First popular in the late eighteenth century, roll-top desks embody a classic marriage of design and functionality. And although more than 200 years have passed, this timeless design is as common as ever, both at home and in the workplace.
This handsome do-it-yourself version has all the features that keep roll-tops popular. The pedestal base holds seven big drawers (including two that are deep enough for file folders) and two pullout drawing boards. On top, 16 handy pigeonholes are perfect for sorting and filing, and two small drawers hold postage, pens and other supplies. Best of all, at the end of the day simply pull down the tambour cover to conceal and secure work-in-progress.
The project calls for mostly straight cuts of standard lumber (pine or Douglas fir as pictured, but other wood may be substituted) and includes patterns for the curved pieces. Easy enough for most woodworkers, the modular design is built in sections from the bottom up: first the base, then the desktop, drawers and drawing boards. Once the lower desk is complete, the top is installed and the tambour adds the finishing touch.