The Story of a desk...
In the winter of 2013, I was contacted by
Bradshaw Orrell of Orrell Interiors in regards
to building a round partners desk he had
designed for a client. I knew the
desk would be a challenge, but I looked
forward to the artistry and unique
woodworking skills it would require.
And so it began...
Next, came the desk top. To achieve a perfect circle, I
used a homemade circle jig with my router. The top
would be bigger than a single piece of wood so each
piece had to be cut perfectly to fit with the other.
Then, I joined the wood and clamped it as it bonded. It
had to be perfectly joined and perfectly level.
The design of the desk required the trim be
curved. The only way to achieve this curved
trim was to build a form that would allow bent
steamed wood to be clamped to it as it dried,
taking the form of the desk top.
Next came some more tool making.
Since the only way to achieve the bent
trim was to steam it, I needed a
steamer. They don't sell wood steamers
around here so I made my own. I also
learned a valuable lesson really quickly
...steamed wood should be handled
only when your gloves are on!!! To
insure I didn't forget, I made myself a
little note. Notice it's a command --not
Once I figured out the appropriate formula for time
in the steamer (too short, wood cracked; too long, it
would break apart) it bent rather nicely. Each piece
was attached to the form as it dried.
First came the skeleton of the desk.
It would have a pencil drawer on
each side, two interior drawers and
two cabinet doors per side. There
would also be a cut away for cables.
It all had to be precise or it wouldn't
Following the inside workings
came wrapping the outside. Again,
it had to line up perfectly. It was
wrapped in three layers of plywood.
Next. The intricate design called for each
trim piece to have a radius that I sanded on
an oscillating spindle sander.
This shows the
insides of the desk
before the top was
Two months after it was begun, the
desk was now complete and ready for
delivery!! One last touch on the
inside of a door.....