general woodworking
topics page), we were able to proceed with the construction. Since we did do the mock up, we were able to take
measurements directly from it. It also permitted making templates to the exact size and shape, saving considerable
Unfortunately, I haven't found the pictures of the top frame work being made. (I have a library of
pictures, totaling well over a thousand pictures, and they're numbered instead of named, so finding a certain group
can be pretty tough). When I find them, I'll add them.
The process was to miter the pieces while they were still straight boards. After the corners were
mitered, we made blind mortises and floating tenons to keep them strong. Before gluing them together we cut the
curves on the bandsaw, leaving about a 1/16" of extra wood, just in case we wandered off course with the bandsaw.
This is always a good idea, and while it's tempting to cut right on the line, it's really not worth the risk. We
then sanded the curves to our layout lines.
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