Handmade Desk

Inspiration - Handmade Desk

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Name of Item: Live-Edged Executive Desk

Material: Desktop - Solid slab of live-edge claro walnut.
Finish: Nine coats of various oil based materials which were: Two coats of Danish Oil; Four coats of Maloof Finish (Danish oil, linseed oil and polyurethane Finish); Three coats of Danish / wax finish.
Approximate dimensions: 7 feet long, 2 feet wide (28” at its widest section), 29.25 inches tall.
Price: Not for sale through this website. Please click to purchase: https://artisanwoodmarket.com/store/furniture/live-edged-walnut-executive-desk/

Artisan: Lupe Nielsen

Description: It was a lot of fun to build this desk. What makes it particularly special is the huge 10 foot slab of Claro Walnut that was used for the top. This piece of hardwood was gorgeous! The show side had a gorgeous burl, and intricate patterns, and this is the side that we selected to display on the right section of the desk. The slab had straight grain on the other side, which lent itself to be bent in a 90 degree angle which preserved the continuity of the grain pattern. This is called a “waterfall” technique.

Because it is a live-edge piece of raw wood, the material was carefully planed and sanded for many hours, and stabilized with epoxy adhesives. Brass fillings were even used as a decorative element to enhance the wood and add to the character.

The rest of the cabinetry compliments the desktop perfectly. The rightmost leg is of a Maloof inspired design. The drawer section is curved on the back to follow the contour of the slab from that side. The drawers are made out of solid wood (including the handles), and are all dovetailed. The pencil drawers in the center are angle-dovetailed. This angles them slightly inwards to enhance the beauty of the table top slab, without calling much attention to themselves.

Because this is such a large piece, it is very difficult to photograph. You are welcome to visit us to touch, feel and see the table in person. It is gorgeous! It is also a very, very heavy piece of furniture, which would be too costly to freight. We recommend that whoever buys it, that we arrange ways for it to be picked up. This item is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Important note: Remember that wood is a very organic, and it is a living and breathing material created by nature. Wood has natural imperfections that add to its charm. Wood might have worm holes, sap, small knots, etc. We will do our best to select the highest quality materials (mostly domestic) that are available to us, and promise to transform them into a work of art and beauty for you. This particular desk celebrates this natural beauty of the wood. Stabilized, burls, cracks and holes are part of live-edged woodwork. We know you will be delighted with the details.


Fiddleback is the name given to the tight and curvy grain often found in walnut, sycamore and maple wood. The name comes from the fact that many luthiers use wood with this particular grain for the back of their stringed instruments. Oftentimes fiddleback grain represents tiger stripes or flames and can be used in many other applications beyond instrument making that require a beautiful finished look. 


Figure refers to the pattern of a woods surface. Influenced by grain, coloration and imperfections, there are many types of figure such as fiddleback, flame and spalted, just to name a few.


Hardwood is a description for the wood produced by angiosperm trees, which reproduce by flowers and have broad leaves. Ironically, the term hardwood has no reference to the actual hardness or density of the wood.


Heartwood is the dead, inner wood of a tree. This part of the tree produces the densest wood and hardest timber.


A kiln in the wood industry is a structure where heated air is circulated and temperature controlled to dry out wood, lowering its moisture content to a desired level. Kiln dried wood is wood that has been through this process.


Live edge, also known as natural edge, is a style where the natural edge of wood is incorporated in the finished wood product, such as in furniture, art, construction and other applications. This style is often characterized as rustic and when mixed with other materials can be considered modern rustic.


Also known as M.C., moisture content, in layman's terms, is a measure of how moist a piece of wood is. Technically speaking, it is the weight of water contained within wood, expressed as a percentage of the weight of that species of wood if it were an oven dry sample.


Also known as M.C., moisture content, in layman's terms, is a measure of how moist a piece of wood is. Technically speaking, it is the weight of water contained within wood, expressed as a percentage of the weight of that species of wood if it were an oven dry sample.


Pin, also known as pin knots, are knots in the wood less than ½ inch in diameter. Wood with both sparse and clusters of pin are sought after for various applications such as furniture, flooring and paneling, just to name a few.


Plain sawn, also known as flat sawn, is the most cost-efficient method of milling logs into slabs and planks. It is achieved by milling parallel through the log, minimizing waste and maximizing lumber and slab size. There are however drawbacks to milling in this fashion, including possible twisting and cupping during drying.


Quarter sawing is the method of milling boards by first cutting a log lengthwise into quarters and milling from the center out keeping the grain angle between 60 and 90 degrees. This method creates boards with greater stability than flat sawn wood and often displays straight grain with distinct ray flecks showing in certain species.


Rift sawn lumber shows vertical grain from all sides of milled boards, however, this method takes more time and produces more waste than other methods of milling. It is a favorite among furniture makers because of the finished grain and is achieved by milling on an angle of 45 to 75 degrees, perpendicular to the log’s growth rings.


Underneath the bark, sapwood is the outermost portion of wood in a tree. Young trees and new growth are often completely comprised of sapwood and there is usually a color distinction between sapwood and heartwood.


Softwood is a description for the wood produced by gymnosperm trees, which produce needles instead of leaves and have exposed seeds. Ironically, the term softwood has no reference to the actual softness or density of the wood.


Tearout is a term ascribed to when wood fails ahead of a tool’s cutting edge. This often happens when cutting against the grain and the cut angles deeper than intended, lifting and splitting the wood from itself in an unintentional fashion. Tearout is common when using planers and routers, especially when the wood has curly or irregular grain.


If you have questions about what wood would be best for a particular project or need help understanding a term not listed on this page, please feel free to contact us.

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