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Project Information

My sister-in-law asked me to make something for her. We were not sure what to call it, but decided on "reading slope". It is kind of like a writing slope, but will be used for reading. In the place that she and her husband like to read, the light is such that they have to tilt the book up. The reading slope is meant to help with that.

We live on opposite sides of the US, so we sent ideas back and forth by email. She decided that she wanted the book tilted at about 30 deg, something to prevent the book from sliding off the slope, and storage space inside. We settled on this hi-tech sketch:



I used black walnut and joined the carcase with through dovetails. The piece that holds the book from sliding has some padauk in the center (this is seen in the fourth photo above). That piece is attached to the lid with two long tenons.

For finish, I used Danish Oil, de-waxed shellac, and then satin polyurethane.

Here are the components of the carcase before being glued:



Because of the slope of the sides, I had to come up with a way to apply clamping pressure to the top portion when gluing. Some small wooden handscrew clamps worked perfectly:



And in the end, it works!

Gallery

Comments

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2,910 Posts
Chuck,

I checked your home page. Lots of evolution leading to this "Slope" box. I see this same concept echoed in your bread box and wall box and writing desk. I like the book matched top. Walnut is a beautiful choice for a project like this. It looks like you and your sister have worked out an efficient design. The edging around the top is a nice touch. Thanks for showing the construction techniques you used and the solution you found for putting pressure on the upper back joint is good information presented effectively. Since I tend to think the solutions to most daily problems are boxes…this is a great solution to a practical problem. Thanks for sharing the project and the story. Keep posting and keep boxing.
 

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In Loving Memory
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1,383 Posts
Wouldn't this be called a 'reading table' or 'table top lectern'. I believe they were quite common at one time - you know, when people still read.

Beautiful work, nice choice of woods and great job of grain matching for the top and the sides as well.
 

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3,683 Posts
Thanks Al. I got a laugh out of your observation on the common theme in several of my projects. As I was working this slope, when it had no top, I sat it on the back side for some reason, and voila - it was breadbox!
 

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Steve,

Yeah, for the last photo, I had to go to a neighbor. I said, "I'm looking for a thing called a 'book'. I am not sure what that is, but do you happen to have one that I can borrow for a minute?"
 

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In Loving Memory
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1,383 Posts
A photo of the Piazza del Campo is particularly fitting for setting on top of your piece. Lucky for your neighbour to have such a 'book'. I tried to 3D rotate the architecture in the 'book' it but I must be missing a plugin.
 

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11,468 Posts
Chuck this I like. And you have done a wonderful job on it. The dovetails and the figure and very nice.
 
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