Lap Desk #1: started with a pile of wood

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 02-12-2012 11:42 PM 10282 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lap Desk series no next part

As you may know, I am currently working on a bookcase job. While it is only 6ft on one side and 8 on the other with a 45 cab in the corner. It is still big for my shop. It is the first cabinets I have done in a couple of years and is very enjoyable project so far. I have been moving this pile of wood around for 2 weeks and I am over it.

There is a little bit of everything there. A chunk of padauk, walnut, rosewood, and some zebrawood. I think there are some others, but does it really matter? The problem is what to do with it.

I have reached a point in the bookcase job where I have to match the stain used in the room they are going in and have that ok’ed by my client. Since I have a few days I figured I would make something for myself. It is a prototype of what I hope will become a product line in the future.

I have wanted something I could set in my lap and use my computer while sitting on the couch. Or to draw if I felt like making some sketches. Since I rarely use cheap wood for my prototypes I figured this would be the perfect material for my lap desk. These being my favorite woods and not saved for anything future projects it seemed the perfect time to make something for me.

I think this will be more of a progress blog than a how to blog. Most of the things in this build I have already covered in past blogs so I will just keep it simple. I am also really busy with the bookcases and they come first.

Anyway, now that I have all my rambling done, here is what I have so far.

Well that’s it for now, wish me luck that I don’t turn this into an expensive pile of fire wood.

-- JoeyG ~~~

13 comments so far

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#1 posted 02-12-2012 11:54 PM

so far so good

beautiful wood

looks like a winner

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2432 days

#2 posted 02-13-2012 12:37 AM

I want to pre-order one now! I am sure it will be unique and user friendly.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4088 days

#3 posted 02-13-2012 01:26 AM

Best of luck!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 02-13-2012 02:06 AM

It is always nice to make something for yourself once in awhile
I like your wood choice

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#5 posted 02-13-2012 02:45 AM

I’ll be following this to see how you incorporate all those cool woods into this lap desk. You could have made it from pine and sent me all the exotic wood if it was in your way.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 2624 days

#6 posted 02-13-2012 03:34 AM

Hey Joey, This is something I’ve been working on too. It’s still in the design stage though. I have a drawer in mine that opens from the right side, for pens, sticky notes, paper etc. I was thinking of using a small throw pillow for the bottom , for comfort and extended stays on your lap. I am still working on the design & have some ideas I need to re-think. I’ll be following along with you on this adventure, thanks for sharing. Mark

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2649 days

#7 posted 02-13-2012 03:50 AM

@jaykaypur, Let’s see if I make it through this one before any pre-orders. LOL
@Andy, I don’t think I even have any pine. I have a couple pieces of left over treated 2×4 from when I build my privacy fence, put I hate pine and try to stay away from it as much as possible.
@Mark, I thought long and hard about a drawer. I didn’t want to be confined to laying in one direction on the couch. I’m a equal opportunity couch potato and didn’t want my options limited because of a drawer. I think I have come up with a solution. We shall see. As with most of my projects, I have had this one in my head for a while now. I measured the computer I have, researched the size of the one I would like to have but will not have for a while, and tried to make up my mind what I wanted to use it for. I then took those measurements, made a quick sketch and started cutting. So far I have only messed up one piece of wood, but I can use it in another spot, so I am ok so far. And that piece would have worked but it was a little to thin to fit my dado and I wanted it nice and tight.

@ everyone else, thanks for taking a look and I hope you stick around until I am able to finish this one. I have a really cool idea for the top, I think will make it worth it, just so you can say you saw it before everyone else. LOL Just kidding,


-- JoeyG ~~~

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2958 days

#8 posted 02-13-2012 05:30 AM

hey Joey,

The wood looks great.

I see a dado onto the side and I am thinking a separate compartiment for charger or pencils.
I am also thinking that it might be on the heavy side depending on what thickness you use for the rest.

I am probably way off….

Good luck.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3358 days

#9 posted 02-13-2012 10:28 AM

You’ve got some good looking pieces of wood there Joey. It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2649 days

#10 posted 02-13-2012 11:28 AM

@ Ian, you are right on both counts. There will be a compartment for pens, pencils, and a charger if I can make it all work out. And it is already heavy. I knew it would be, I am just hoping It’s not to bad once it’s done. If it does get to heavy it can be a desk top- laptop desk. LOL. If I ever get anyone who want’s one of these, I will probably make it from 3/8 material. That should cut the weight in half but still make a very stable and rigid box.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#11 posted 02-13-2012 12:54 PM

that’l be one fancy lap desk. comin along nicely

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View vonhagen's profile


538 posts in 2389 days

#12 posted 02-13-2012 01:00 PM

nice lumber, cant wait to see how it turns out

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#13 posted 02-13-2012 01:19 PM

Love the wood choice! It should turn out beautiful!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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