Bilbo and Frodo's writing desk - 1:1 scale build

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    Bilbo and Frodo's writing desk - 1:1 scale build

    We have all seen the opening of Fellowship with Bilbo starting his book in his study and writing in the Redbook of Westmarch. It is such a perfect moment and captured so well by Peter Jackson and the amazing Sir Ian Holm! And now with the terrific Weta piece it shows all the wonderful detail.

    A few years ago a carpenter built a replica of the Hobbit desk and has since offered plan to purchase, which I did with the plans to build one. Well, time has finally come to start the journey! If your looking for your own set of plans, they can be found here for $25.
    https://www.bearkatwood.com/

    Upon doing further research on the desk and gathering as much reference as possible, I quickly found out that there are 2 different desks or rather complete sets of furniture made for LOTR and the Hobbit. The plans that Brian had made are for the Hobbit version and I want to make the LOTR version. Luckily a fellow forum member Aushobbit reached out to me at just the right time with his intention to build his own desk and had some more great reference to share.

    Weta recently released the behind the scenes video of Bilbo's study with some of the prop photos and it will help you see some of the differences between some of the items. as well as some screen captures from the movies


    LOTR

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    Click image for larger version  Name:	FOTR5.png Views:	2 Size:	1.20 MB ID:	225581Hobbit Click image for larger version  Name:	Hobbit3.png Views:	2 Size:	1.24 MB ID:	225584

    Some of the biggest differences are the height, the cut in the angled writing surface. LOTR only has 1 separation and the Hobbit has 2. The pen holder on the right is larger on the LOTR version and the knobs are also much smaller than the Hobbit version as well. The fluting on the legs are different too, LOTR with 3 and the Hobbit with 4. Color is also very different between the two and changes also depending on the scene or photos taken.

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    With the differences between the 2 figured out I could find the material and tools I would need to build my desk. I ended up going with Alder as I have been using a lot of it my house renovations and some left over. It's readily available locally and seems like a decent match. You would need a light colored wood and will end up being stained as well.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by N2Darkness; 21 June 2021, 15:46.
    https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

    #2
    The first thing I started on was making templates for the feet. I started with version that came with the plans, but then started to make adjustments as I looked at photos more closely and discussing it with Aushobbit. I ended up with the 3rd one in the photo.
    ?

    There were also a few firsts for me. I have done a fair amount of woodworking, but never built a piece of furniture before or traditional joinery and the feet to leg connection called for a mortise and tenon joint and then glued together. Thankfully all went well and moved onto the routing of the fluting detail. You can also see the mortise for the stretcher.


    After that was done, I needed to add the angled pieces of the desk.



    There is a couple of glimpses of the back of the desk and sides in the Hobbit diaries with Peter Jackson.
    ? ?

    So I did the same with mine as well.

    Last edited by N2Darkness; 22 June 2021, 13:40.
    https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

    Comment


      #3
      After the back was glued up I could start to dry fit things together and get measurements for the inside plate and the stretcher.

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      The stretcher has a large chamfer on the top in the middle

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      Then I started on the drawer shelf and dividers, both for the top 8 and the lower 4.

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      I may end up making the chair as well, but also found a great stand in on craiglist that will work for now and also help with some dimensions and angels when I do.

      Click image for larger version

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      https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

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        #4
        After I got all of those pieces figured out and fitted, it was time to glue up the main assembly (not easy, but went well with the help of some extra hands from my wife).
        Also added the top and crest theater.

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        I could now start work on all the drawers and the writing surface. Here you can see the drawer fronts and the glued up panel.

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        All the drawers were done with a locking dovetail joint.
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        Attached Files
        https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

        Comment


          #5
          I had originally purchased some wooden knobs to use for this, but they ended up being too big and a different kind of wood. I do have a lathe and figured I could make my own. Boy did I underestimate the task. I spent 3 days trying to get a decent knob, but finally got there after a lot of trial and error.

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          I then started on the pen holder and doing the inlay for the metal trim that goes around the leather on the writing surface.

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          That is currently where I'm at. Still need to figure out something of an organizer for the inside, but since it is never seen I can come up with anything I want that I think looks the part. Also need to make the decorative metal pieces that go on the left side of the writing surface.

          I also plan on making the bookstand as well, and stain and finish both pieces together.

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          https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

          Comment


            #6
            N2Darkness Fantastic! What a wonderful project

            Will you be ageing it too, or just let that happen naturally over the years?

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              #7
              Fantastic indeed!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Valar View Post
                N2Darkness Fantastic! What a wonderful project

                Will you be ageing it too, or just let that happen naturally over the years?
                Most definitely! It needs to be aged and weathered with ink spots and spills on it. Needs to look like it came from Middle Earth!
                https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

                Comment


                  #9
                  Amazing! I truly admire your craftmanship! Looking forward to seeing more.

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                    #10
                    Wow, that is stunning work, congratulations N2Darkness - can't wait to see how this progresses

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                      #11
                      It's amazing s wonderful !!!
                      Congratulations!
                      I look forward to more pictures!

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                        #12
                        What a great project!
                        Im very impressed by people whos got that kind of skills. Very well done
                        The old world will burn in the fires of Industry

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                          #13
                          Looks SO great!!!

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                            #14
                            1:1 prop Replica,great job.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              WOW! Now that's a sweet project!
                              "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
                              ~~Thorin Oakenshield

                              Comment


                                #16
                                It is looking fantastic so far N2, can't wait for more updates!

                                So, you taking orders!

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                                  #17
                                  Fantastic and unique project. Will be following it closely!

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Kyle View Post
                                    It is looking fantastic so far N2, can't wait for more updates!

                                    So, you taking orders!
                                    Thanks everyone! I'll definitely be updating as I go.

                                    Unfortunately, this is a personal passion project of mine. Besides, could you imagine the shipping costs?
                                    https://www.instagram.com/n2darkness/

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I actually checked if you had started a thread here, cos I've been seeing the progress on IG. Amazing work and it's the same goal I've had for my room, so this prior research will come in handy for me. Will go great with your room deco. Congrats N2D!
                                      Instagram: randy_baggins

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I have also seen this on IG but wanted to comment here, it looks fantastic. Can't wait to see more.
                                        https://www.instagram.com/m.shea_pa/

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