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I like to make projects that fit in with my re-enacting & camping hobbies, so a couple of years ago I found some great plans for a Shaker Lap Desk & some beautiful Walnut lumber & was ready to build. But like many of us my shop wasn't ready. Since finishing my new shop I now have the tools set up for resawing lumber, which is what I needed to do for this project & finally got started. This project requires wood thicknesses of 5/16", 1/4", 3/16" & 1/8". It was thouroughly enjoyable just walking over to the table saw & ringing the edges of the panel & then just walking over to the band saw & re-sawing the panel without having to move stuff from pillar to post for a half an hour or so to access the top of the tool..

This project also required making hand-cut dovetail corners & edge joining some thin wood. I think I did OK for my first time on "half-blind" dovetails. The front of the drawer was the "blind side" & is 5/16" thick. The sides of the drawer are 1/4" thick. I think it would have been a bit easier working on thicker wood the first try. But I believe it was fairly good. Making the molding for the bread-board top was fun. I made a couple of changes to the plans… I just added a strip to the top & the lid to give the hinges a bit more wood to grip into. The only hardware is a tiny pewter knob that I saved from somewhere years ago, some wire brads, a couple of old brass tacks for drawer slides & two store-bought hinges. I took a propane torch to the hinges to burn the cadmium plating off. (I took care to give myself plenty of ventilation because of the cadmium fumes.) This gave the hinges a nice patina that matched the hinges real well. I topped the thing off with a couple of coats of Tung Oil applied with some 280 wet/dry sand paper. This allows the sand paper to grind up the walnut, mix it with the tung oil & fill the grain & joints a bit. I then finished with 2 coats of tung oil applied with a cloth & after drying the gloss was removed with an X-fine scotch bright pad.

This Shaker Lap Desk is very light for it's size, about 14" X 20" X 6.5", which makes it easy to carry. I thought about adding handles & a lock but I believe the Shakers had it right by relying on only simple lines, the beauty of the wood & their own skill.

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This is cool I always meant to build one this one is great.
 

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I just began a woodworking class and I've been looking for a project to work on. I'm also a Civil War fanatic, and I just struck upon the idea of doing something like this. Would you please tell me where I can find the plans for this project?

Thank you.
 

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Hi Greg…

Here's a link to the PDF file where you can get the plans & easily print them up. Shaker Lap Desk Try to use solid wood for everything if you can. It makes the job more authentic than using plywood.

Have fun building it!
 

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Thanks Frank! I think this will be a fun project.
 

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Love it.

The first time I saw one of its kind was when ellen35 and another LumberJock made one. I was really fascinated and impressed by it.

And again: just a great job !
 
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