Desk Structure – Writing Box

The structure of the desk writing box was literally that, a box, albeit with only three sides and no bottom.  I knew that the original was an ash box veneered with figured mahogany, so that’s what I did.  I had a stash of vintage, locally milled ash boards I’d bought from an old woodworker who was moving back to the city.  He was selling his lumber inventory and I bought it, including some spectacular bog oak and pine from an 1850’s crib dam down on the Rapahannock River.   Some day I will make something from this and write about it, but not now.

The exercise of making the writing box was straightforward, consisting of three boards for the box and an open mortise-and-tenon frame for the drawer platform.  The only noteworthy thing here is that the drawer, and thus the top and drawer platform, were bowed.  Not a problem of any sort, but a nice feature nonetheless.  NB: some of these images might be from the practice prototype, not the final version.

The ensemble was assembled with 192 gram hot hide glue, then placed in the incomparable Emmert K1 to plane and tooth the surfaces that were the substrates for the veneering yet to come.

The actual top of the box, the writing surface, was actually the very last step in the construction.  Given how the legs and the box were attached to each other it was just easier to do it this way.  You’ll see that in a later post.

On to the veneer.