Introduction: 3-Way Lap Desk With a Pen/pencil Drawer

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Here's how I built my three-way lap desk. It can either have two legs to support it above your legs, one leg whilst resting the other end on a chair's arm, or no legs, when it can rest on both arms of an armchair or your lap. The handy drawer stores a pencil or pen so you're never without one.

The video shows all the steps, including the optional use of a drill press (hand or motor powered) which would be sensible to use if available These written instructions will be useful to keep you headed in the right direction.

If you enjoy it, let me know what you think, and please vote for it in the Hand Tools Only, and/or Furniture, contests.

Step 1: Starting Out

You'll need to prepare a top and two legs, as shown. Sizes should be to suit you and what you intend doing with the desk - remember that the legs will end up shorter by the thickness of the top

Mark out for a knuckle joint at each end. My video on this joint will help, but for this desk it wants to just open to 90°

Step 2: Prepare the Nuckles

Saw and chop away as much waste as possible

A 'v' groove is worked to allow the hinge to open to 90°

Then the knuckle is rounded to a cylindrical shape

Step 3: Cut the Fingers

The individual fingers of the knuckle joint are cut and pared accurately, and rounded cavities formed to take the opposing fingers

When completed, the joints should stay tight from 180° (fully open) to 90° (right angles - legs down)

Step 4: Drill for the Hinge Pins

With the joints tightly held together, bore a concentric hole through the knuckle joints

Start one side, then flip over and bore from the other side until the holes meet. Do the same for both legs

Insert tight hardwood dowels as hinge pins

Step 5: Finish Edges

Bevel all the edges, to make using the desk more comfortable and reduce the chance of splinters

Step 6: The Drawer

Bore a 1" (25mm) hole about 10" (250mm) deep into the front edge of the desk

Turn a corresponding rod, with a larger diameter 'pull' on the end

Saw and chop out a cavity to hold a pencil

File in finger slots on the pull, to give better grip

Step 7: Finish It Off

A coat or two of finishing oil will bring out the beauty of the wood, and help protect it

A little wax on the drawer will help if it binds at all

Now sit back and use it!

Thanks for reading my instructable. Let me know what you think, and please vote for it in the Hand Tools Only, and/or Furniture, contests.

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