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The Deception

Made to look like 1/4" walnut, this beefy heirloom desk has a trick up its sleeve.

So where's the deception?

Look closely at this desk and it seems like an impossible structure: the visible joints reveal 1/4" thick (thin) black walnut. The desk is made to be placed either abutting a wall or in the middle of a room (as some of the photos in the gallery demonstrate). The backside is a showpiece in as of itself, not the typical "hide me" backboard type.

The trick here is that supporting the 1/4" sheets is a very beefy skeleton that is 3/4" thick. Every effort was made to hide the skeleton so this took a completely different way to design and construct.

The thin panels

First I created several large bookmatched panels. This meant that starting at the sawmill, I picked boards that could be glued side by side, and the grain would flow naturally. Usuaully this is done by picking straight grain (at least as you near the end of the board) but sometimes you are lucky to find boards with alternating grain direction which come together very nicely.

Boards selected for bookmatching

Planing them to consistent thickness (and remembering who connects to whom is a formidable task in marking or organizing your work in progress)

This image of 1/4" panels in Tiran Dagan's design of the mid century modern desk, as the panels await the remainder of the construction
Panels are glued up and waiting to be incorporated. Look how patient these boards are, aren't they?

Media Gallery

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