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Lap Desk...(Warning LOOONNGG and lots of pics!)

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thomaskennedy

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Hey there...

After spending the last 2 days in the workshop i made the Lap Desk that Charley has plans for in the free plans section of Tool Box...

I began with some maple i had left over from the Coffee Table i made a few weeks ago (which is still not 100% complete [-X !)

The Maple was 125mm wide, and 30mm deep. I used one length of 800mm and one length of 1520mm to make it, i had to 'edit' the sizes a bit but it has turned out OK!!

So to begin with i cut the wood to approx length on the chopsaw and then ripped them 2/3 mm too wide on the bandsaw to clean up on the jointer..

Here i am about to begin planing and thicknessing my wood



After a while i have all my wood planed on 3 sides ready to be thicknessed to 19mm..



After my newly discovered world of lovely snipe and a bag full of maple chippings,



They'll do for the hamster eh? :wink:

Now i am ready to cut them to the final lengths, i am at the chopsaw measuring up,



After 'Measuring Twice and Cutting Once' :norm: I am left with a pile of lovely clean square maple..



I then used my Tapering Jig from Axminster to cut the sides...I forgot to take pictures of this :roll: but i did it nevertheless...

Now i am ready to glue up....Now about the dovetails...

There was a little accident i had with those #-o ... I had the dovetail jig all set up and i cut the first corner, and then the second..BUT..i made the horrible mistake of putting the piece in the wrong way round :oops: so i had to use but joints to avoid making the desk any smaller...

Now aside from the ONLY mistake i made i can get on with the glue-up..using standard PVA i clamped up the sides....



Whilst thats in the clamps i use the jointer to ensure i have a good edge to clamp the top with.. i then set that in the clamps...



Once all is dry i can now glue and clamp the top back of the desk on..



Whilst that is drying i can begin to cut the breadboard edges to length along with the correct angle to hinge it on the top back..

I achieved this by simply butting the breadboard edge up to the top back, and then i cut a thin bit of wood (around 8mm or so) and i put that bit of wood against the top back and pushed it up to the breadboard edge, and, using a pencil, strike a line against the breadboard edge to create a vertical line..

Then i set up the chop saw at the angle that i have just made on the breadboard edge,



Which turns out to be 13 degrees



Then i cut both breadboard edges together to get the same angle..

Now then, in order to get the correct angle for the the rest of the top, i needed to set up the bandsaw at the same angle as the breadboard edges,



With the bandsaw set at 13 degrees i can now cut the top,



With the angle cut I am now ready to glue the breadboard edges to the top...



I left the top too big, to cut down after the glue has dried....

Once the glue dried i then cut the excess off the top on the bandsaw and cleaned up on the jointer..

In order to achieve a crisp angle i decided to set the jointer at 13 degrees to plane it to a nice level and even angle..



I then sanded the it all flat and smooth..

Next up was to make the base... I opted for 4mm Ply.. I cut it to size on the bandsaw then sanded the surface that was going on the inside and then glued it down and tacked it with a few pins..



Now it is starting to take shape..

At this point i decided to add a front edge to the top...This will stop the paper/pen or whatever is on it from falling off..

This shows the edge where it will go..



And here is it in the clamps...




Well i thought i'd share with you one of the kittens our Cat has just gifted us with \:D/ ...



There are 2 more but there just boring, black, and black with a bit of white :roll: O:) .... :wink:

Enough of the aww-ing..time to get back to work...

Now the glue is dry i am ready to attach the hinges...

I set the hinge in place then drew round it with a pencil (don't ask why i marked for the holes aswell :? :p !)

I am left with this..



Now i used a large chisel and a hammer to begin cutting the outline..



then a smaller one for the edges... Then i chiseled some lines across the rebate to help clean it out...


(this is the image of the hinge cut from the opposite part of where the hinge will go)

The rebate is now complete and the hinge sits in fine..



Then i went on the do the other one at the opposite end...


Now then in order to get the hinge in the correct place on the other part i positioned the top where i would like it to go... then I made a small pencil line where the rebate was on the top...

You can see this in the following picture...



I did the same at the other side...

I followed the same routine with cutting the hinge as on the top...

Now before i jump in and cut the other rebate i decided to double check that it was in the right place...

I attached the hinge on the side that i had just cut, so as the lid was swinging on one hinge,



I found that it was around 2mm out (as per image below), so i remarked it and cut the rebate as the others..



I then fixed both hinges in place and i now have what resembles a hinged lid..





Now there isn't much left to do really... Just some final sanding and a finish...

Oh and one more thing (this need only apply to me) to cover up my dovetail mistake i added some quadrant to the inner corners..

I just cut them to length on the chop saw and then nailed and glued them in place...



For a finish i used beeswax...

Now then to add a bit extra to it i decided to add some self adhesive felt that i got from when i went the Tools 2004..







I think it turned out OK... I have placed a few pics below of the finished piece...









If you actually managed to make it this far then please give me your opinion

Ta

Tom

ps. Apologies if i missed anything :shock: 8) :wink:

And i also painstakingly changed all the picture sizes :evil:
 

Noel

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Nice lap desk / writing slope Tom.
Only thing I can mention is clean up and sharpen that chisel!!!! You may have noticed that in the hinge recess picture(s) the wood fibres were crushed rather than cut. It'll make life easier.
Very well done.

Rgds

Noel
 

thomaskennedy

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:oops: :-$ I was hoping no-one would spot it :x i did give it a quick sharpen but got bored doing it after a few minutes :oops:

Ta, Tom-Who is going to buy a wet stone grinder before long :roll:
 

Aragorn

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Well done Tom.
Thanks for taking the pics.

Shame about the dovetail mistake :(
Your breadboard edges look like they are glued on with a butt joint? Did you think about how the top will expand and contract?

Sweeet kittens :lol:
Hope you enjoy your writing top!
 

Pete W

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Nice project, Tom. Don't worry about the mistakes - if we never made mistakes, we'd never learn anything!

Thanks for the photo essay; one of these is on my to-do list for my daughter.
 

wizer

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excellent, I love a good detailed WIP :D
 

Gill

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Thanks for that, Tom. It looks like yet another successful project :).

I'm really pleased when people draw our attention to mistakes they've made and lessons they've learned along the way in constructing these sorts of projects. It's a measure of their humility and shows that they're not just showing off. Moreover, it gives the rest of us an opportunity to recognise and avoid similar pitfalls. Good on yer, Tom.

Gill
 
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Nicely done Tom, especially the hiding of the dovetail mistake :D

You really need to sharpen those chisels mate - I know it's boring but worth it in the end :wink:

By the way, I have posted a way to deal with the snipe on your P/T yesterday.
 

Adam

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Very good Tom.

This has a more serious side, for any men who may be sitting using laptops on their laps for long periods of time.

Cut and pasted from the BBC website

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4078895.stm

Laptops may damage male fertility

Men who use laptop computers could be unwittingly damaging their fertility, experts believe.

Balancing it on the lap increases the temperature of the scrotum which is known to have a negative effect on sperm production, researchers found.

Coupled with the rising popularity of these computers - about 150m people use them worldwide - much more research is needed say the US authors.

The State University of New York findings appear in Human Reproduction.

Teenage boys and young men may consider limiting their use of laptop computers on their laps.

Lead researcher Dr Yefim Sheynkin, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said: "Laptops can reach internal operating temperatures of over 70°C.

"They are frequently positioned close to the scrotum, and as well as being capable of producing direct local heat, they require the user to sit with his thighs close together to balance the machine, which traps the scrotum between the thighs."

The researchers asked 29 healthy male volunteers aged between 21 and 35 to take part in an experiment.

They then recorded the temperature changes to the scrotum caused by laptop use and different seating positions over one hour time periods.

Just sitting with the thighs together, a posture needed to balance a laptop, caused scrotal temperatures to rise by 2.1C.

When the men used a laptop in this position the average temperatures increased by 2.6C on the left of the scrotum and 2.8C on the right.

It is worrying that having a laptop on your knees for only an hour can increase the temperature of the scrotum so significantly.
Dr Allan Pacey of the British Fertility Society

Dr Sheynkin said: "The body needs to maintain a proper testicular temperature for normal sperm production and development (spermatogenesis).

"We don't know the exact frequency and time of heat exposure capable of producing reversible or irreversible changes in spermatogenesis.

"But previous studies suggest that 1°C above the baseline is the possible minimal thermal gradient."

He said any changes might be reversible, but that repetitive use of a laptop in this way might cause permanent damage.

"Until further studies provide more information on this type of thermal exposure, teenage boys and young men may consider limiting their use of laptop computers on their laps," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the British Fertility Society, Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield, said: "We already know that increasing the temperature of the testicles can affect sperm production.

"It is worrying that having a laptop on your knees for only an hour can increase the temperature of the scrotum so significantly.

"Men who use laptops regularly should be very careful.

"Further work is needed to see if regular laptop use is a risk factor in male fertility."
 

Charley

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Looks great Tom, very nice :D

I haven't built mine yet but have got the wood into do it.
 

Alf

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Nice job, Tom, and good recovery. :D Apart from the blunt chisel issue... [-X :wink: can I also recommend a supplementary wooden fence, and even a false table, on your mitre saw for virtually spelch-free cuts? I've found such additions helpful anyway, so fwiw.

Cheers, Alf
 

thomaskennedy

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Thanks for the kind words :D O:)

Aragorn- I decided to give the biscuits a miss mainly because i wanted it to be free to mave if it wants, otherwise if it isn't then it may split the wood after a while..

Scary stuff about Adam :? :shock:

Alf-What a splended idea... I'm going to the workshop before long to do a number of things;

Firstly to try and defeat my battles with snipe (Thanks to Tony :eek:ccasion5: )

Secondly i am going to sharpen ALL my chisels :tongue9: 8-[

and Thirdly i am going to see if Alf's recommendations will fix the crappy edges when cutting on my chop saw!

Ta

Tom
 

Charley

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and Thirdly i am going to see if Alf's recommendations will fix the crappy edges when cutting on my chop saw!
Tom, a zero clearance fence will give you a much better cut but I would replace the blade with a cross cut one.

Homewood threw in a free Freud fine crosscut blade (90 odd teeth) when I bought my saw. It leaves a silky smooth cut :D
 

Alf

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Charley":2wkumhwr said:
I would replace the blade with a cross cut one.
Please tell me no-one's stooping so low as to sell a mitre saw with something other than a X-cut blade... :shock: :p

Lots of teeth can be beneficial, but only if they're sharp (which was the other thing I was going to mention, but it's been one of those days so all my posts seem to have been done at the double). Hmm, bit of a trend forming here, Tom. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Charley

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Alf":3l7i8qvm said:
Please tell me no-one's stooping so low as to sell a mitre saw with something other than a X-cut blade... :shock: :p
:roll: you knew what I meant [-X - It's been a long day :|

Saying that the 'crosscut' blade that came with my old Delta mitresaw was questionable, I think my 24 tooth rip blade produced a better crosscut :-k
 

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