The Appalachian Heritage Woodshop

Merchant's Desk Project

Merchant's Desk Project

I enjoy examining old furniture and determining how it was built. The age of the piece and the condition always intrigues me as I check out the wear on the furniture. Sometimes this causes me to question if other joinery methods would have held up better over time. This was the case for the Merchant's Desk I designed and built. I found an original merchant's desk at Heritage Farm Museum and Village that was in bad shape. I determined that the design of the piece lead to the premature separation of some of the joints. A few of the mortise and tenon joints were not executed properly and the bottom was not solidly installed. The lid or top hinges were not strong enough to hold up over time.

I knew I could do better. This began a personal challenge to design and build a better merchant's desk. I also though of how it would have been used in that time period so I incorporated some other elements into the design. This led me to build two different styles of the same desk. All the issues I uncovered in my initial exam were rectified and the design was improved. Check out the Appalachian Heritage Woodshop's Merchant's Desk to see how I corrected all the deficiencies.


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