All-Walnut Secretary Desk with Resin River - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-24-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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All-Walnut Secretary Desk with Resin River

I previously sold an oak and walnut secretary desk, and recently someone contacted me asking for a few slight modifications. After some back and forth, we nailed down drawers instead of simple dividers, a shelf across the back, and the big one: It would be entirely made from walnut. (Which, since walnut regularly goes for $10/BF here in California, makes this a piece of luxury furniture if you ask me!).

I'm VERY happy with this piece. Everything that I did in the previous piece, like the mortises (including through-mortises for the skirt and legs) and the finish, came out much cleaner. And everything that I was trying for the first time, like the drawers and support pieces, came out very cleanly as well! I'm especially proud of the drawers, since I made the slides and pulls myself.

This is by far the best piece I've made yet, and I don't mind telling you guys that I'm starting to feel like a real woodworker!

What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-24-2019, 03:49 PM
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Very nice! I primarily work with Walnut and truly enjoy all the variations in figure and coloring. Your desk look great, hope you get to make many more.

David

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-24-2019, 04:33 PM
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Gorgeous!

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 01:42 AM
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Wow! This is so nice.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 03:09 AM
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Wow. Stunning in every way. How did you finish it?
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Wow. Stunning in every way. How did you finish it?
Thanks!

It was my first time working with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal (semi-gloss). Since there were a lot of finicky areas and vertical surfaces, I really liked the control I had when wiping with a cloth, and using a foam brush on the large horizontal surfaces let me build up the necessary volume for the finishing and polishing. I did run into quite a lot of "ghosting" (not really sure what to call it...when you go through one layer into another and it shows up when the light hits it?), but I was able to fix most of it by applying one last layer at the very end and then finishing with just 2000 grit so as not to go through. With the base, I just rubbed it with wax and steel wool, since it didn't need to be super glossy.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 12:13 PM
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extremely nice! is the epoxy river full thickness of the front? lucky customer i would say to receive a piece made with such attention to detail! charge accordingly...
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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extremely nice! is the epoxy river full thickness of the front? lucky customer i would say to receive a piece made with such attention to detail! charge accordingly...
Yeah, it goes all the way through. I'm still learning on how to charge for my time. This piece was not very profitable considering the amount of time and effort that went into it, but hopefully the next one will be!

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 12:39 PM
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Stunning is the right word. Who designed it? It looks authentic mid-century modern but the epoxy river makes it definitely contemporary. Aside from the epoxy, it would fit right in with a mid-century Danish bedroom suite my parents bought in the 1960s, right down to the walnut. Very nice all around.

How do you do the epoxy, the way it goes all the way through? Cut the board apart, reposition, and pour?

Last edited by gj13us; 07-25-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Stunning is the right word. Who designed it? It looks authentic mid-century modern but the epoxy river makes it definitely contemporary. Aside from the epoxy, it would fit right in with a mid-century Danish bedroom suite my parents bought in the 1960s, right down to the walnut. Very nice all around.

How do you do the epoxy, the way it goes all the way through? Cut the board apart, reposition, and pour?
Thanks! The original desk (here) was very loosely based on a picture the client/friend sent me, just to give me a rough idea of what they wanted. I took the basic outline and drew up a streamlined version in Sketch-Up to the dimensions and requirements my friend suggested - no network of shelves in the back, simple dividers for papers, etc.

This current desk grew out of the original. The client contacted me and asked if I could make certain substitutions and additions, and I played with them in SketchUp until it looked right to me and the client. I'm so glad you like the design! I've always thought that design is my weakest point, but hopefully I'm getting better.

For the epoxy: Yes! I took a piece of walnut me and dad had harvested, cut it down the middle, flipped the pieces, and then (unfortunately) had to cut a faux "live edge" inside the real live edge, because it was too wide by itself. Then clamp it to some waxed melamine, dam up the edges somehow, and pour! (Two separate pours, because otherwise it can get too hot and crack)

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mackman View Post
I did run into quite a lot of "ghosting" (not really sure what to call it...when you go through one layer into another and it shows up when the light hits it?), ...
Witness lines is the proper term, although 'ghosting' conveys the message.

Next time you pour your epoxy try parchment paper. I haven't found much that will stick to it and use the same pieces over and over for gluing. With TB the drops just flick right off when they're dry. I've used it with CA and 5-minute epoxy and neither of those stuck, either. Waxing Melamine certainly works but if the parchment paper works for you then you won't have to deal with any residual wax on your work piece. If you have a small amount you can mix for a trial maybe you can test it first. Just a thought...

David
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-25-2019, 05:04 PM
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Very nice


I love working with walnut too, the smell of the wood when cutting reminds me of high school shop class and that was about 50 years ago


I cut up a board of walnut today to make an end grain cutting board, almost seems sacrilegious to use walnut in a cutting board though LOL


And I can get it quite a bit cheaper here in N Texas, the last I priced was #1 common was $4 and change

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post #13 of 15 Old 08-08-2019, 09:56 AM
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Very cool!

I really like the idea that you can use both sides of the righting surface.

James
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-14-2019, 10:00 AM
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Came out really Nice! for some reason I am drawn to the legs different I like the concept. Kevin
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-24-2019, 11:57 AM
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What attention to detail. Very nice!
Mackman I too find it hard to price my time on projects, especially since I very rearly do the same thing twice.
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