Writing Desk 270


Oak (Chap. III., Par. 29).

4 pcs. 1 1/2"xl 1/2"x32" S 4 S Legs.

1 pc. 7/8"x5 3/4"x28" S 2 S Back rail.

1 pc. 7/8"x4"x28" S 2 S Front rail.

2 pes. 7/8"x5 3/4"x20" S 2 S Side rail.

3 pcs. 3/4"x6 1/2"x28" S 2 S Bottom (soft wood).

1 pc. 7/8"x7"x32" S 2 S Top.

3 pcs. 7/8"x5 3/4"x32" S 2 S Lid.

1 pc. 1/2"x7"x32" S2S Back of paper holders. 4 pes. 1/2"x2 1/2"x7" Sides of paper holders. 4 pcs. 1/4"x2 1/2"x8 1/2" Front of paper holders.

1 pc. 1/2"x3"x32" Base of paper holders.

2 pes. 3/4"x2 1/2"x20" Bottom cross rails. 1 pc. 3/4,"x3 1/4"x28" Stretcher.

1/2 doz. l 1/2" No. 10 F. H. B. screws. l 1/2 doz. 3/4" No. 6 R. H. blue screws. 1 pair hinges.

2 doz. 6d fin. nails.

1 pc. 1/4"x12" dowel rod.

Introductory Statement

The writing desk or study table is one of the most useful articles of furniture found in a boy's room, and the fact that a boy has made his own table always adds considerable to its value.

This writing desk is so designed as to provide ample room inside to care for stationery and valuable papers. If desirable this space could be divided with partitions so as to classify papers more easily.

The mortise and tenon joints will require careful work, but when completed will be well worth all the effort. The principles set forth in this lesson are employed a great deal in all kinds of desk and table construction, so you should endeavor to master them.


Part II, Mission Furniture, Windsor. Popular Mechanics Co., Chicago.

Writing Desk

Writing Desk

Suggestions For Original Design

Introductory Statement 272

Writing Desk Specifications

The Legs

Although these legs are furnished S 4 S, it will be necessary for you to plane them with a very sharp plane, testing to make sure that they are perfectly square. Finish with a sharp steel scraper. In cutting the length of the legs note that the lid of the writing desk slants forward, and thus the front pair of legs is not so long as the rear pair. Observe that the lower edges of the side rail are perfectly square with the legs. These side rails are to join the legs with a mortise and tenon joint. If you will make the bottom end of the legs the working end, and make all measurements from these points, in locating the mortises, you will have no difficulty on account of the slant of the top. Lay out and cut the mortises.

The Cross Rails

Square the stock and make the cross rails as indicated in the drawing. Notice that the back cross rail is the same width as the widest portion of the side cross rails (5 1/2"). Form all tenons to fit their respective mortises.

Square the stock and make the lower cross rail. Cut the tenons, making sure that the distance between shoulders is the same as in the top cross rail.

The Stretcher

The stretcher is to join the lower cross rails with a mortise and tenon joint. Study the drawing carefully in getting the length of this piece. Notice that it will have to be longer than the top cross rail, because it does not stand between the legs, but is between the bottom cross rails.


Assemble one side at a time. Glue all tenons in their places. Test to make sure that the legs and rails stand perfectly square. Clamp securely and allow the glue to harden. When you have assembled the right and left ends of the writing desk, put in the front and the rear rail and also the stretcher. Glue them in position and clamp them securely, making sure that all angles are perfectly square. (The plan of gluing and clamping a piece of work, part at a time, will usually insure satisfactory results.)

The Top

A portion of the top is perfectly level. This may be fastened with angle screws, or with blocks screwed on from the under side.

The Lid

This is to be made of two or more pieces glued and doweled together. In order that the lid may fit perfectly, it may be necessary to plane the top ends of the front leg and edges of the side rails. Do this very carefully, and lay the top in position to see that it fits properly. It will have to be beveled slightly at the top edge where it is to be hinged to the stationary portion of the top. The hinges must be gained into the wood, so as not to leave a erack at this joint.

The Back And Letter Pockets

The back piece, which holds the letter pockets, is attached to a small base strip. The uprights and the main back piece are nailed through from the bottom of this base strip. This part may all be assembled independent of the remainder of the desk, and then fastened to the desk top with two screws in the bottom of each letter pocket; an this position the screws will not be seen.

The Finishing

When the work is all assembled, go over it with a sharp steel scraper and remove all pencil and tool marks; finish with fine sandpaper. Stain the desired color and finish with shellac or rub varnish.

Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.

Dressing Table

1. By using this same plan of construction provided with a level top, and adding a wide central mirror, with a small mirror hinged on each side, a pleasing dressing table may be made.

Serving Table

2. This plan of construction, with a very few modifications, will be suitable for a serving table.