Walnut Lap Desk

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Project by chertzog posted 02-22-2016 12:41 AM 885 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a Thomas Jefferson inspired lap desk. The entire thing is made from walnut.

The overall dimensions are 18” long, 12.5” wide, and ~4” tall. The breadboard top is approximately 5/8” thick. the drawer box is 3/8” thick. The top and bottom panels of the drawer box are book matched pieces. The drawer is full length with the front panel using half blind dovetails and the rear using full dovetails.

I finished the project with 3 coats of shellac with light sanding in between.

For this project i used mostly hand tools except for the table saw for ripping some pieces. I have to say, I am beginning to really like the hand plane and chisel work. I feel like it brings you closer to the material and builds a stronger connection with the project.

6 comments so far

View AJ1104's profile


375 posts in 1530 days

#1 posted 02-22-2016 01:54 AM

Very nice build on your lap desk. I really like the shellac finish over the walnut. Great job !

-- AJ, Long Island. New York

View BurlyBob's profile


5145 posts in 2137 days

#2 posted 02-22-2016 02:57 PM

Beautiful work.

View helluvawreck's profile


29707 posts in 2738 days

#3 posted 02-22-2016 04:17 PM

You did a very nice job on this piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 TravistheNewb's profile


54 posts in 971 days

#4 posted 02-22-2016 05:37 PM

” I feel like it brings you closer to the material and builds a stronger connection with the project.”

I really like this thought about hand tool use. Beautiful piece as well.

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3291 days

#5 posted 07-07-2017 05:10 PM

Nice work! I visited Monticello in June…and was so taken by Thomas Jefferson’s history. I purchased a set of plans online and am about to begin to build 3. Mahogony veneer plywood will be my material. 1/2” thick.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View Andybb's profile


641 posts in 474 days

#6 posted 07-08-2017 05:02 AM

Beautiful! Gotta make one! Really want to try some dovetails. What holds up the top?

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