Arts and Crafts Style Desk
My son loves to play computer games, and is reluctant to do his homework. He needed a place to do both tasks, however, so I designed and built this arts and crafts influenced desk from white oak. The legs were cut from an 8/4 board. The front apron rail is quartersawn and has a nice ray fleck figure. The drawer front is cut from the apron rail so the grain match is continuous. The drawer is constructed with hand cut dovetails. The desk has two features I never tried before–a breadboard end top and through mortise and tenon joints on the stretcher rail on the bottom. My son chose the stain color (he initialy wanted black stain, which I thought would look cool, but he found a medium stain color he liked better) and is topped by three coats of wipe on poly. This was a satisfying build that challenged me and turned out well.
The finished desk is just the right size. The front apron is quartersawn, so the ray fleck is prominant.
The most challenging part of the desk was the interior drawer frame. The front apron had to be kept square while keeping the drawer runners and kickers in their mortises.
The bottom rail is chamfered and makes a great footrest. It has through tenons on each end and is pinned underneath with oak dowels. There is no glue in this joint.
The breadboard ends on the desk top are pinned through the tenons with oak dowels. The middle dowel is glued in place, and the end dowels are allowed to move in elogated slots in the tenons. The top is glued up from three 8" wide boards.
My son operates the mortiser and really did a great job! It was fun having him help with the build.