Walnut desk completed!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to quickly show off a new desk I made! This is easily the most expensive project I’ve done yet (and therefore most stressful.)

There’s a lot I learned from this project, and there’s a bunch of stuff I could definitely do better next time, but I’m pretty proud of it.

My cat seems to like it too!

In case anybody is wondering, I finished this with 3 coats of aquacoat grain filler, and 3 coats of arm-r-seal semi gloss.


Awesome project, and Walnut is a very expensive wood to use. Do you mind sharing a little about the learned lessons?

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Oh yeah. Walnut is absolutely nuts @jamesmcnees. What a gorgeous species though.

And sure! Here’s some of the lessons I learned:

  1. Do not buy s4s wood. Most of it isn’t actually s4s any longer, and it costs more! I mainly didn’t do this because I was too nervous to try dimensioning my own lumber.

  2. Always get wood that is thicker than you need. I already knew this rule, but figured since I was buying s4s wood, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

  3. Use hardwood cauls for glueups. I tried using pine or something, and I don’t think they helped at all.

  4. Perform glue-ups in sections if necessary. I glued it all up at once here, and ended up having to lose more material than I wanted to. Not only that, but it wouldn’t fit in the planer any longer, so I had to use the drum sander instead.

  5. Do not use aquacoat on large surfaces unless you have a very big putty knife/spreader. I tried using a small 1 inch knife at first. It was awful.

  6. This is probably the most important lesson: Make sure your painter triangles/bench cookies aren’t going to put holes in your work… I have about 20 tiny dents in my desk due to this. Thankfully, only one them is very noticeable.

Continuing off #6, always start putting finish on the bottom side of your workpiece. That way, once you flip it over, if the triangles mess up the finish at all, it won’t be on the show-face!

Whew! There’s more I think, but that’s all I can think of right now!


Really lovely. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Thanks for the write up. Great lessons to pass on to the rest. I always have a hard time deciding on what clear to go with, but on bigger projects I really like use a spray on application.

Great write up. On the dents, I was recently watching a video on how to deal with common assembly issues. Gaps in miters, dents in wood, etc… On dents, you can sometimes steam them. Severe dents, like a hammer strike, tear fiber, so you are out of luck. But on workshop dents, from moving the wood around, lots of those can be steamed out. Before finishing… If I had only known…

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Oh interesting, I didn’t know you could steam out dents. I’ve definitely dropped stuff on my projects before, and had to sand them out… good to know!

Looks great!

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@carsuaga Mind if we put this in the sizzle reel for TWF Saturday? If you have any progress pics from the build taken at the space, that would be awesome too :slight_smile: