For the writing desk shown in the accompanying picture the following stock will be needed. The thicknesses of all the pieces are specified. On the legs the widths, too, are specified. Quarter-sawed white oak is the best wood to use, and it should be well seasoned and clear of shakes and other imperfections.
DRAWERS IN PIGEON HOLES
Begin work by cutting the posts to length and shape. Having done this, lay out the tenons on the lower rails so as to have the required distances between the shoulders, and then cut them. Now cut the parts to be worked into the frames that support the drawer and bottom of the case, and glue them properly. While this is drying, the other parts of the case may be laid out and shaped. It is intended that the sides of the case shall splice on the edge of the bottom of the pigeon hole case. In this manner the side shelves will cover the joint on either end. The back may be made up into one solid piece. Make the side pieces of the case long enough to be housed into the posts about 3/8 in. at each end.
The shelves at the ends of the desk should be fastened after the frame is put together and before the bottom of the case for the pigeon holes is fitted and fastened. In so doing the shelves may be fastened from the inside of the case. The angles of the braces are 30-60 deg. It will be noted that the edges of the lid are rabbeted. Another way is to have the lid large enough to fit entirely over the sides of the case and change the slope to correspond.
The drawers may be made next. The fronts should be of oak, but the other parts of yellow poplar. An examination of an ordinary drawer will show the manner of construction.
Make the frame of the pigeon holes of 3/16-in. yellow poplar. The drawing shows an arrangement entirely independent of the sides of the desk so that the frame can be made and slipped in place after the finish has been put on. Two drawers are shown. These are faced front and back alike so as to secure as much room in the drawer as possible.
In the finishing, the poplar wood should be finished with white shellac in the natural light color of the wood. For the oak parts the following is appropriate for this design: Apply one coat of green Flemish water stain. When this has dried, sandpaper lightly until the raised grain has been removed, and apply another coat of stain diluted one-half with water. When dry, sand lightly and apply a very thin coat of shellac. Sand lightly and apply a coat of dark filler, natural filler colored with lamp-black, according to the somberness of the finish desired. Upon this put a coat of orange shellac. After this, put on two coats of a good rubbing varnish. Rub the first coats with curled hair or haircloth and the last with pulverized pumice stone and raw linseed oil or crude oil.