As some of you know, about five years ago I gave up the cabinet shop
and entered corporate life as project manager for a millwork company.
Back in September I was recruited from my original position at said
company and went to work for another type of manufacturing company to
service their lead client.
What I didn't know (and neither, apparently, did my new employers)
when I signed on was that the previous occupant of my chair was going
to leverage his strong relationship with the client and go out on his
own to service their account.
When I signed on we had essentially all of the customer's business.
When I actually showed up for work, two weeks later, we had about
eighty percent and the new/old guy had the rest.
After a month, the new/old guy had fifty percent.
After another month, he had eighty percent.
When I left, after three months, we had about ten percent.
My new company was suitably embarrased and provided a nice pacakage to
make my layoff more palatable - but I was still a fifty-seven year old
guy looking for a job.
Pissed me off.
Well, I'm tired of screwing around with Monster.com, JobCircle,
leveraging friends, talking to thirteen year old recruiters, etc.
Lucky me - I didn't sell my shop and tools.
When I got out of the business I had an idea to concentrate on making
high end desks for corporate executives and such. I did a little
sketching but didn't go too far down that road because I got a job
before I had time to flesh things out.
Now I'm revisiting the concept.
I have some ideas of my own but won't share them now because I'd
rather hear some considered opinion, not muddied by any initial
direction from me.
The only thing that I will say is that my intent is to go into a
nonexistant market, where price is not a consideration and design and
execution is everything.
I have four C level clients who only ask that I make them something
at least as cool as the cabinets that I have made for them in the
That said and individual variations aside, what I would like to take a
survey on is what elements the hard core guys on this group think
should be included in, dare I name it, The Ultimate Executive Desk.
Nakashima type minimalism is a non-starter.
Modern, or anything that is more glass and metal than wood - is
Functionality is key but it can't conflict with the heirloom
possibilities of the piece - i.e. I don't want to include tech stuff
that has a half life of Moore's Law or less.
I can tell you that over extension drawers are a requirement but the
hardware can not show.
I can tell you that fit outs for printers and scanners, etc. are
required but the fittings must be as nonspecific as possible.
I'd like to hear about woods and shapes, veneer v. solid, desk v. desk
and credenza, show hardware v. invisible hardware, security features,
exposed v. hidden joinery, wire handling, adjustable desk top height,
adjustable keyboard height, keyboard slideouts that don't look like
keyboard slideouts, finishes, secret booze compartments, secret
compartments in general, ball feet, bun feet, ball and claw feet (of
all styles), hanging files v. manila files, panic buttons, autolift
compartment functions, KD ability, full extension drawers without
visible hardware, pop up two sided flat screens, included speaker
cabinets, stand up desks, drawer divider systems, selling the green
desk, reconfigurable solutions of modular elements, what makes this
desk special, roll tops, secretary desks, totally tambour, ...
You get the idea.
I'm trolling for the coolest stuff to include and what to specifically
The desk I have in the shop now is very traditional. It has a
rectangular top, two file drawers, four additional flanker drawers, a
pencil drawer with a secret document compartment - and a price of
twelve thousand dollars.
(hand selected solid cherry - flamed on top and front, turned and
fluted quarter columns and legs, bun feet, rubbed lacquer finish, all
hand cut joinery.)
I know this Rec to be a fetid swamp of ideas.
I'd like to hear them.