Stickley Writing Desk in Quartersawn Oak

Drawer detail This desk began as a reproduction of the Gustav Stickley No. 708 writing desk, as measured and drawn by Bob Lang for his Shop Drawings of Craftsman Furniture.

There were some interesting techniques involved in this project, including the mitered legs, which yield quartersawn faces on all four sides of the leg. Smaller mortises were chopped by hand. The drawer divider was joined to the rail using two Miller Dowels.

By the time I was wrapping up this project, I was feeling the need to give something of myself to the piece.  I chose to give the corners an upswept treatment with spokeshaves.  The result was a softening of the Stickley look, with gentle and subtle tool marks for a slightly faceted look up close.

The finish is an alcohol dye applied with a rag, followed by polyurethane. The polyurethane was rubbed out with steel wool to give a satin finish.

Drawer Dovetails

Here, drawer sides were joined to the front with half-blind dovetails, which were cut by hand. Secondary wood is soft maple.  The secondary wood is untreated; the reflection here is the result of the polished handplaned surface.

Details of Construction

Drawer bottom panels are edge-joined soft maple, their grain running parallel to the face of the drawers, so that seasonal expansion and contraction would not cause drawer sides to bow.

Details of Construction

The bottom panels are attached to the back of the drawers using a single brass wood screw.