Furniture Design - Tips from the Trade
Always Tinker With Your Designs
Recently I completed an updated version of a slant leg desk I designed for my home office. The original was made out of cherry, this version is made out of an amazing ambrosia maple. I made a couple design tweaks, read below to learn more about adaptive design.
When designing and building, I feel it is always important to keep pushing yourself to try, not only new things, but improving things. When I initially designed this table, I thought about putting a curve on the underside of the front apron, but I didn't and it works just fine. However, when I built this version, I wanted to improve the design and see how it would function.
Designing for Function
I feel it is important to not only design furniture that looks great, but it needs to have a function as well. This is where I get my main influence from the Shakers. The Shaker style of design is, generally, very simple with nice clean lines. However, the Shakers where minimalists, so all of their furniture design was functional; it served a dutiful purpose.
By adding the curved front apron to the desk, along with the curve in the front of the top, I was able to achieve what I really wanted in this desk; better function. The purpose of these two details is to allow the person using the desk to get in closer to the desk, to allow their arms and hands to comfortably rest on the desk, versus reaching out as in a normal straight front desk. By also curving the apron, it leaves more room for the users legs to fit comfortably, without hitting the apron. All the surfaces of these curves are also rounded and sanded very smooth so as to be very comfortable to the touch.
The finish on this desk is multiple coats (four) of a tung oil finish. Once that has dried and cured, the top is then hand waxed and buffed with steel wool to create a soft and smooth finish with a nice feel and luster.
I hope you enjoy this desk and the design as much as I do!