Sunday, 15 June 2014

Dan Turner's 360 Hour Desk

Inspired by the work of Robert “Mouseman” Thompson, the Bureau is made from solid native Oak bought from Scottish Woods near Oakly. The paneling is veneered Oak, a compromise of time, cost and stability. Largely made using just hand tools, the desk features solid wood tops and writing surfaces, hand cut dovetailed draws with custom made pulls and through tenon cupboard doors held in place with hidden magnets. Two Easter Island statues (called Moia) create the pulls for the lopers which support the highly figured lid/writing surface.
This was part of a reproduction module for the HND course I have just finished, the brief was to choose a piece of furniture that we liked, research its design, the maker and its construction method. Where drawings weren't available we had to make an educated guess on how it was put together.
As there were no drawings for this desk I looked at others from the same time period, including the Arts and Crafts Movement and Gustav Stickley and researched traditional construction methods for frame and panel type furniture.
I made a few changes from the original, I wanted the writing surface to be higher from the ground as I’m 6’4” and most bureaus I know are quite small! I also changed the configuration of the pigeon holes and added two cupboard doors in place of the 2nd and 3rd draws.

Robert Thompson got the nickname ‘Mouseman’ from the small mouse he carved onto each piece of his furniture. Continuing his legacy, the craftsmen of Robert Thompson LTD each have their own variation on the mouse which they carve onto each piece they make. I wanted to do something of similar meaning to my desk and decided on the Easter Island Statue.

The statue was the reason for me starting to explore wood working. After watching ‘A Night at the Museum’ with a friend and finding the character ‘Dumb Dumb’ hilarious I decided I had carved enough spoons, it was time for something more challenging. The Desk symbolises everything I have learnt whilst on the HND course as well as a new chapter in my woodworking career.

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