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Rolltop Desk – Main Desk

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My daughter asked for a desk for her room, and I made the mistake of asking what kind and she picked out an old style rolltop style desk.  Eventually we settled on this from Woodsmith.  I’ve now completed the main desk (but still need to do the internal organizer shelf and drawers)

It took roughly 2 1/2 months from start to finish, including several weekends lost to a friend’s project and summer vacation.  It’s certainly my most ambitious piece in terms of style and precision to date.  It’s a first for me on several fronts – tambours obviously – but also my first mortise and tenon joints on the base as well as first time template routing.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how this came out.  The base sat solidly without wobble from the get-go.  The door slides pretty well.  It looks sharp and feels really nice.

The finish is natural with wipe on poly (3 coats mostly, with 5 on the main desk surface).  It was finish rubbed with wool/paste wax.

Learning points – I had to cut half another set of tambours due to cutting half a touch too short.  The uneveness is there if you are looking for faults right at it.  Also – due to limited wood (from doing half the work twice), I couldn’t reject all tambours I wanted, and two or three have flaws if you are looking closely.  Finally, with similar constraints on the desk area, I could not get 6 matching pieces and there are two lighter pieces in the back.  After the organizer goes in, this is mostly hidden.