Lap Easel #1: New start - Challenging myself a little.

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Blog entry by David Craig posted 04-01-2010 04:23 PM 3466 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Awhile back, I was experimenting with designs for a type of lap easel for my Mom. Mom had hurt herself at work awhile back and she has difficulty doing a lot of walking. So she was looking into a hobby that she could do while stretched out or sitting on a recliner. She recently developed an interest in drawing so I thought a lap easel would be just the thing for her.

Now I could have just went to the store and shelled the 20 bucks for one but, no…, I had to be a woodworker and do it the hard way ;)

So I have been busting my brains thinking of design and how to build. I wanted it to double as a storage container so she could keep tablets of drawing paper and pencils together, it needed to be light, and the lid needed to be angled at times because drawing is more comfortable when the easel is at an angle. I drew out a number of different designs, some involving lid stays so that maybe the lid could be opened at an angle then flipped around to double as an easel, but the lack of actual progress wasn’t helping her much. So I redrafted the design and am going with a more simplistic approach.

I picked up a couple of high grade pine pieces and glued together a piece large enough to serve as a top. I have a taper jig that I bought 2 years ago and decided I would do a 10 degree taper on the sides of the box to give the “easel” a more comfortable angle. The front and back of the box had to be beveled in order to fit the shape of the tapered frame. So I tilted the tablesaw to 10 degrees and ran the bevel and was happy to see it is lining up pretty well.

easel frame

easel with lid

Next steps will be to create box joints to fasten the frame together, add a bottom and legs curved to rest comfortably on a lap. This project is kind of a nice challenge because of the tapers and bevels.

Happy Woodworking all,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

3 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4758 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 04:27 PM

Looks like a great idea, Dave. Maybe some rubber cushion on the bottom might be softer on the lap.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4184 days

#2 posted 04-01-2010 11:45 PM

Great idea, Dave.

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4107 days

#3 posted 04-02-2010 02:45 AM

lookin good dave

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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