Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Ready to Fold

It’s been a while coming but, my folding laptop desk is now complete. Earlier this week, I spent several evenings applying coats of finishing oil, rubbing down in between coats.

This oil hasn’t darkened the soft pine as much as I feared it might although, there’s always the chance that will happen over time.

I was delighted to find that the 180mm depth of the ‘closed’ desk was sturdy enough to prevent the whole thing from tipping over, under the weight of an unsupported, hinged top.

There is a horrid gap between the top parts of the top, which does bother me somewhat. But, I must stress again that this is a ‘prototype’ and that I really wasn’t concerned with letting-in any of the piano hinges used in the construction.

I fixed each hinge in place with 16mm long Reisser Hinge Screws. If you haven’t come across them before, well, they’re brilliant. Even in these thin, brass-plated steel hinges, they’re so easy to drive. Much simpler than soft brass screws and without the risk of damage. You drive them in using a No.1 Philips-head screwdriver. It really doesn’t get much simpler and they fit perfectly! 🙂

After all that messing about last week, the two leg-frames don’t look bad at all. Those curves (top and bottom) may not look perfect or equal but, I’m happy with this for what it is.

I had to fix each hinge so that the outside of the barrel finished flush with the edge of the sides, so that, when lowered, the top could hang flush against the front edge of the back frame.

A second pair of cleats were fitted underneath so that, as the leg frames close together, they cannot swing too far back, which may risk ripping the screws out and freeing leaves of each hinge. On an improved version, I might be tempted to fit magnetic catches to help hold them steady and then, the same to keep the top from flapping about while the desk is being moved.

One of the neatest features of this design is the dovetailed back rail, which will almost never bee seen or appreciated for its beauty, as a foot rest!

Because of the hinge positioning and, layout and design of this piece, the leg-frames open out in a ‘splayed’ fashion; butting up against the cleats fixed to the underside of the top.

So, that’s another job off the to-do list and I’m able to sit using my laptop in greater comfort, once again. Those boxes I was using before can now be safely stored away. I’m still not sure how well things will work out with that large printer – I may think about putting it on a shelf on the rear wall…

I may need to add a couple of extra details to this in a following post, as I know there are other photos I took that are still worth sharing.

All of these photos were taken with my new digital camera and I hope you’re as impressed with the quality as I am! 😉

Thanks for reading.

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5 responses to “Ready to Fold

  1. ChrisHasFlair 01/09/2012 at 09:25

    Nice design, Olly. The pictures look sharp, too. Just keep sawdust out of the camera…

    Chris

  2. yaakov 02/09/2012 at 19:34

    I like the design. Good job! yaakov…..

  3. Jeremy Cook 04/09/2012 at 02:44

    Looks nice. For some reason though, I keep thinking of the desk colapsing down and banging into my shins or something. Probably wouldn’t happen, but I tend to be pretty clumsy sometimes.

  4. Jeremy Cook 04/09/2012 at 02:45

    That dovetail on the back is pretty cool!

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