Monthly Book Giveaway - March 2023

Slab-sided floating top river desk


This one has a ton of firsts for me:

1) epoxy as finish (Stonecoat Countertop epoxy)
2) gouge texturing
3) sliding dovetail battens
4) shou sugi ban
5) TransTint dye
6) black dye
7) floating top
8) slabs that have only dried six months, paired with kiln dried lumber (It’s okay, I accounted for wood movement)
9) fuming oak
10) Dark Tung Oil

The top is made from quarter sawn Southern Yellow Pine (from the big blue box), tinted with TransTint Dye and finished with Stonecoat Countertop Epoxy.
The stretchers are Southern Yellow Pine, hand textured with a gouge. Dyed with black RIT dye and finished with rattlecan shellac.
The legs are hand cut red oak (water oak) that has been fumed in ammonia and finished with Milk Paint brand Dark Tung Oil.

Other than the glue holding the desktop boards together, all the other joinery is non-glued dovetails, condor tails, and sliding dovetails.

For way more detail and photos, jump to the parts that interest you. It is a long story with a lot of parts:
A) Intro – Floating top river desk planning
B) Epoxy river desktop with islands
C) Textured stretchers
D) Live edge slab legs
E) Assembly complete

How do I account for wood movement? The battens fit into sliding dovetails on the underside of the desk. These float free within the dovetail as the top expands and contracts. The battens also have another long dovetail that slides into the stretchers (not glued in) which fit into dovetails in the slab sides. As the slab sides contract (they were only 6 months off the tree when I made cut them) it will bring the stretchers closer to each other, but they are free to slide along the battens. Everything is free floating, when it comes to wood movement, but not so free floating that it will move apart by pushing on it.


Wow! Another really unique piece!


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Rustic but chic.very nice!

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker


Remember this one from LJ.  Still very impressed with the build esp the sculpted aprons.

daveg, SW Washington & AZ

wow that was a lot of work but paid off very well. what a unique desk that your son will hopefully keep and someday hand down to his son. i do agree with your regrets, especially the one about too much stuff hiding all the beauty. but it still came out incredible.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Swirt, that is a wonderful table, you tackled your many first on the project, In the joinery and the floating top, first class craftsmanship. Well done.

Main Street to the Mountains

@gdaveg Thanks.  I enjoy the look of the aprons too.  

@pottz my son is still happy with his desk.  I like listening in as he proudly shows it to his friends.  He might pass it off to his child some day but will have to pass down a forklift too.  The thing is a beast.  My wife likes the look, but when she has to move it, I hear about it.

Thanks @eric.  much appreciated.

Great build!  Love all those details.


I see some yellow pine, and I want to paint it black.

Super work, Swirt.

No Bees. No Honey. Bees Lives Matter

Thanks Petey, thanks WildBrianWood
Nicely done!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

So nice!  A great combination of wood, and for sure craftsmanship.