Walnut "Shampaing" desk

//Walnut "Shampaing" desk
Walnut "Shampaing" desk2017-12-18T09:38:53+00:00
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  • #2033128

    afmilacci
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I call it the “Shampaign” desk–shaker and campaign influences. Shaker is the design, and campaign because it can be disassembled and packed flat in about a minute.

    This was my first big hand-tool project, and it got me hooked! It was a very rewarding process!

    The details:
    -100% locally sourced black walnut.

    -All hand tools.

    -Took 6 months.

    -No screws or fasteners used on joinery, just for hardware and securing the top.

    -Used doweled mortise and tenon on the front and back stretchers, and used tapered, sliding dovetails on the sides.

    -The middle support and drawer divider is made up of 2 pieces: 1 is inset with a half-lap dovetail in the front and a sliding dovetail in the back. The second piece is similar and “locks” into place with a notch in the front and a tapered, sliding dovetail in the back. The photo I included of this joint shows just how awkwardly complex it was. In the end, I had to sacrifice the beauty of the tail piece just to get it to slide into place, thus resulting a less-than-idea appearance of the joint, but very strong nonetheless. But hey, it’s on the inside!

    -Lastly, there is a secret compartment that hinges out on dowels and closes shut with a leather clasp that slips over a screw head.

    -Here is a video of me disassembling/reassembling it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?<wbr />v=oxhjE4oLGMc

    Thanks!!

    Andrew Milacci

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  • Mike in TN
    Participant
    Post count: 278

    Hello Andrew,

    That is a wonderful piece. Don’t worry about the joinery appearance as long as the functional requirements are met. I have seen the work of many craftsmen of days gone by and they often approached their hidden work in a “matter-of-fact” manner and left the extra “effort-for-appearance” to the areas seen, or felt. All of the commercial shops had to choose where to spend time, effort, and materials in order to remain competitive. Because of that, they tended to standardize (within the shop operation) the use of patterns, joinery, work sequences, finishes, and always placed the “extra” efforts on the areas that showed. They did this to the point of using secondary woods for many of the structural parts and saved the “showy” woods for the exposed parts. It is those types of details that often allows experts to identify an antique as coming from a particular shop, craftsman, or time period. You tend to see “perfect” joinery (whatever that is) in pieces produced by talented amateurs or as show pieces.

    I love the fact that you drew from two traditional styles and selected the features that you liked from each to create a piece that was totally yours. Keep up the good work and I hope to see more pieces from you in the future.

    Have fun

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    • afmilacci
      Participant
      Post count: 2

      Thanks for the great and encouraging reply!

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