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Rustic'ish desk. FINISHED

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Rustic'ish desk. FINISHED

Postby Pinch » 08 Mar 2018, 21:26

Good evening my fellow woody chaps! 8-)

I wasn't sure if I had already started a thread about this project. I've been in search and can't find anything, so this tells me I couldn't have started a thread about this project. :lol: :eusa-doh:

The clients approached me last summer with a really good brief including a sketched line drawing and dimensions etc. They wanted to go with the same wood as their TV stand which is a dense hardwood, possibly mango or something like that. After making enquiries, I couldn’t find anything, so the clients were happy to go with African walnut as a substitute – a very expensive one at that. The timber came in (if memory serves) around £1,800 plus my labour making the project way too expensive, so at the time, this is where I was........

I’m reviewing the situation,
Can a fellow be a chippy all his life,
All the trials and tribulations,
Better settle down and get myself a....hmmm... already got one thank you Mr Fagin!

Doobeedoobeedumdum-diddlydoodiddlydoodiddlydum...

I think I better think it out again! :obscene-drinkingcheers:

A man's got a heart, hasn't he...?

Moving on...



Long-short - after a bit more research, I invited the client over to the workshop for a look at my wood samples. By the end of the meeting, the brief was now pine with straight forward construction – no dovetails, so I suggested giving the desk a bit more character by maybe veneering the drawer fronts in yew and perhaps ebony string. This was a direct hit with the client, so I later revised the price and the job was now on!

As the clients were then away in America for 2 months, I waited until they returned before I started, mainly because I anticipated things could change with the desk – and they did, a bit. :eusa-think:

I started the work just before Christmas and then shelved it to get on with another job, which I don’t normally do, but on this particular occasion, all was dandy.

Now up to date: I was back on the desk last week with only the two little doors and a couple more drawers to make and then veneer the drawer fronts.

Not much in the way of work-in-progress, but I have taken some photos of the veneer work.

Okay... first up, here is the drawing work with a few alternate options. Straight forward twin pedestal desk with desktop 'hutch' as they say in America.
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And now onto the veneering - nice bit of yew.
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And here, I’m preparing the veneer ready to glue on to the drawer fronts. After establishing proportions with trying to leave as much of the sapwood on show, I’ve cut the vertical lines ready for the ebony string and cross band of heartwood yew.
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Both leaves now ready for gluing. If these leaves were any more curly, I would have gone through the flattening process first.
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Middle drawer front.
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Desktop drawer front.
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Here is everything organised and ready to go...

As I’m low on other veneer stock, I decided to use some oak construction veneer for the internal face of the drawer fronts.
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Firstly, the oak.
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Glue (Titebond 3) applied.
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Pine panel on the oak.
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Glue applied to the panel.
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Veneer leaf on the pine board and taped down to hopefully prevent any slip sliding away.
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Transferred onto the press. Yes I know, still back in the whenever times, although I did advanced from wooden clamps to cast iron jobbies a few years back.
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Newspaper under and over the work.
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MDF board and bearers on top.
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And fully clamped.
After a few minutes of clamping, I check the clamps for tightness and often tighten up a bit more.
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Newspaper doing its job - catching the surplus glue.
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Then out of the way so I can get on with other work – lovely jubbly.
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I always look forward to arriving in the shop next morning after a glue session, although with veneer work, I’m always only very slightly apprehensive - but all was beautiful.

With the woodwork now complete, I’m just waiting on the client to decide which colour finish to go with and she’s also providing the pull handles.

Initially, I wasn’t overly struck on this project and the client lady wanted a rustic finish to the external edges, so I’ve sort of bull nosed them with irregular waves of humps and bumps. I know she’s already happy with this detail because I gave her a sample beforehand. But, she might want me to elaborate the edges a bit more yet.

So, saying I wasn’t overly struck is a complete understatement, the end result (excluding the finish) is I think, beautiful. I am really pleased with the way this bespoke desk has turned out - she's a reet beauty!

Some photos... Please excuse the tape as temporary pulls.

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The next few photos were an opportunity to take them while the sun was beaming through the workshop door and onto the desk. The lady wanted rustic edges and after making a sample piece, she loved it, so I applied this throughout the desk - I think I've already mentioned this detail (I'm reviewing...). The sun picks it out pretty well and I must say, it's grown on me - I love it too. You should be able to see subtle humps n bumps along the external edges.
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And finally, here are a few finishing options - which will she prefer :eusa-think:
Left - light oak. Middle - clear. Right - antique pine.
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I'm going to recommend using a clear finish throughout.

Apart from fitting the pull handles, glazing the doors and applying the finish, that's it - but not necessarily in that order.

Thoughts are welcome.

Much obliged.

Many thanks,
8-)
Last edited by Pinch on 27 Mar 2018, 19:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby DaveL » 08 Mar 2018, 22:43

That must of been a very old yew tree. I like the way you used it on the drawers, very nice.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Jimmy Mack » 08 Mar 2018, 23:15

Smashing job mega post!... The veneer work looks lurvly especially with the sappy yew and... good work on the cold press cauls...I always have a flipping disaster using cauls on pieces of that size... So I doff me flat cap to you sir.

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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Rod » 08 Mar 2018, 23:30

Lovely work as usual Paul - I hope she goes or your pale finish option.

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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Mike G » 09 Mar 2018, 08:38

That's really nice. I think the stringing makes it. It doesn't look anything much on paper, so I can see why you weren't over-excited with it initially. The only thing I'd comment on is that you might be a bit bolder with what you carve away from the edge of the edges.

The handles? Have you seen them? What are they like?

Oh, and another vote for a clear finish. If you can do a non-yellowing one (water-based varnish, perhaps, or Rustins Plastic Coating), so much the better.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Malc2098 » 09 Mar 2018, 09:02

Love it!

Clear finish!
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Andyp » 09 Mar 2018, 09:40

At the moment those lovely yew drawer fronts look a bit at odds with the pine top but I have no doubt between you and the client the right choice of stain and finish will be made.
cheers

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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby TrimTheKing » 09 Mar 2018, 11:39

Very nice mate. I echo Mike’s comments, you’ve definitely made the best of an initially uninspiring piece!

Bravo!



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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Phil » 09 Mar 2018, 11:59

That is very nice Paul.

Agree, stringing makes it "interresting".

Clear finish.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Woodbloke » 09 Mar 2018, 12:28

DaveL wrote:That must of been a very old yew tree. I like the way you used it on the drawers, very nice.

Beat me to it; unusual to see the grain orientated this way. It works though and the desk has turned out posh, init! :D - Rob
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Jonathan » 09 Mar 2018, 20:25

Super veneer work Paul, love the design of the veneer too.
For me It's such a shame the cabinet was pine, if you where making it for me and the budget ment pine casrsase, I would have to experiment with Chinese black or some thing to kill the pine.
Yep would of been super nice in walnut.

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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:24

DaveL wrote:That must of been a very old yew tree. I like the way you used it on the drawers, very nice.


Thanks Dave 8-)
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:26

Jimmy Mack wrote:Smashing job mega post!... The veneer work looks lurvly especially with the sappy yew and... good work on the cold press cauls...I always have a flipping disaster using cauls on pieces of that size... So I doff me flat cap to you sir.

Hi five.

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Thanks Jim 8-) I've never used a vacuum press. I've experience the odd leaf go slippy sliding, but normally quite a trusty old method for me.

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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:28

Rod wrote:Lovely work as usual Paul - I hope she goes or your pale finish option.

Rod


Thanks Rod 8-) So do I, but I have the feeling she's going to go for the darker option.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:34

Mike G wrote:That's really nice. I think the stringing makes it. It doesn't look anything much on paper, so I can see why you weren't over-excited with it initially. The only thing I'd comment on is that you might be a bit bolder with what you carve away from the edge of the edges.

The handles? Have you seen them? What are they like?

Oh, and another vote for a clear finish. If you can do a non-yellowing one (water-based varnish, perhaps, or Rustins Plastic Coating), so much the better.


Thanks Mike 8-) I was mainly underwhelmed because the desk was originally drifting into the £9k+ bracket, and then the revisions dropped it considerably down to £3.5k. Not that I dislike pine by any means - I love the wood. Yes, you could be right about the edges. I'm going to wait for the client's instruction before I do anything.

Nope, not seen the handles yet. They are apparently oil bronzed pulls.

Yep, good tip... I already have some Ronseal water based non-yelowing in stock. 8-)
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:34

Malc2098 wrote:Love it!

Clear finish!


Good old one-liner! 8-)

Thanks Malc. 8-)
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:37

Andyp wrote:At the moment those lovely yew drawer fronts look a bit at odds with the pine top but I have no doubt between you and the client the right choice of stain and finish will be made.


Thanks Andy 8-) Hmmm, I quite like it. I'm really not sure where she will want to go with it at the moment. I don't generally like stain full stop. I much prefer to let the wood do its own talking. 8-)
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:39

TrimTheKing wrote:Very nice mate. I echo Mike’s comments, you’ve definitely made the best of an initially uninspiring piece!

Bravo!



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Thanks Mark 8-) Yeah, I think it's a beautiful little desk.

:text-bravo:
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:40

Phil wrote:That is very nice Paul.

Agree, stringing makes it "interresting".

Clear finish.


Thanks Phil 8-) What's that saying again... "There's no veneer in 'ere." :lol:
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:43

Woodbloke wrote:
DaveL wrote:That must of been a very old yew tree. I like the way you used it on the drawers, very nice.

Beat me to it; unusual to see the grain orientated this way. It works though and the desk has turned out posh, init! :D - Rob


Thanks Rob 8-) Indeed, the yew makes it what it is.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 09 Mar 2018, 21:49

Jonathan wrote:Super veneer work Paul, love the design of the veneer too.
For me It's such a shame the cabinet was pine, if you where making it for me and the budget ment pine casrsase, I would have to experiment with Chinese black or some thing to kill the pine.
Yep would of been super nice in walnut.

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Thanks Jonathan 8-) yep, it was all about the price and I had to go for budget on everything to make it pay for me to make it for her - she knew this of course and was very cool about it. Although the client likes dark brown wood, she didn't want anything too dark. I like your suggestion though - would have worked well with the yew in its natural form.
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Re: Rustic'ish desk.

Postby Pinch » 27 Mar 2018, 19:29

Thankfully, the client went with the clear finish option. 8-)

When she visited the workshop last week to have a look, she couldn't contain her excitement and she was very happy. Always gives me a great feeling when the client expresses their emotions of excitement and joy.

With the finish now applied and the photo shoot finished, here is the desk - looking rather rustic and dandy if I don't mind saying so. The lady is from Georgia, USA and this desk definitely has an American feel about it.

Incidentally, the lady will be making the middle panel above the desktop drawer into a pin board using fabric. The client also supplied the pull handles and the door knobs are a tad too big in my opinion. She is aware of this and is happy to change them for smaller ones if she wants to.

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Delivering it tomorrow afternoon.

:text-bravo:

I now have an antique (150+ years she said) American oak rocking cot to repair for her. I could always contact The Repair Shop. 8-)

Cheers.

I welcome any nice comments. :P
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Re: Rustic'ish desk. FINISHED

Postby Malc2098 » 27 Mar 2018, 20:04

Wow!
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Re: Rustic'ish desk. FINISHED

Postby Rod » 28 Mar 2018, 00:28

Very nice apart from the handles, they spoil it in my opinion.

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Re: Rustic'ish desk. FINISHED

Postby Andyp » 28 Mar 2018, 07:16

I still think the yew is wasted alongside the pine but excellent execution as always.
cheers

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