New custom fly tying desk report (photo heavy)

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Thomas Mitchell, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. A while back, I posted this thread looking for ideas about a new desk:

    I ended up going with a Washington craftsman named Ken Sample. The reasons were in order of importance for me:
    1) The examples of his work matched my aesthetic sense
    2) He was flexible about the design instead of having a preset model
    3) I got the feeling he was doing this because he was a fly fisherman himself and just like the combination of his professional experience in woodworking and passion for flyfishing
    4) He is a local (Eastern, WA) and I could pick up the desk in person
    5) While not cheap at all, the price for the scope of work was very reasonable, especially in comparison the the commercial offerings

    After a couple weeks of thought, I contacted Ken and got a very prompt reply to my questions around design,materials, timeline and price. It all sounded good to me so I sent a deposit and we then corresponded in more detail as I explained to Ken what sort of other furniture I owned. I explained that I like and own a several pieces of Stickley mission style furniture including a couple of Morris chairs, one of which is in my 'inner sanctum' fly tying space. I sent him photos of the chair and he added design elements to the desk to match my other furniture including the favorite chair. We also worked together to get the stain to match as closely as possible.

    The photos!

    After getting the design set, Ken purchased some nice Cherry and started work.



    Pretty soon, it started looking like a desk and I started to get excited!



    Stained and getting ready to pick up!


    Laptop stand build into drawer.


    Right on time and right on budget, the desk was complete and ready for me to pick up. The whole thing went off just about as smoothly as could be imagine. Ken also added extra features like custom mission style drawer pulls, power cord routing for my light, a laptop base built into one of the drawers, shelves to display my favorite reels, etc. etc. I picked up the desk last weekend after a day fishing the NFCDA and could not be happier with the investment. I'll tie at this desk until I don't tie any more and then my kids can decide what to do with it as it's really and heirloom quality piece of hand made furniture.

    Finished desk in it's new home!


    Ken is in the process of moving his shop to Seattle to be closer to his family. Once he gets set up and my wallet recovers from the desk, I plan on having him build a custom materials chest and maybe a rod rack to match the desk. He also showed me some prototypes of very nice smaller pieces: thread and material holders on lazy susans and such. His website is here:
    Alpine4x4, Krusty, PatrickH and 8 others like this.
  2. Well done, sirs..

    Appreciate the photos!
  3. Wow! That's just beautiful. Life's good.
  4. Thomas, what a great-looking and well-designed desk, congratulations! Kudos to Kevin for the beautiful work he did, and to you for the design.

  5. Looks great!
  6. That's awesome, wish I had skills like that!
  7. Thomas, I'm sure you are aware of these but for your next piece for materials storage these have a lot going for them.

    I'm talking concept here not style, size or details. It would only take a little imagination to Sticklyize a Wooton cabinet. Loose the writing surface and add more drawers, shelves, slots or whatever. Littlesouthfork should be able to tackle this.

  8. I've known Ken Sample for many years and he is a superb craftsman, building beautiful fly tying furniture as well as bamboo rods. Ken is a fly tier and fisher, doing an excellent job at both.
  9. Thomas,
    Thanks for your post. I enjoyed working with you on your tying desk and
    look forward to working with you on future projects.
    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

  10. Thomas, you have some nice toys! Ken, the desk is beautiful and timeless.
  11. A beautiful and functional piece of furniture . A piece that sadly , I would not be worthy of , as I would have it so cluttered with crap that it could never get the appreciation it deserves .
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  12. very nice !:)
  13. That is just awesome! Only problem now is I may have to work some OT for a desk of my own.
  14. I am jealous! That desk is awesome!
  15. Awesome desk !!! love it, I'll take two...:) Just kidding...
  16. Lovely work Ken
  17. very very nice. really like the style. kudo's to the both of you.
    Outlaw :)
  18. Holy crap! That is awesome! Well done! I wish my grandpa was still around so I could make use of his wood shop and make one for myself!
  19. This fly tying desk looks outstanding. I hope you will spend a lot of time behind it creating a lot of Flies.

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