For those who have been following the Build Blog for awhile, you’re probably familiar with The Library CarveWright Built. If not, start with that and then come back to this article.

The Lovchik Library

The library bookcases and paneling with all the detailed carvings were completed a couple of years ago, but this didn’t finish the room. It still needed to be furnished. Trying to find furniture for this room isn’t easy. For one, it’s a large room, and two, the pieces need to fit stylistically within the space. To start, we knew we needed an impressive desk, so on to google we went to do some research.

Dumbledore’s gothic desk in his amazing library office.
Some other contending desk ideas

We found several desk ideas, but we kept going back to one that seemed to embody everything we were looking for. It was The Resolute Desk that sits at in the Oval Office. Once we learned the backstory of this desk being made from the timbers of a recovered British ship that had been lost in the Arctic, we were fully sold. You can learn the amazing story of the Resolute here on Wikipedia.

The Resolute Desk

Designing the Desk

Ok, so The Resolute Desk has a cool story, it’s the right style, and we have found several companies making replicas. The problem was, as cool as having this desk would be, we didn’t entirely want the exact desk as the president. Maybe we could request some modifications like adding our family crest instead of the Eagle seal? Finally, we decided to just make it ourselves.

Plans for The Resolute Desk

We found some plans for the desk online, and it was helpful in defining sizes, but ultimately it wasn’t detailed enough for much more. The trickiest part of this project was replicating the carvings. None of the 3D models for this desk existed yet, so we had to create all of it from scratch. Pattern modeling is meticulous work and can take a lot of time, so we split up the work between us and hired Michael Tyler at CarveBuddy.com to help make some of these. Utilizing the tools available in the Pattern Modeling Suite, Vector Drawing Suite, and Pattern Sculptor, we were able to create the entire set of 3D patterns we needed.

The hi-res desk images were cropped into smaller sections and imported as tracing images to model from.
Around 30 patterns were modeled from scratch for the desk using this method.

Once the modeling was finished, the projects could be made ready for carving. All the pieces were laid out and grouped for optimal use of material.

Desk Drawers Project File
Each section of the desk had a symmetrical base moulding detail that needed to be custom carved.
Our family crest was carved and substituted for the Great Seal of America emblem.

Carving the Desk

There were over 50 different carving and cutout files to make this desk. Many of those were test pieces cut to make sure the pieces looked and fit correctly. This was a lot of machine time, but it went remarkably fast. The carving portion of these projects always ends up being the fastest and easiest part of the job.

Just keep feeding the machine.
Desk drawer pieces fresh off the CarveWright.
Varius door panel top trim pieces
There was over 100 linear feet of various carved moulding pieces for this desk.

Assembling the Desk

After all the pieces were carved and cut, the building process began. The desk is basically made up of two pedestals, a middle section that bridges them together, and the desktop.

First, the pedestals were built structurally and then decorated with the carved elements.
Finishing the base trim on the pedestals before bridging them together.
Adding the center section so it’s removable. We’re going to have to get it though doors, soon.
Building out the top drawer sections and getting everything stained.
Drawers and door panels installed.
A look at the finished base before the desktop is assembled.
Desktop getting installed. Those corners were tricky.
We matched the edge route in the CarveWright software and carved the corner pieces. Then routed the inside edges to create a clean recess for the leather top. The entire piece was clear coated before applying the leather.
The leather was custom ordered from a shop called “Antique Leathers” in California. The surface had to be perfectly smoothed before installing. Then, it was carefully glued, stretched, and trimmed to fit.

Desk Completed

The completed desk.
The hinges for the doors are hidden behind the corner columns.
Even the knobs on the drawers were carved.
Family crest in place of the Great Seal.
The desk side panels.
Closeup of one of the door panels.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our Presidential Desk build. Look for the individual pattern models in the CarveWright Pattern Depot soon.

4 thoughts on “The PRESIDENTIAL DESK Build

  1. I think that is about the most beautiful desk I have seen. it must have taken quite a few hours one day I may build one

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