It’s been a long time coming, but I think I’m ready. I’ve progressed sufficiently in my woodworking that it’s finally time to revisit my red oak desk. I still love the design (mitered half lap joints continue to be a personal favorite) and I’m quite satisfied with the overall size and shape (which is why the revisit hasn’t been a high priority), even the joints were cut almost entirely with a plunge router. I don’t even think I owned a tenon saw at that point.
There is no real need to revisit the piece. I just think I can do it so much better now, almost two years later. And I’d love another crack at some of the design elements.
The biggest design change I think will be to thin out the frame pieces a bit, which are currently full-width red oak 2x4s. 3/4″ or so off the width will create a slightly more delicate feel (without any real compromise to strength). I’d also like to tweak the shape and increase the size of the exposed ends of the cross-rails. I’ve had to reinforce them once already and, although they are holding well, I worry that one day they’ll snap off again. There are some execution-related flaws as well, but they are pretty well hidden from day to day view.
The tabletop (which is quartersawn and well-jointed) is not permanently affixed and is in fine shape, so I’ll just reuse it as is. Also, I have quite a bit of air-dried, rough-sawn red oak stock available, so I won’t need to salvage anything from the existing desk (meaning I can build the new frame at my leisure). Plus, it will give me a chance to use the new planing slab.
There will be significant stock preparation involved, and I have other projects in the works already, so the desk revisit will likely take a while. I’ve already sketched a few possible design tweaks, which I will share when I discuss the build.