Author Topic: Top for Desk Reproduction  (Read 480 times)

EHill

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Top for Desk Reproduction
« on: May 21, 2018, 12:11:27 PM »
I'm working on the G.Washington desk in Margon's American Furniture Treasures.  Here's the original: https://untappedcities.com/2017/05/17/the-desk-of-george-washington-inside-nyc-city-halls-governor-room/

Still working on the legs, but thinking ahead to the top.  The top on the original is a single slab of mahogany roughly 65 x 30 x 1.5.   There is a fairly small letter shelf on each end but that still leaves a large open space; no leather pad.

My thought was to build a two-layer top out of three-quarter poplar (or other secondary wood).  The bottom layer would be a frame and the upper layer would be full width material to create a substrate for veneering.  I've done some small hammer veneering projects and I enjoy it, but that's alot of veneer, particularly long runs of it.  On the upside, the edges/ends are crossbanded, so I would just need to get the interior seams lined up.  Looks like 15-20" wide veneer is available, so I could do the top with a single joint.  May even be more interesting to do a book/butt match, though that's more inconsistent with the original. 

Not sure what other choices I have, other than to glue up multiple six-quarter boards.  In which case, I'm probably going to have two or three seams as it's much harder to find 15 inch width boards. That'll also move/crack/check like the original or more so. 

Would appreciate thoughts on the veneering approach and/or other suggestions.

Thanks in advance.



rac50

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Re: Top for Desk Reproduction
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 07:58:35 AM »
If you are interested, I have the material for a single board solid top and all of the hardware necessary for the piece, feet, bails, locks, and escutcheons.
you could contact me via email if there is any interest.

rac50

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Re: Top for Desk Reproduction
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 08:03:27 AM »
BTW, The slab top is Honduras Mahogany and was obtained in the 60's.

ttalma

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Re: Top for Desk Reproduction
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 08:53:34 AM »
I agree with RAC, you should just do the top out of a single slab. I have (Honduran) mahogany pieces large enough to do the top, that I've had for years. They are nice and flat and the person I got them from had them for a while as well. I think you'll find that the mahogany will be stable enough that there wouldn't be any significant warping. 
There are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and those that don't.

EHill

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Re: Top for Desk Reproduction
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 03:11:33 PM »
Thank you both.  I’ll reach out via email. 

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Top for Desk Reproduction
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 04:39:46 PM »
I agree. I've had 4/4 and 6/4 x 40" wide Mh in my shop for 20+ years (for pie crust tea tables) and they are still flat.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.