A Danish Modern Desk

Dave Richards

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This is from the model of a desk designed by Timothy Rousseau. The model was done for plans to go along with a Video Workshop produced by Fine Woodworking. Here is a photo of one of these desks that he built. You can watch the intro to the video workshop here.
Screenshot - 10_15_2019 , 8_50_04 PM.jpg
I visited with Mr. Rousseau when I was at The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine last month. There was an example of this desk in birdseye maple there. If it hadn't already been purchased by a certain well-known toolmaker from the area, I might have inquired about having it shipped to my house. :D
 

Ryan Mooney

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Neat! How cool to have gotten to go visit him.

I'm sort of fascinated by a lot of the Danish Modern stuff. A lot of it looks very "hand made" but when you start looking at it you quickly discover that actually making by hand (hand tooling or even lacking some of the special machine tooling in some cases) is incredibly difficult. It's an interesting sort of design balance.
 

Dave Richards

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It was very cool to meet him. Very nice guy. It was also neat to see the desk in person and be able to touch it. It's actually the first time I've actually seen a piece of furniture for which I did the plans for Fine Woodworking.

I think the thing about the Danish Modern furniture is that it's really designed to be shaped with machines not so much hand work. Modern furniture in general was mass produced stuff. I think Rousseau's approach is a good mix for the smaller shop even if you don't have a shaper, slot mortiser, and sliding table saw.
 

Darren Wright

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Great looking design Dave.

The Danish Modern designs have always intrigued me, but not found them to be practical to my cluttered lifestyle. There's just not enough storage to hoard stuff. ;)
 

Scott Gilmore

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Hi Dave - After seeing your post I purchased the plans from Fine Woodworking and built one of these lovely desks. It turned out so well, my brother now wants one. But he wants me to adjust the dimensions to fit his son's room. Can you tell me where you found the sketchup file? I'd love to be able to play with it and see how the look changes if I make it wider.
IMG_1185.jpeg
 

Dave Richards

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Hi Scott. Your desk looks great! Good job on it.

As for the SketchUp model, I didn't find it. I made it. :) It was made to create the printed plans sold through The Taunton Press. Unfortunately, since it was made for them, I'm not at liberty to share the .skp file. How much wider are you thinking of making it?
 

Scott Gilmore

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Ah! That makes sense. And by the way, you did a brilliant job on the plans. (I had to laugh a little at the 91.1 degrees - my tools aren't quite that exact!) They've asked for an extra 8 inches, and I think it will make it look a little too fragile.
 

Dave Richards

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Thank you. I'm glad you found the 91.1° humorous. When I created the model from Mr. Rousseau's full size hand drawn plan, the angle was something that would have been harder to cut. I asked if I could take a few liberties. I think in practice he is making parts to fit what he already has built but it's kind of hard to create a plan that says, "Make this piece to these dimensions and then figure out the dimensions for the rest of the parts from there." :D

So how about this. 8 in. longer on the right. I agree. It looks a bit light for that.
Screenshot - 6_8_2020 , 1_23_39 PM.png
 
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