This is a quick run through of how I put together a wooden lap desk. I do a lot of work and reading either sitting on the floor or on a couch, and wanted a simple desk that I could rest over my legs or sit cross-legged underneath. This is the result.
Step 1: Materials and Preparation
For this project you will need:
Wood - 1.5" x 0.75" stock, 343" total cut into a variety of lengths. I used red oak strips from Home Depot, since I knew I would be banging this around a bit and wanted hard wood that wouldn't dent easily.
Glue - I used the excellent Titebond III glue (the green one)
Clamps - at least 2 12"+ clamps, I recommend four, with two being 32"+. You can get away with smaller ones if you tool the project up cleverly
A saw - I used a table saw, but the cuts are really simple and can be done with a hand saw
Sand paper/sander - I used a random orbit sander as well as loose sandpaper. You could get away with just the loose paper, but as with the saw the powered version makes things a lot easier
Hand plane - A very useful tool for making everything level
A sturdy flat working area - the most important part. It makes a *huge* difference
The first step is to cut your stock wood to the required length. The layout drawing is attached to this instructable. Start with the 6 32" pieces first and work your way down in size, organizing the cuts to minimize the wasted wood. Remember to account for the thickness of the saw blade and the kerf in any cut you make! The legs have a 45 degree bevel cut - make this now for all four pieces, but do not bevel the top surface yet.