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Is this a good idea? Also angled dovetails

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Bacms

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Hi all,

I have bound WFH for a few months and have decided my next project is going to be a Laptop stand. It all started very simply, 2 parallel sides dovetailed with to an angled top. I did a prototype in plywood to decide on the height and found it to be too boxy. So I have gone to sketch up and started playing up with designs.

I think I have settled on this:
laptop stand.png


I am still thinking about keeping it simple and simply cut the "hole" on the side panels and want to keep dovetails as the chosen joinery.

However there 2 problems with that, I cannot quite figure out how to actually layout the dovetails. I am thinking the tails need to on the top and the pins on the sides but should I still cut the tails square and the angle the pins or the other way around?
And once I remove the meat from the side panels there won't be much wood underneath the joint and given the grain direction it is starting to look like a perfect place to split along the grain. Am I just overthinking this or is this indeed a bad idea?
 

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MikeG.

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No, that won't work. The grain in the side pieces is running at 90 degrees from the grain in the top, and so the dovetails will be leaving short grain everywhere. They'll snap off at the first bit of sideways pressure. Dovetails only work end grain to end grain.
 

Doug B

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Why not over hang the top over the side supports & joint them to the top with a stopped sliding dovetail this has the added bonus of helping to keep the top flat.
 

Bacms

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MikeG.":347exs8a said:
No, that won't work. The grain in the side pieces is running at 90 degrees from the grain in the top, and so the dovetails will be leaving short-grain everywhere. They'll snap off at the first bit of sideways pressure. Dovetails only work end grain to end grain.
The plan was to not have the side walls at 90 degrees but to have them end grain to end grain. My guess is that you still think that is a bad idea given that you immediately assume they had to be at 90 degrees from each other?
 

Bacms

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Doug B":2663wmrq said:
Why not over hang the top over the side supports & joint them to the top with a stopped sliding dovetail this has the added bonus of helping to keep the top flat.
I was trying to keep the piece smaller than the laptop but that is a great suggestion. It's a joint I have never done before but shouldn't be too hard to achieve on the router table. I will tinker with the design tonight as I probably want to angle the overhang so it does not look boxy
 

CHJ

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Don't wish to burst your bubble but are you sure you really want fixed legs/side members.

The ones we use have hinged side members that fold flat towards the centre underneath when not in use, much less obtrusive when placed on one side with the laptop still on them.

They open out slightly splayed out from 90 deg. controlled by the positioning of the hinges used.

Also you mention smaller footprint than your laptop, think that same width or slightly wider is easier to handle when picking it up with laptop on it.
 
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