Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making A Partners Desk

These clients bought this desk at an antiques show a while back at a very reasonable price. It only had a drawer on one side and it was, like, 42" deep, so it seemed, wherever they put it, it was too wide/deep. They didn't pay much for it so they asked if I would mind cutting the back apron, which was totally plain, and adding a drawer to the other side and some fake moldings to dress it up. It seemed reasonable to me so we had at it ... 'came out good', as they say ... click the photos to enlarge them ....

I cut the opening for the drawer in the apron with a fine toothed handsaw. The runners for the main original drawer ran all the way to the back apron so it was easy to determine where to cut it, (the drawer was half the desk deep, coincidentally). Then we scanned half the face of the front drawer (10") and Trevor was able to draw the shape and cut the piece that I cut out of the apron to shape on the CNC. Next he offset that cut and cut a new molding from another piece of stock and we glued that on and colored it to match. Then we added a stained drawer box, detailed as the nailed together original drawer, and we were half way there. The front of the desk had a center drawer and two side drawers with little cockbead moldings, so we copied the moldings using a couple different cutters on the shaper, sanded them, and tacked them on. It looked better than I expected when we were through and the clients were thrilled. There is probably something to discuss here about maiming antiques. I've watched enough 'Roadshow' to know the risks and we did discuss carefully what we were doing. These folks are professional designers and collectors, not dealers; it was their piece and their decision to make the piece more functional for their own use, and I was sure what we did couldn't be passed off in the future as orginal so I agreed to do it. ... click the photos to enlarge them ...

The piece I cut out, Trevor's cut, and the cnc made molding

With the new drawer box, but before the extra applied moldings

The completed project .... I thought I took a photo of the original desk front, (the other side) but I can't find it.

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