Saturday, March 26, 2011


For my day-job I work at Karges Furniture. I've been there since 1990, first as a wood carver, and then moved into the engineering department. Recently I was allowed to design my first piece of furniture. I've always liked Carlton House desks so that's what I chose as my first project. What I like about Carlton House style desks are the walls of tiny doors and drawers curling around the guys who sit at them. It feels very private and personal, and nice if you need to concentrate.

Now that more and more people are using laptop computers, I suspect old-fashioned desks like these will make a comeback. People don't really need giant computer desks with printer, scanner and tower cavities anymore. Now with Wi-Fi the printer can be put anywhere, even in another room.

This desk uses mahogany solids, with mahogany and prima vera veneers. The white inlay lines are holly tree wood. Before applying stain to this desk, all the holly inlay lines had to be covered with a frisket, which is sort of like liquid latex rubber. This prevented the stain from darkening those places. After the stain had cured the frisket could then be removed by simply rubbing it off with fingers. The frisket-appliers cussed me real good for all those skinny lines.
I like secret compartments a lot. I'm not gonna say exactly where there might be secret compartment in this desk, but there could be some surprises here and there, on the inside. Those are not secret compartments on the sides in the photo above. They're much sneakier than that!

Above is a closeup of the inlay work. To make the shading on the white strips of holly, the tips of each piece were placed in hot sand until they were burned dark enough.

I'd love to own one of these desks since it was made to possess all the elements I personally love, but I'm gonna have to save a while to be able to afford one. They cost as much as a car.


  1. Musician, guitar builder, coniseur of automobiles, dune buggy restorer, cartoonist, comedian, artist, wiener dog afficinado, blogger, writer, neat-guy, historian of the cool, and NOW master craftsman...
    Keith, you are my hero!
    A stunningly beautiful desk... I'm in awe.
    - Jay (r/e)

  2. Congrats~! It's GORGEOUS. Much to be proud of. I think printers will be mounted on the ceiling in the future to conserve space, with paper shoots that run down the wall like vacuum tubes at a Drive-Thru Bank.

    Is that a Blue-Jay above the Child's left shoulder in that odd painting on the wall ?

    What kind of animal skin is on the floor ? Or is that a trap door to the torture chamber in the dungeon haha.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. What incredible work. I feel a real gush of compliments coming on. I went to the Karges website. No prices listed. I know what that means.

    If I was going to buy a second car, I'd get that desk instead. Man, I hope your right about desks like that coming back. Maybe there is hope for the human race after all.

    Dude, that's a real pretty thing.

  4. Lovely. Kudos for keeping old-style craftsmanship alive!

  5. Thanks R/E, Lysdexicuss, Mykal and Zdub!

    That blue thing behind the boy in the painting is just a smeary cloud, and I believe that's a cow hide on the floor. I was afraid to look under it.

    Yes, buy the desk instead of a car. Then with your desk being at home you'd never want to leave the house anyway.

  6. Lucy should be sitting by a leg for scale.

  7. I wouldn't get much work done at a desk like this. I'd spend all my time admiring the sheer beauty of it.


  8. KW: This will not be the first time that I've said this here but...."you never cease to amaze me!"

    You are one seriously talented dude!!! I have no words Sir!! Stunning!!!!

    Oh, btw.... I've been meaning to tell you that my short "cartoon" WEENIE WAGON WOE has been accepted for competition in the Melbourne Animated Film Festival, this June. It will be playing in a special screening called "Midnight Weirdness", which sounds just about right for my little 13 year effort.

    Again.....such a great looking should be very proud and have every right to be.

  9. Brad, Thanks buddy!

    Willy, Thanks friend! Let me know when your cartoon is ready. Will you be selling it on dvd?
    Man, 13 years! That's some honorable dedication.

  10. You are a freak of nature...they do not pay you enough.
    Absolutely fan-snazz-tic!
    Shee-itt, that's slicker than owl shee-itt!
    KW, you are a Jee-nee-yuss, bwah!

  11. I would love to be able to sell WWW, but may be handcuffed because of music just may not be profitable enough, but we will see.
    It will be on Marc Ribot's website in about a year, so folks can see it there eventually.

    Sorry to break the thread here...

  12. Apocolyte thanks buddy!

    Willy, we gotta wait another year!! Dangit!

  13. I still remember the desk you made while we were just out of high school, with its own secret compartment. Great work then and now!


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