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Shaker Lap Desk

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Project by ChuckV posted 08-14-2015 06:14 PM 1144 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this little desk from Christian Becksvoort’s article in FWW #248. The reasons that I wanted to build this were:

1) It is a good introduction to breadboard ends on a small project.

2) I had a pair of unused Brusso hinges of just the right size.

3) I like the use of quartersawn pine for the bottom.
Becksvoort writes:
Rather than being set in a groove, the bottom is simply face-glued to the bottom of the case, adding great rigidity. To deal with this sort of cross-grain glue-up without cracking, the bottom must be made of quartersawn white pine – the most well-behaved wood in North America. Through the seasons that 12”-wide bottom will move less than 5/64”, well below the elastic limit of the wood and glue. Trust me, it works – or trust the Shakers, since the desks they built this way are still holding up fine.

I have some very wide pine boards and was able to find a 12” wide section that had the growth rings running from face to face as in quartersawn. This can be seen in the base here:

4) I really like the way that the tiny drawer works.

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Making all the small parts and joints was a fun challenge for me. I made the knob on my lathe:

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Here is the keeper/stop:

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Here is the glue-up of the carcase:

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I used the tapered pieces that I cut from the sides to help when gluing the carcase to the base.

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Sometimes, the small size of the inside might be a problem:

The main divider is removable so that a larger object can be carried inside:

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters





11 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1938 posts in 1449 days


#1 posted 08-14-2015 07:46 PM

Excellent…I think it is the best project that you posted. Very nice work on wood selection and dovetail corners.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9432 posts in 3513 days


#2 posted 08-14-2015 08:18 PM

COOL!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Roger's profile

Roger

19865 posts in 2264 days


#3 posted 08-15-2015 12:49 PM

Nice one. I’ve been looking at this as well. Except for the snake, this is fantastic.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2992 days


#4 posted 08-15-2015 12:54 PM

Good job!

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23126 posts in 2327 days


#5 posted 08-15-2015 12:58 PM

This is a very nice project, Chuck. Even the snake seems to like it. Nice work. Is the snake a shop pet or just an occasional visitor?

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2880 posts in 2987 days


#6 posted 08-15-2015 01:05 PM

Charles,

The snake belongs to my son. I let him do the “handling”.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1174 days


#7 posted 08-15-2015 04:51 PM

Lovely project. And like your definition of “larger object”!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

677 posts in 1571 days


#8 posted 11-26-2015 08:40 PM

Hi Chuck,
Your lap desk looks great. I’ve been working on the same project for the last couple of weeks myself. I just took a few notes out of the copy of the magazine my local library had and have been working from those. I can’t remember if Becksvoort says anything about grain direction for the inkwell drawer bottom? It is small enough that movement might not be an issue but I wanted to know if he had any recommendations. Did you do anything different with the bottom? Thanks.

-- James

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2880 posts in 2987 days


#9 posted 11-26-2015 08:59 PM


Hi Chuck,
Your lap desk looks great. I ve been working on the same project for the last couple of weeks myself. I just took a few notes out of the copy of the magazine my local library had and have been working from those. I can t remember if Becksvoort says anything about grain direction for the inkwell drawer bottom? It is small enough that movement might not be an issue but I wanted to know if he had any recommendations. Did you do anything different with the bottom? Thanks.

- JADobson

James,

I used thin Baltic Birch plywood for the drawer bottom. Please don’t tell any Shakers!

Actually, since the Shakers were always very innovative, perhaps they would have used the plywood if it were available to them.

Have fun with this project.

- Chuck

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View JBurke's profile

JBurke

2 posts in 1554 days


#10 posted 11-28-2016 02:42 AM

Excellent job on the shaker desk, if you don’t mind me asking where did you find plans on it? I’d like to make one and give to my mother for Christmas. Thanks!

-- J Milligan

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2880 posts in 2987 days


#11 posted 11-28-2016 02:47 AM



Excellent job on the shaker desk, if you don t mind me asking where did you find plans on it? I d like to make one and give to my mother for Christmas. Thanks!

- JBurke

The plans are from Christian Becksvoort’s article in Fine WoodWorking #248. I get the physical magazine. I do not know if the plans are available online.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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