A $150,000 desk for a private jet catches the eye of the Robb Report
February 8, 2022 | 2:59 pm CST
Weight, down to the ounce, is critical, as are strength, stability and the precise fit necessary for a pre-configured cabin.

Weight, down to the ounce, is critical, as are strength, stability and the precise fit necessary for any furniture in a plane's cabin.

Bomhoff Limited in Tucson, Arizona, was a new exhibitor at the National Business Aviation Association’s recent Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition show, and they just happened to draw the attention of the Robb Report with an executive desk that sold for $150,000 and took 1,000 hours to produce.

The executive desk, which the report said was a “monument” in airplane parlance, is built on a subtly curved composite frame, with quarter-sawn American-walnut veneer and five coats of proprietary finish. It also featured leather-lined drawers and hidden door tracks on the sides.

The company was previously featured in WoodworkingNetwork.com’s story, "Jet interior company opens in Arizona," last October. 

“The details are what I really enjoy about this work,” said Russ Bomhoff. “On a Rolls-Royce, the interior’s all about the curves. Even on a $90 million jet, where the interior costs a million, you typically get a cookie-cutter floor plan that’s all straight lines. We started this business to give owners a clean slate.”

According to the Robb Report, aircraft furniture is more complicated than home or even yacht decor. Weight, down to the ounce, is critical, as are strength, stability and the precise fit necessary for a pre-configured cabin. Each piece must also comply with the FAA’s regulations regarding structural integrity and flammability.

“It’s a labor-intensive, expensive process,” Bomhoff says. “Even latches have to be FAA-certified to meet specific load requirements, unlike typical furniture hardware.”

The 1,000-plus man-hours needed to build the desk are reflected in the $150,000 price tag, as is the FAA certification. 

In addition to a woodworking shop, Bomhoff’s Tucson facility has a CNC router, composite oven, industrial sewing machines, metalworking shop, laser cutter and paint booth. “Without the technology, it would take us twice the time,” Bomhoff told the Robb Report. “But when you’re dealing with inlays only a few hundredths of an inch long, you need someone with a pair of tweezers working many hours.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).