For a long time I’ve wanted a nice desk to work at, and for a few months I’ve had a couple of planks of Ambrosia Maple sitting in the wood store, so this weekend I had the bright idea of making my new desk from this amazing wood.

Ambrosia Maple isn’t a particular species, it’s simply Maple that’s been infested by bugs. They drill a hole, fill with fungus which when the baby bugs hatch they feast on before the leave. The result is magnificent blue/green staining which stretches vertically up the grain of the timber. The real bonus is that the integrity of the wood isn’t harmed barring some 1mm entrance holes, it just adds to the interest – amazingly in times gone by the wood would have been discarded or used for parts that would never be seen which is a real shame.

With two planks, one heavily figured, it was obvious which to joint for the table top – I had just enough from that plank with about 6 inches of waste. The second plank was sawn into 8 sections for the legs and just enough left over for the apron (the underside of the table between the legs). 8 sections were needed for the legs which were laminated into pairs to give 40mm square legs which taper to around 20mm at the base.

The table turned out really well, especially when finished with a pale heat resistant French Polish which really highlighted the figuring of the Ambrosia Maple. Even the legs had some lovely features, especially on some legs where two adjacent pieces were bookmarked to mirror the grain from one side to the other.

This is not a desk you could ever go out and buy and, unless you’re fortunate enough to lay your hands on some similar timber, there’s unlikely ever to be a twin. I particularly like where the figuring flows over the milled edge of the table as you can see just how deep the staining goes. Overall, I’m thrilled with the results and will likely be writing at it daily, for my day job, for many years into the future.

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