Jeff Segal Cabinetmaker - Handmade furniture in the Arts and Crafts tradition

Half-timbered oak office desk

Half-timbered oak desk - three-quarters rear viewHalf-timbered oak desk - inside view of quadrants

Half-timbered oak desk - detail of cat's paw knotsHalf-timbered oak desk - three-quarters front view

Office desk in solid English pippy oak with half-timbered quadrant panels

This is the last in a suite of three desks for a working office in London. Built in solid pippy oak from Perton Wood in Staffordshire, the design was inspired by the vernacular half-timbering used in English 16th century house-building.

Twenty hand-shaped quadrants (quarter-circles) are assembled into five identical panels to make up the underframe, while the top highlights the 'cat's paw' knots that make the timber (Quercus robur) so striking.

The desk was built to sit at right angles to its siblings, the dovetailed oak desk and the pegged oak desk, and the three of them share a strong Arts and Crafts family resemblance: this is sturdy, functional furniture, but crafted with old-fashioned hand skills. The look and feel are contemporary, but rooted in tradition. And all the decoration that's needed comes from the exposed engineering and the rich features of the oak.

For a detailed breakdown showing all the stages of construction, take a look at my project diary.

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