Completed: a purpleheart, cherry, and maple desk
Monday, July 25, 2005 at 06:20AM
Political Mammal in My personal history

When my daughter was a baby, I decided that I would build her a desk for the day she would be big enough to use one. It seemed hard to imagine at the time that she would someday be able to sit on a chair and draw or write. But yesterday, just shortly after her third birthday, I finished her desk, a simple affair, and took great pleasure at seeing her sit at it and draw in her coloring book. (She sat on a little Ikea chair that took a relatively tiny amount of time to assemble.)

I took the design of the desk from a book on Shaker furniture. I simplified it so that it is not much more than a glorified table with a backsplash. For fun, I made the top from purpleheart wood, the legs and stretchers from cherry, and the back from maple. I fnished it with an oil/urethane mix.

The project took a long time from start to finish mostly because I did not work on it for vast stretches of time. I feel quite satisfied to have it finally off of my to do list.

I think it is kind of cute. I hope my daughter takes it for what it is, a way of expressing love. And maybe, though this is probably too much to ask, passes it on one day to a sibling, a cousin, or her own son or daughter.

Article originally appeared on Political Mammal (
See website for complete article licensing information.