How to Attach a Desk Top {Part 13 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}

//How to Attach a Desk Top {Part 13 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}

HOW TO BUILD A DOVETAIL DESK WITH WOODWORKING HAND TOOLS (PART THIRTEEN)

By Joshua Farnsworth

In the above video I show a historic method for attaching a desk top to the desk base, using traditional “cut nails”.

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In the above photo you’ll notice that the desk’s undercarriage stretchers don’t have a full piece of wood directly above them, so you need to drill at an angle for your cut nails to enter into the desk’s top. But you also have to ensure that your angle is low enough so that the nail doesn’t exit through the face of the desk.

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In this video, and the next, I show my method for drilling a pilot hole and hammering traditional cut nails into the pilot hole. I purchased my cut nails from Tremont (click here… I used Stock #CE4 1-1/2″ length). Be sure that the nail head runs with the grain. Why are cut nails better than wire nails? You can read this good article from Joel at Tools for Working Wood.

Click here to go back to part 1, if you want to follow me as I build a historic hinged-top desk. Below you’ll find photos and the list of tools that I used to build this desk.

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WOODWORKING HAND TOOLS THAT I USED:

Even though I have a helpful hand tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for a list of and links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this series of videos on desk building (I also included tools that I used in steps that weren’t covered in the videos):

SPECIALTY:

WORKBENCH:

HAND PLANES:

SAWS:

CHISELS:

MARKING & MEASURING:

MALLETS & HAMMERS:

 

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  1. Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools – Part 1: Dovetail Carcass
  2. Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools – Part 2: Legs
  3. How to Chop Mortises {Part 3 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  4. How to Clean Mortises {Part 4 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  5. How to Layout Tenons {Part 5 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  6. How to Cut Tenon Shoulders {Part 6 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  7. How to Cut Tenon Cheeks {Part 7 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  8. How to Square Tenon Cheeks {Part 8 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  9. How to Fit a Mortise & Tenon {Part 9 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  10. How to Drawbore Mortise and Tenon Joints {Part 10 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  11. How to Make Pegs for Drawboring Mortise & Tenon {Part 11 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  12. How to Make a Through Mortise & Tenon {Part 12 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  13. How to Attach a Desk Top {Part 13 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  14. How to Use Traditional Cut Nails {Part 14 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  15. How to Make Breadboard Ends {Part 15 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  16. How to Make Breadboard Ends {Part 16 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
  17. The Completed Dovetail Desk! {Part 17 of “Build a Dovetail Desk with Hand Tools”}
2017-07-21T13:14:13+00:00

About the Author:

Joshua loves mixing his passion for traditional hand tool woodworking with his ability to teach in a simple manner. He lives on a small farm in Earlysville, Virginia with his wife and four children, and builds furniture in his workshop / woodworking school.

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