Roll top desks are still quite popular, but not as popular as they once used to be. This type of desk was very popular in the 19th century and the early 20th century when it was used mainly for writing and other jobs that required privacy.
It was also very popular amongst politicians and government officials due to its ability to be locked and provide a secure surface for important documents.
In modern times, roll top desks are still used in some places, but not as often as they used to be. They are still popular in antique furniture stores, but they are typically seen in offices, libraries and other workspaces that still require its traditional use.
However, they have also become popular in eclectic homes and design schemes, as their unique look can add a touch of vintage charm to a room. Roll top desks are also appealing to some due to the lack of clutter that comes with the roll-down lid, which can hide away items such as papers, stationery and other supplies.
Overall, roll top desks are still popular but not as popular as they used to be due to the prevalence of more modern, streamlined, space-saving furniture on the market nowadays.
Are roll top desks worth anything?
Roll top desks are generally considered a traditional and dignified piece of furniture that add a certain charm and character to a room, so they are certainly worth something, both in terms of function and in terms of their collectible, antique value.
Roll top desks feature a vertically sliding tambour door which slides up and down along the top of the desk; this enables the user to keep items out of sight, but still easily accessible. They typically have a hinged top as well and divide the desktop into two main parts: a desk interior, which provides cubbies and compartments for organized storage, and a desk surface, which is perfect for writing and working on.
In terms of their current worth, roll top desks can range in price from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the condition, age, rarity, and other factors. A roll top desk with intricate carvings and detailed inlays may be more valuable, whereas more basic roll top desks made of simple woods and parts may fetch a lower price.
Those of a certain age may also be worth more due to their antique value. As such, if you own a roll top desk, it is definitely worth doing some research to see what it is worth and if it is an item of sentimental or financial value.
When did they stop making roll top desks?
Roll top desks were first mass-produced in the United States during the late 19th century and remained popular until the mid-20th century. They were considered the quintessential American desk, a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern industrial production.
However, the rise of computers and modern office equipment in the late 20th century caused a decline in demand for roll top desks. By the early 2000s, mass-production of roll top desks had largely ceased, although some handmade, specialty desks are still produced today.
Mass-produced roll top desks are more difficult to find in stores, and vintage pieces can command high prices due to their classic style and historical significance.
How do you modernize a roll top desk?
The process of modernizing a roll top desk can be quite straightforward and easy. There are several areas you can focus on to modernize the look.
First, pay attention to the hardware, such as the pulls and knobs. These can often be replaced with more modern looking, sleek designs. Additionally, if the desk has any metal accents, replacing these with more contemporary options can help to create a more modern look.
Second, consider the desk’s finish. Sanding and refinishing the desk is a great way to update the appearance. You can choose to add a modern color of stain or paint, as well as a type of protection like a sealer.
Third, if the roll top desk has any woodcarvings that you’d like to keep, but suspect are antiquated and outdated in style, consider giving them a new paint job. Bright colors can often modernize the look of older furniture pieces.
Finally, consider adding a few modern accessories to the desk. This could include items like a laptop holder, charging stations, cable organizers, and task lamps. These items will not only help to bring the traditional piece up to date, but also make it much more efficient and useful in the modern day.
Where should a roll top desk be placed?
A roll top desk should generally be placed in an area that provides plenty of natural light, such as near a window, and positioned in a room where it won’t be obstructed. If the desk is too close to a direct heat source, such as a fireplace, the heat can cause warping and cause the desk to pop open occasionally.
If you have children in the home, it is best to avoid placing the desk in a high-traffic area where it may be knocked over. If you are limited on space, locating the desk in a peaceful corner of a bedroom can be a great option.
Additionally, pieces of furniture of any kind should not be placed directly against outside walls as it can put strain on the structure.
What can you do with a rolltop desk?
A rolltop desk is an incredibly versatile piece of furniture. It’s a multifunctional desk that can be used in a variety of scenarios and settings. As its name implies, when the desk is not in use, the top can be rolled down to create a secure and covered workspace.
It offers plenty of storage space and it’s great for those looking to save on bedroom or office space. The slats that make up the sides can be easily adjusted to accommodate writing supplies and stationary as well as computer hardware, if necessary.
The top can also be used as a work station for computers and other electronic devices.
Moreover, rolltop desks offer great access for people looking to stay organized and be productive. Because the top is divided into smaller cubbies and drawers, you can easily sort and store items for quick retrieval.
The versatility of the rolltop desk doesn’t stop there. It can also be used as a long shelf and display unit, perfect for holding books, photos, and other decorative items. Last but not least, the attractive piece of furniture adds a classic, elegant touch to any home.
How can I make my roll top desk slide easier?
To make your roll top desk slide easier, there are a few steps or processes that you can try. Firstly, inspect the roll top desk to ensure that all of the screws, locks, and pieces are properly tightened.
If these pieces are loose, it can cause the roll top desk to stick and not open and close with the same ease. Next, clean the track, the slides, and the desk top to ensure that any buildup of dirt, dust, and debris is removed.
This can help to reduce the amount of friction between the desk parts as they open. Lastly, lubricate the track, slides, and locks of the roll top desk with a light machine oil such as 3-in-1 house hold oil.
This will help to protect all surfaces while providing a thin layer of lubrication that will allow the desk to open and close easier.
How do you repair a tambour?
Repairing a tambour requires that you first identify what portion of the tambour needs to be fixed. If the tambour is broken and needs structural repairs, such as to the snare mechanism, attaching hardware, or any other structural repairs, a luthier or professional repair technician may be necessary for proper repairs.
In some cases repairs may require the tambour be disassembled and new parts may need to be ordered.
If the tambour has cosmetic or finish damage, such as scratches, chips, or general wear and tear, the damage can be addressed. To do so, the damaged portion must be sanded, and finishing putty may need to be applied depending on the extent of the damage.
Finishing putty can be colored to match the existing finish of the tambour, or another finishing product can be chosen to provide a different face lift. Once the putty is dry it can be lightly sanded and a thin layer of finish or oil can be applied to seal and protect the area.
Additionally, if the tambour needs to be tuned, a specific tuning guide should be consulted for the proper tuning steps and techniques. Depending on the tuning that is needed, the head may need to be tensioned, moved out of tune, or adjusted.
Specific tuning tools, such as a tension rod wrench, may also need to be applied for proper tension adjustment and tuning.
Repairing a tambour requires an understanding of what type of repairs need to be made and the tools and techniques to apply them. Professional help may be necessary for more complicated repairs, however basic repairs should be within the reach of anyone with knowledge of the tambour and some patience.
How do I update my old desk?
Updating an old desk can be a great way to spruce up your workspace without breaking the bank. No matter how old it is.
First, you should focus on cleaning the desk and removing any stains or scratches. A simple solution of white vinegar and water can be used to polish and clean the surface, and furniture polish or even a mild cleaner can be used to make the desk look shiny and new.
Next, you can focus on updating the hardware. Replacing the hinges, screws, handles, and other pieces of hardware can go a long way in making your desk look like new. Check your local hardware store for replacement pieces that fit your desk.
The last step is to make any necessary repairs. If your desk is showing signs of wear and tear, try using wood glue and wood filler to help repair the damage, and once that’s dry, you can use sandpaper to make sure the surface is smooth and even.
Lastly, you can choose to paint or stain your desk to add a touch of your own personal style. If you want to add a splash of color, choose a fun, bright color, but you can also choose a more neutral hue to create a sophisticated and timeless look.
Updating an old desk doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps and some elbow grease, you can turn your old desk into a brand new one that you’re proud to show off.
How do you paint the top of a desk?
To paint the top of a desk, start by sanding the entire desktop surface with fine-grain sandpaper to even out imperfections and rough spots. Next, clean the desk with a damp cloth and then let it dry.
Once the surface is fully dry, apply a primer coat to the desk and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After that, use a high-quality brush or roller to apply a paint of your choice in even, long strokes.
Finish by applying a clear, protective topcoat to seal the paint and protect it from scratches, water, and sunlight. Finally, let the desk sit for several days to fully cure before using.
How do I know if my roll top desk is an antique?
To determine if your roll top desk is an antique, you will need to look at a few factors. First, check for an identifying label or stamp from an antique dealer or manufacturer. If there is none, take a look at the type of wood used.
Solid oak and mahogany were popular choices for antique furniture. You can also look for signs of age such as a patina to the wood, chips and dings, or a worn finish. If possible, try to insert a ruler into the cracks and crevices on the desk–a ruler won’t fit in smaller, more modern desks because of their narrower work spaces.
Additionally, roll top desks built before 1890 are likely to be antiques. Lastly, if you can trace the history of the piece and can prove the desk is at least 100 years old, then it’s likely an antique.