Amish Roll Top Desk Buying Guide

By Bailiegh Basham · February 19, 2016

Amish Roll Top Desk Buying Guide

Solid Wood Roll-top or Cylinder Desks

A variation on both the standard pedestal desk and the tambour secretary, the classic roll top is renowned for its beauty, expert craftsmanship, and function. Aside from the key feature – a tambour sliding lid – roll tops are often equipped with several cubbyholes, drawers of various sizes, and perhaps a secret compartment or two.

At the end of the day the rolling tambour can slide down and with one lock everything is sealed away so that work could resume on return. The tambour lid covers the mess of papers and will transform your work space with a beautiful piece of decorative furniture.

Today, these classic desks are making a comeback into the modern world of technology. Several single and double pedestal roll tops desks accommodate either a laptop or desk top computer with room to spare.

Roll top desks are generally made from solid hardwood such as Oak, Brown Maple, Cherry, Quartersawn White Oak, Elm, or Walnut. They can also be stained or finished to complement your tastes. 

Roll Top Desk Vocabulary:

  • Roll Top Desk: A desk with a flexible, sliding cover for the working area of a desk
  • Tambour: Shuttered lid that rolls horizontally into the back of the desk
  • Raised Panel: Raised piece of solid wood creating more depth and additional character
  • Wire Grommet: Way of organizing wires and cables and routing them through desks tops
  • Writing Board: Wooden pull-out writing surface that stores in the pedestal of the desk
  • Pigeonhole: Small, open compartment in a desk for keeping letters and documents

Roll top desks are functional pieces of Amish furniture that can be passed down to children or grandchildren, and eventually become a precious family heirloom. These days, roll-tops remain the same, but people’s perceptions of style seem to have broadened to appreciate them in a wide range of design settings. So, no matter what kind of look you have, a roll-top desk might be just the thing you need to make it complete.

Shop our entire collection of Amish handmade Roll Top Desks, or check out some of our favorites:

Pictured Above: Wordsmith's Roll Top Desk

Pictured Above: Consultant's Roll Top Desk

Pictured Above: Professor's Roll Top Desk

Pictured Above: Librarian's Roll Top with Hutch