Popular Woodworking 2009-04 № 175, страница 36

Popular Woodworking 2009-04 № 175, страница 36

Gentle curves and elegant details provide a place

to get work done in style.


Wntinp Desk


friend of mine recently moved into a small apartment in Providence and needed a place from which she could pay bills, do paperwork and park her computer. But the apartment is small, so the desk would be very visible. In addition to being functional, it had to look good. Needless to say, I've been looking at a lot of desks lately. And I came up with a streamlined design that has a little class; plus it fits her tastes and her space.

The design of this desk was inspired by the clean lines of Austrian Biedermeier furniture Irom the period 1815-1850, which preceded and influenced the popular Art Deco style. Biedermeier furniture copies the designs and elements found in both classical furniture and architecture: columns, arches, entablatures and graceful tapering legs.

Elegant details. Simple details combine to provide an elegant yet understated look.


The desk is compact, measuring 22" deep x 36" wide x 293A' high and features slender saber-shaped legs, punctuated with a small bead around each ankle and another wrapping around the desk, just below the two drawers. The generous inset dovetailed drawers are fitted with turned knobs.

The desk hasacenter partition that divides it in two and sits upon the drawer web (or frame). The drawers ride on the web and are guided into the interior of the desk.

In this article, I'll concentrate on the const ruct ion of i he desk and only brieily ment ion the makingand fitting of the drawers because the topic was recently covered in the February 2009 issue (#174).

Selecting the Stock

I chose mahogany for its warm color, generally mild grain and wonderful working properties. It's a wood that ages well and develops a rich patina over time while surviving the inevitable nicks, dents and unintentional abuse that is the fate of furniture.

Soft maple is a good choice for the secondary wood used to make the drawer parts (sides, back and bottom), web and guides. It's strong enough for the job, machines well and is easily worked with hand tools. It also provides a nice contrast to the deep color ofthe mahogany. I pulled some 8/4 stock for the l3/4"-square legs, 4/4 for the skirts and top and 4/4 maple for the drawers and web frame.

After milling and squaring the leg stock

to PA" and drawing the template pattern for the legs, trace the outline onto :he leg blanks. Make sure to orient the outlines correctly. This is crucial to the proper placement ofthe



Long as I can. To maximize the length ofthe tenons in the rear legs, the ends are mitered.

On the side. The upper front rail is horizontal, and joins the tops ofthe legs with a carcase dovetail joint.


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