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Old 07-22-2013, 03:05 AM
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Default Shaker Sewing Desk

The time has come to post the projects that haven't yet made it to the talkFestool forum.

The first project is a Shaker Sewing Desk that was made for my daughter, who lives in Pottstown, PA. It was begun at Chuck Bender's Acanthus Workshop, also in Pottstown, PA, in mid-October of 2011 in a woodworking class taught by Glen Huey. The plans for it can be found in a couple of Glen Huey's books. The piece was originally intended for use by two Shaker sisters, with three drawers reserved for each. I chose to make the piece using tiger maple for the visible frame, rails, stiles and work surfaces and curly cherry for the drawer fronts, door and panels.

The class lasted for 7 days, and as expected, the frame was completely assembled and wood prepared for the drawers, door and work surfaces. The frame was left with my daughter in Pottstown, and the wood for the drawers, work surfaces and door was brought back to my workshop in Connecticut.

The hand dovetailed drawers were completed in my workshop. Then the drawers, work surfaces and door were prepared for application of finish. Application of finish was performed in Pottstown during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I used an oil/varnish mixture to finish it and bring out the curl. Final rubbing out of the finish occurred shortly after New Years Day in 2012.

Here is a photo of the components completed by the end of the course:

The Tiger Maple work surfaces have not yet been been fastened/installed. The door is just sitting in its opening.


After constructing the drawers and applying finish to sewing desk:

The door still needs to be installed with hinges and lock.


Here is the finished desk after rubbing out the finish:



and with the additional work surface pulled out:


The construction of the frame involved over 100 mortise and tenon joints. If I build another one for my dughter-in-law, I very well may use dominos. Hand cut dovetails were used in the making of the drawers. As you can see, there are a lot of drawers in this unit, so my hand dovetailing skills improved somewhat during this experience.

This course was my first real woodworking course (if you don't count the Festool Router course) since 7th grade shop class. My major reason for taking the course was to identify methods of improving my productivity in the shop. I achieved that objective and was also able to make something nice for my daughter.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet

Last edited by CharlesWilson; 08-04-2013 at 03:44 AM. Reason: Submitted in error, removed stray asterisk, Finally Fixed Title
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

Very nice, Charles! I like your idea to use dominos in the future - they save so much time and are just as strong as traditional joinery.

I took the Festool router class 3 years ago in April. That was a great experience and I learned some new things that led me to buy an MFS after that. You never realize how much time and frustration the right tools save until you use them.

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Old 07-22-2013, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

Wow! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

That's just beautiful, Charles! Is that the first piece you've shared with us? Wonderful design and workmanship. I hope your daughter appreciates it.

I agree about the dominos. Mortise and tenons are fun for a while, but geez. Hundreds?!?

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Old 07-22-2013, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

Simply beautiful. I really like the contrasting colors.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

Lovely work Charles. just beautiful

Regards,

Rob
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Shaker Writing Desk

That's just beautiful!
I too like like the contrast, and love that curly maple!
Over 100 mortice & tenons and dovetailed drawers, this will last generations.
How did you go about making all of those?
The pull out table, is the central panel solid wood? I think i can see you have a solid wood edge all round.
Very nicely done
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Shaker Sewing Desk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
That's just beautiful, Charles! Is that the first piece you've shared with us?
There were a few others:

Writing Desk
(I keep modifying this writing desk, and will document the mods here on talkFestool)

Butterfly Style Dining Room Table

Pennsylvania Chest on Chest

My First Design/Build Project


Photos related to the Shaker Sewing Desk, and the corresponding class can be found on Flickr at:
Shaker Sewing Desk


Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet

Last edited by CharlesWilson; 08-04-2013 at 03:47 AM. Reason: Correct Title
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Shaker Sewing Desk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okami View Post
How did you go about making all of those?
The class had three or four mortisers available, and they were set up for different mortise locations and depths. There are a lot of identically placed mortises in this piece, so only a handful of setups were required.

In one of my upcoming projects I am planning to use a mortiser to cut finger joints onto the ends of 4" wide 8/4 Poplar. If my ceilings were higher, I probably would do it on the table saw.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet

Last edited by CharlesWilson; 08-04-2013 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Shaker Sewing Desk

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Originally Posted by Okami View Post
The pull out table, is the central panel solid wood?
Yes, the central part is solid wood rabbeted into the frame and glued only to the front part of the frame.

Charles
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Tools I Have Made: 3 Mallets, Layout Knife, a 1/8 inch Skew Chisel, a 1/4 inch Skew Chisel, Miter Box, 1/8 inch chisel, 3/32 inch chisel (from 3/32 Champion punch), Tool Cabinet

Last edited by CharlesWilson; 08-04-2013 at 03:50 AM.
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