Leather Desk Tops

Quick tips on attaching hides to desktops. December 30, 2005

I'm building a cherry desk that's going to have leather inset into the top. Any ideas how to fasten it?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
Sheep skin, if you can get it, is preferable to cowhide. I would use a diluted PVA glue - four parts glue to one part water. You can cover your substrate with the cloth first and then apply your wood lipping or make a recess for it to sit in. After applying glue (you could do half at a time), press the cloth with a piece of felt to get the bubbles out. You may want to have an extra pair of hands with you.

From contributor M:
The proper way to do it is to trim up and miter solid stock around a ply or MDF panel to create your top. The solid stock should be about a penny's thickness more than the panel. Attach edging flush to the bottom to create the recess for the hide. Then seal the bottom and top of the panel. Use wheat based wallpaper paste as the adhesive. You are going to have to size the underside of the leather before putting it on. Put it in the recess oversized and carefully trim it after you've rolled it out with a j-roller. If you don't seal the panel, you will have a nice canoe to use on the weekends! The above is right about the sheepskin.