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Last month I was blessed to be able to serve my parents for three weeks while Mom recuperated from a broken clavicle and leg. During that time, my brother's health continued to decline. I had seen a tray table which I thought that he might be able to use, so when I returned home I drew up a SketchUp plan. Once I had the table for Mom nearly complete, I began his table.

I wanted to keep the table lightweight, so I used some poplar (bigtooth/sawtooth aspen) milled off our property. I didn't take as much time as I should have to find clear boards which would be sufficient to cut the top in a continuous grain ;-(.

While I was working on it, I emailed a friend and she asked what verse I would be engraving on it. Why hadn't I thought of that? I added Romans 8:28 which has always been a comfort to me, knowing that God is in control, desiring the best for His children, even when we don't understand what is happening and why.

It was much easier woodburning the lettering in the poplar than in the lauan plywood drawer bottom. I wanted to add a little color and had to do some experimenting to get a somewhat transparent color. I stained and varnished the top first, then added the color, and last sprayed several clear coats.

I didn't know what I would use to hold up the top. I didn't think a clothes hanger would be heavy enough. As I looked around the shop, I saw a metal piece I had removed from a portable heater (yes, I know, you're saying, "What a pack-rat!"). It was exactly the correct size and I just had to straighten out a bend in either end of it. God is good!

The legs were made to swivel on short pieces of metal (sawed off from a 10-penny nail). (I forgot to take a picture of the table in the closed position before I gave it to my brother.)

I was able to finish this table, as well as Mom's, in about two weeks, which is really quick work for such an old lady! At least my husband was impressed with my speed!

Thanks for taking a look.

UPDATE: I have posted a blog with measured drawings and instructions for construction.

L/W

Gallery

Comments

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Cherie, Thanks for your compliments!

The overall size of the table when the legs are folded is 21" x 13" x 2¼". The tabletop overhangs the apron by ½" on all sides. You can get measured drawings and construction details on my blog.

I would think that this tray table would work well for your laptop, but you actually wouldn't need the slantable portion. You could make it as one continuous top if you only wanted it for laptop use. Then you could make the drawer larger, too. I've noticed that some laptop desks are made with holes for heat escape. I don't see the necessity since laptops are often used on the top of a table or desk that has no holes. My understanding for the lap desk was to avoid the heat directly on your legs and any piece of wood between you and the laptop could suffice.

If you have more questions, don't be afraid to ask.

L/W
 

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My laptop does not seem to have much of a problem with the heat due to the fact I have something under it even though it sits on my desk. Now Jaun's on the other hand, gets very hot and tends to mess up. I like to have my laptop tilted, but that is only because its what I have done for years. But your design is so much sturdier than those plastic ones like Walmart sells. I love it.
 

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How did I miss this??? It's beautiful! What a sweet sister you are!
 

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How did I miss this???

Janice, I think you've been busy enough with the cabin to keep you off LumberJocks!

My brother didn't get to use it much; he passed away the end of July.

L/W
 

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Nice looking Table
 
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