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Jefferson Lap Desk

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Project by Kenns posted 1169 days ago 4391 views 14 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About a month ago I was thinking about a possible gift for our retiring Pastor. Our church is over 160 years old and the Pastor is a real history buff. I happened upon a set of plans for the Jefferson Lap Desk and decided it was the perfect gift. I had a small supply of really old Mahogony rescued from a local bar that was torn down where it was used for over 75 years as paneling, and chose one of the boards (3/4×12 x 96”long) for this project. I took some liberties in the drawer dimensions to accommodate modern paper sizes, and I added breadboard edges to help stabilize the desk tops, which are only 3/8” thick. I’m pleased with my first attempt to hand cut the drawers half blind dovetails. I used maple for the drawer components and the inlays for the contrast. With the drawer sides only 3/16” thick and the partitions at only 1/8” thick I gained a real appreciation for all you small box builders out there. I hope you enjoy my latest effort here. Now I have to finish my kitchen remodel or my wife might make me a part of her history.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....





17 comments so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

7004 posts in 2037 days


#1 posted 1169 days ago

I really like this project. I’m sure your pastor will really appreciate it. Good job!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View 1SGTBob's profile

1SGTBob

73 posts in 1519 days


#2 posted 1169 days ago

Nice lap desk ,I would like to know where you found the plans as I will put this on my to do list , Welcome to LJ’s .

-- Bob "Every breath I take as a Free man was paid for with the blood of an American Soldier"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15670 posts in 2822 days


#3 posted 1169 days ago

Wonderful project!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1693 days


#4 posted 1169 days ago

Beautiful work, what a wonderful gift for the pastor.
This will be such a sweet memry for him.
I like that there is a recycle to this, and the wood comes from a bar and ends up this beautiful gives it a extra priceless touch.
Best thoughts,
MaFe

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6122 posts in 1404 days


#5 posted 1169 days ago

I LOVE IT! I am a huge fan of historic projects like that (I’m also the biggest history buff you’ll ever find), and I absolutely MUST make this one!

I remember seeing Roy Underhill make Jefferson’s revolving book stand and it made me think of the lap desk Jefferson used to write the Declaration of Independence. Where did you get the plans?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Kenns's profile

Kenns

155 posts in 1195 days


#6 posted 1169 days ago

The plans for this project were featured in a Fine Woodworking article by Lon Schleining. Mr. Schleining uses veneering plywood techniques for a beautiful project. I used solid wood only because I felt it was old enough and stable. I purchased the hardware from Crown City Hardware in California as he suggested, however, the information on the plan was incorrect. It is also very expensive for the “kit” they do have. I believe it was about $69 including shipment to Michigan. I think I could do better with some research and having this first iteration of the desk behind me.
The plan gives this address information:
Lon Schleining
1416 East burnett Street, Suite C
Long Beach, CA 90806
562-595-5868
lon@woodbender.com
www.woodbender.com

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6122 posts in 1404 days


#7 posted 1169 days ago

Are you in Michigan? Where?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Kenns's profile

Kenns

155 posts in 1195 days


#8 posted 1169 days ago

Another little change I decided to make was in the way that Mr. Schleining did the box corners. He used mitered and splined corners. I floated the end panel in a dado. This made the inlay easier to apply and it also looks the same as the drawer front.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View Kenns's profile

Kenns

155 posts in 1195 days


#9 posted 1169 days ago

StumpyNubs,
I’m in Ann Arbor.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6122 posts in 1404 days


#10 posted 1169 days ago

I grew up in Midland, and now I live in St. Charles (near Saginaw)... small world.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Kenns's profile

Kenns

155 posts in 1195 days


#11 posted 1169 days ago

My son lives in Midland and works in Saginaw…..small world, indeed.

-- Then, Than, Their, There, They're, To, Too, Two.....Pine, Maple, Walnut....We need to know the difference.....

View TheKingInYellow's profile

TheKingInYellow

233 posts in 2134 days


#12 posted 1169 days ago

Wonderful project. Something about it just screams elegance and quality.

Oh, and I’m not from Michigan, but I am I diehard Lions fan!

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View christopheralan's profile

christopheralan

1105 posts in 2324 days


#13 posted 1169 days ago

Perfection. Nothing less than beautiful perfection! Well done!

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

View Chefshep's profile

Chefshep

121 posts in 1287 days


#14 posted 1169 days ago

Beautiful! Everything else it says on it’s own!

-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2194 days


#15 posted 1168 days ago

Really beautiful

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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