Build a Shaker Lap Desk – Part II
Learn how to construct a delicate inkwell drawer in part II of the modern Shaker Lap Desk.
In part I of the Shaker Lap Desk project, I focused on constructing the carcase and using the proper wood species for cross grain gluing of the bottom to the frame. Now in part II, lets switch focus and concentrate on the desk’s delicate inkwell drawer.
A Digital Inkwell Drawer
Now for the fun part: the tiny inkwell drawer. With a front that’s only 3/8-in. thick and sides made from 1/4-in. stock, the drawer’s small scale makes for a challenging joinery exercise. The smallest chisel in your arsenal—an 1/8-in. or 3/16-in. one will work well—and a good set of eyes will be required for these smallest of dovetails. Despite its delicate proportions, this drawer is anything but weak. While the left side measures in at only 3-7/8 in. long, the right side is about 9-1/8 in. long and acts as a full-length glide. The actual stop is made from a small scrap of maple, 5/16 in. thick by 1-1/4 in. long by 5/8 in. high. A single brass screw holds it in place. The full-length glide, coupled with a hardwood stop block, makes for a drawer that functions flawlessly, feels firm, yet appears delicate.
The tiny drawer features half blind dovetails on the front, a full dovetail on the rear-left side, and a simple rabbet on the rear right. Built of maple, the drawer stop is held in place with a single brass screw.
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The drawer front is attached to the sides using half-blind dovetails. On the back end of the drawer, the joinery changes a bit. The left rear corner is joined using dovetails but the right side is rabbeted and fits into a dado cut into the mating side. Behind the dado, I cut a 3/8-in. stopped slot that extends to…