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Jugendstil Pedestal Desk with Hutch

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dzj

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About a year ago, I was asked to make this desk, but the Covid crisis put a lot of things on hold.
This job included. Anyway, it’s done now and it’s out of the shop.
There’s probably a good 30 days of work in it. Can’t say for certain, as I’ve always got a few irons in the fire.

So, the desk. The clients found a picture of it in some online gallery and they wanted the same. It’s a very common type of desk in Germany
(a row of drawers over 2 cabinets, a hutch and an extendable desktop), hence Jugendstil.

This is how it turned out (mine is the one on the right).

BTH.jpg

I started with a lot of measuring (some guesswork too). First 1:5 drawings, then full scale.

01.jpg 02.jpg

I worked on all of the mouldings first. Straight ones I did on spindle moulder and router table.

03.jpg

Then scratched the beads on the ornamental desktop brackets and glued them to the vertical moulding.

04.jpg 05.jpg

The door panels have a carved floral motif. The 3 bead stem I made with a scratch stock, the contours
of the bud and the frame with a router. The leaves/ petals I carved with chisels.

06.jpg 07.jpg

More flowers.

08.jpg 09.jpg
 

dzj

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The Desktop

A curiosity of this type of desk is that, if necessary, the desktop can be extracted another 30 or so cm, so that the full 70 cm deep surface can be used.

11.jpg

It’s a simple matter of the central frame sliding out via a tongue and groove joint on each side.


01.jpg 02.jpg

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Under the front edge are 2 routed recesses, so the desktop can be pulled out easily.

06.jpg


The central frame itself is held together with bridle joints and is grooved on the inside so that a plywood
panel can be glued in. This panel should be about 1.5mm lower than the top of the frame and when the baize is glued to it, it’s just a tiny bit proud. (Sorry, no pictures)
 

dzj

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The Hutch

I started with the arch that goes at the back of the top shelf. Next I did the carving, as mentioned
above.

01.jpg 02.jpg

There were only 2 kinds of joints I used. Sliding dovetails in most places and dowels for the bottom shelf.
(To the right you can catch a glimpse of my fancy sliding dovetail jig )

03.jpg

The notches for the beaded moulding, I cut by hand.

04.jpg

A close-up of the moulding on the top shelf.

05.jpg

All the parts were pre-finished before glue up.

06.jpg


Hutch carcass finished.


09.jpg


The backs of the cabinets are 6mm ply. The back of the open central part I veneered with some walnut.
Just a quick job with hide glue and an iron.


On a separate note, apologies for the quality of some of the photos. I have direct sunlight coming from behind the piece and it messes with the hue. This problem will, unfortunately, accompany some of the
photos in the coming posts also.
 

Tobi1186

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I love how you copied all the details! Looks really good! My wife's grandma was German and she had kinda the same desk and she really loved it!
 
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dzj

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Pedestals.

One request the clients insisted on was that the cabinets, the central drawer box, and hutch all be separate parts.
No other solution was possible as their staircase wasn’t wide enough to allow for the rotation of the whole lower portion of the desk when ascending the stairs.
In effect that meant that some kind of knock down hardware was to be used. It complicated things some, as this particular model, originally did not have this feature.
The cabinets are of a rather simple construction. Two sides, a bottom, shelf and back.
As each cabinet was to be a separate unit, the shelf had to be glued in place to give some extra stability
to the carcass.

The bottom is a rebated mortice and tenon frame, glued and fastened to the lower rail. As this is a long grain to long grain joint, no other joinery method was necessary.

01.jpg

The sides are frame and panel. Mortice and tenoned and grooved on the inside to take the panel.

02.jpg

The panel is flat on the outside and raised inside.

03.jpg

A housing for the shelf.

04.jpg

Sides done, with pre finished panel.

05.jpg

The inside of a cabinet, with some KD hardware visible at the top.

06.jpg

Glued up cabinets with temporary fronts to keep everything nice and square.

07.jpg
 

dzj

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Drawers.

The three drawers fit in a separate/ detachable box. It is attached to the sides of the cabinets via bolts, threaded inserts, dowels and cam lock fittings.

Laying out the parts of the top and bottom frames.

1.jpg


Front bottom rail with mortices for the drawer stops.

2.jpg

Opening for the middle drawer.

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The whole drawer box.

4.jpg

Fitting the drawer fronts.

5.jpg

Making a few test cuts with the router jig.

6.jpg

Finished drawer. (1/2” sides, 6mm ply bottom.)

7.jpg
 

dzj

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Doors, hinges, glass

Rails and stiles held together with mortice and tenon joinery.

01.jpg

No grooves or rebates for the panels and glass.

02.jpg

Just a simple bolection moulding on the outside and a bead on the inside to hold everything in place.

03.jpg

As the cabinet doors were the same width as the drawers above them, it made sense to aim for the gaps to be the same. These gaps were less than 0.5mm, so a slight inward bevel was planed on the stiles to avoid them catching the face frame when opening.

04a.jpg 04b.jpg

A jig for routing hinge recesses.

05.jpg

When mounting doors, I first attach one side of the hinge to the door, then epoxy the other to the face frame. A piece of foam is inserted inside the closed hinge to keep it pressed against the face frame while the glue sets. The inside of the hinge and the stile is taped off, so any escaping epoxy doesn’t make a mess of things.

07.jpg

As it was such a small job, I couldn’t find anyone willing to make traditional leaded glass panels.
So I went with soldering. The clients didn’t mind.

08.jpg
 

dzj

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Xtras

Some of the fancy jigs and patterns I used.

1.jpg

My bench, with all the clutter finally gone.

2.jpg

A few more pictures of the desk.

3.jpg 4.jpg

An obligatory cat picture.

5.jpg
 

Jameshow

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Work of art!

Was that 30 days as in 6 weeks work?

Gotta be 5k invested in it!

Cheers James
 

dzj

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Work of art!

Was that 30 days as in 6 weeks work?

Gotta be 5k invested in it!

Cheers James
Thanks for the kind words.
Yes, about 6 weeks of work. Spread over a couple of months, though.
(I had to do things that actually pay the bills. :) )
It isn't very profitable, but I enjoy doing it from time to time.
 
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