Writing Desk

Anne Briggs

Join new guest instructor Anne Briggs (from Anne of all Trades) on the journey of building a beautiful writing desk. This project will be filmed on location in her shop in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

  • 11 lessons
  • 113 min
  • $49.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Introduction

    A preview of the Writing Desk’s materials, features, and joinery.

  2. Lumber Selection

    A look at the project lumber as well as tips for making wise choices in lumber selection.

  3. Legs & Rails

    The legs and rails are cut to size.

  4. Leg Joinery

    We’ll add large bridle joints and small mortises to each leg.

  5. Tenons & Curves

    The tenons on the rails and stretchers are cut to size and the curves are added to the stretchers.

  6. Drawboring & Base Assembly

    The base is assembled with the help of some drawbored pegs.

  7. Desk Top

    The top comes together with the glueup of two wide boards.

  8. Top Case Dovetails

    The top case panels are glued together and joined with dovetails.

  9. Top Case Interior

    The inside of the case needs a back panel, a shelf, a support arch, and hinge mortises.

  10. The Door

    The door features a clever faux frame and panel design.

  11. Wrapping Up

    A few details remain before applying the finish to the desk.

What You’ll Receive:

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (11 videos in total) showing every step of the build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What You’ll Learn

  • Build strategy
  • Lumber Selection
  • Material layout
  • Bridle Joints
  • Drawbore Joinery
  • Mortise and Tenon Joinery
  • Cutting and refining curves
  • Table top preparation
  • Creating your own buttons for Top assembly
  • Allowing for wood movement in a table top
  • Through dovetails
  • Box/ Case construction
  • Shelf Installation
  • Hinge installation
  • Breadboard Panels
  • Danish Oil Finishing

What You’ll Need:

Note: This is not a required list of tools. This is simply what I used during the build. Remember, there are always multiple ways to accomplish a task so if you don’t have one or more of these tools, you can very likely still make this project.



  • Planer/Jointer (alternatives: purchase pre-milled lumber kits or use hand planes)
  • Tablesaw with a Miter Gauge
  • Dado Stack
  • Router
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill
  • Miter Saw (for rough-cutting lumber)
  • Domino or biscuit joiner (not required)
  • Hand Tools – Chisels, Razor Saw, Shoulder Plane, Card Scraper, Dovetail Saw, Coping saw, Rasp, Low Angle Jack plane, marking gauge, dowel plate


  • Router Bit – For mortising
  • Drill Bit for drawbore pegs
  • Countersink bit for button installation



Marc might have written the book on hybrid woodworking but Anne shows a perfect execution of the hybrid style of woodworking. This is really two projects in one. You will learn how to build a table and a nice box. The nice thing is the box isn’t attached to the table so if you need the extra room on the table, you can just take the box off. With a little modification, the box would make a great charging station.

Prescott Musler
Guild Member
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About Your Instructor:

Anne Briggs learned to love woodworking at her grandfather’s workbench as a child. Six years ago, upon moving to Seattle, Anne decided to begin pursuing woodworking seriously as a hobby, and her obsession grew quickly. Anne writes for Furniture and Cabinet Making Magazine and travels with Lie-Nielsen Toolworks’ Hand Tool Event staff to offer guidance for hand tool woodworkers interested in the craft. In 2015 she was hired as the Wood Studio Manager at Pratt Fine Arts Center to develop their woodworking education and artist access program. She has had features published about her in Wood Magazine, Modern Farmer, Flavorwire, Lee Valley and more. In January 2018 she resigned her position at Pratt so she could finish writing her book on preserving traditional craft and life rhythms, do more teaching, and to pursue her furniture building and educational content creation business full-time.