When it’s time to begin a new furniture project, I go to my scrapbook of “To Do” pieces. (It’s not really a scrapbook – it’s a folder on my desktop.) If nothing there catches my attention or the selections are less than stellar to me on that day, I search a number of trusted antique websites and auction houses. I’m seldom disappointed. A few months back, I was in “find the next project” mode when I stumbled upon a New England desk-on-frame. It wasn’t a superb desk, but something about it caught my eye. Something about it was puzzling. Slant-lid style desks are not the easiest pieces of furniture to build with the many small drawers, fancy-cut valances, as well as sculpted and shaped dividers. Most often, these desks call for a bit of experience. This desk, however, was sitting atop a base that was as simple as can be found, having four tapered legs and four nondescript aprons with no cutouts or design – a newbie woodworker easily builds the base, even with the leg’s simple cuff banding just off the floor. As a result, I felt a “struggle of experience” between the upper and lower units of the desk on frame. One leaned to difficult while the other was too simple. Plus, it featured simple stringing around the drawer and had an inlay design at the center of the lid. I was hooked.
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