Writing Desk

Not every piece of furniture from the homestead has to be rustic. It’s a lot of fun working green and making staked furniture with creative designs that incorporate unique shapes and grains, but traditional pieces with clean lines are a delight, as well.

For this three-drawer writing desk, Joe selected a variety of dried lumber from stock that has traveled with us all the way from Bellingham WA, including walnut, ash and cherry. For the top, he selected a west-coast-native madrone.

Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
walnut, shining in the morning sun
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
PNW-native madrone…

This wood was not hand-harvested, but came from a lumber supply company called Edensaw in Port Townsend WA. A good lumber supplier with a variety of woods is a great benefit to traditional furniture-making, both because you can find pieces that you can’t harvest from your own land, and because the years-long drying process means quite a bit of necessary storage if you’re trying to do it all yourself. So we content ourselves with harvesting where we can, and searching out and hand-selecting pieces from lumber suppliers where we can find them.

Combining different wood species like these, with their individual characteristics of color and grain, is part of the charm of hand-crafted furniture, too.

smoothing
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
chamfering
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
shaping
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
preparing for dovetails
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
sawing carefully
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
the completed frame

Each piece having been shaped and smoothed and dry-fit, all joints were secured with hide glue, and all surfaces rubbed down with a hand-blended mix of turpentine, flax oil, and beeswax for a natural, durable finish.

Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.

And now, a classic, three-drawer writing desk is ready for use.

Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.

And the true test of the success of a desk – in the morning, everyone wants to use it!

Hand-crafted writing desk at RivenJoiner.com, dovetailed drawers.
…three kids, all cheerfully determined to fit at one, new writing desk!

by Sydney Michalski

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