Floating Top River Desk with Slab Sides – Intro

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series River Desk
My design for a Floating Top RIver Desk with Slab Sides.

My son currently uses a desk that is a simple trestle style that belonged to his grandfather. I like the style of it, but it was from an era that knew nothing of laptops and mice and was a bit small for today’s deskly duties. He has simply outgrown the desk and was in need of a bigger model.

He had his set of requirements:

  1. Had to have a blue epoxy river, with Islands
  2. Large surface – large surfaces can tolerate more crap.
  3. Dark stain – he likes dark wood.

And I had my requirements:

  1. Had to make use of some natural Oak slabs I had acquired.
  2. Joinery had to account for slabs not being fully dried.
  3. Only wood joinery … no metal.
  4. Try some new techniques. (textures, contours, fuming, epoxy …)

Floating Top River Desk Design

Stretchers options for a floating desk
Stretcher sketches.

After doing some sketching, I came up with:

  • Desktop will be made of quartersawn Southern Yellow Pine with a blue epoxy river down it. (including islands in the river)
  • The legs will be thick slab sides of red oak, that will have live edges and natural shape.
  • The stretchers will give the illusion of a floating top. They will connect to the slab sides with dovetails. They will attach to battens in the table with sliding dovetails. They will be textured, and made to look as black as possible. This style would allow for the slab sides to go through considerable changes as they dry and at the same time account for the seasonal changes in the desktop.

The end result of this desk is pretty simple, but there is a lot to cover, so I am breaking it into three sections that I will be releasing over the next week or so:

  1. Desktop with a River
  2. Stretchers for a Floating Desktop
  3. Live Edge Slab Sides
  4. Assembly Complete

Tools Used: (links are affiliates, not sponsors)

Series NavigationEpoxy River Desktop