Sunday, 14 August 2016

Chippendale slant front desk

This weekend my group made the Chippendale slant front desk. It is a slightly less common kit, but several people had it, and those who didn't could also make the Chippendale desk or the Chippendale desk on frame. I will not show the step-by-step progress because the steps were straightforward, but since I have now made all the three kits I can share some thoughts.

The most common kit, the Chippendale desk, was among the first I made, and I wasn't very skilled, but it also has what I would say now a fault that could be easily avoided. The front is hinged, and hinges are very hard to fix neatly. When I made the cellarette I decided to skip hinges and used tiny strips of leather. In the slant front desk, the front is held with pins (just as the desk on frame) which is endlessly easier to make and looks neat.

Both the plain desk and the slant front desk have three drawers and a small apron with bracket feet. Actually, with the front closed they look exactly the same (only the slant front desk looks neater because of pins rather than hinges).

Bit when you open the front, it looks different and more like the desk on frame:

It has these pigeonholes and two drawers. Why two? The desk on frame has six drawers with two empty pigeonholes. I believe I could make some more drawers if I want. Or maybe it will be too many drawers. The desk on frame has no large drawers.

What I wanted to add was a key. I have a bundle of tiny keys left from an Alice in Wonderland party - they are wine-glass charms. They are in white metal, but it was easy to paint a key gold. The trick was to attach it. As in Alice, either the keyhole was too small or the key too large, but there was no way the key would fit into the keyhole. I had to make the keyhole a bit larger (but the keyhole plate is so tiny I was afraid to damage it) and I filed away as much as I could from the key, and finally -


I used red mahogany stain, but I used many coats, and it doesn't look as red as some of my other pieces. In other words, I am very pleased. With my old Chippendale desk, I have a closed cabinet top, which was my very first Chippendale miniature and was the reason I got hooked. I have another closed cabinet kit, and I may make a cabinet to match this desk. On the other hand, I don't even know where I will put it because my Womble Hall house is absolutely crammed. But I am not giving it away!


  1. It looks great! I had the one with the hinges. I spent so much time sanding, painting, sanding, painting and just when it was perfect, I ruined it trying to install the hinges. Boo! It now lives in the box of misfit miniature furniture, hoping to one day get a second chance.

  2. I have become more confident so I guess if I definitely ruined something I would try to make a replacement. Using leather instead of hinges is a good idea