Build a Shaker Lap Desk – Part III
In the final installment of the Shaker Lap Desk series, learn how to build delicate breadboard ends.
In part II of the Shaker Lap Desk project, I covered the basic layout and construction of the desk’s tiny inkwell drawer. For the third and final installment, let’s switch focus to the desk’s top and breadboard edges.
Beautiful Breadboard Ends
The methods used to create the breadboard ends in this small lap desk are no different from larger-scale projects. The pine top, which can be built from regular flatsawn stock milled to 3/8-in. thick, measures 12-3/8 in. wide by 18-3/4 in. long. Use a dado set on your tablesaw to cut 3/16-in. thick by 3/4-in. wide tongues on both ends of the top.
Cut the tongues for the breadboard ends using a dado set on your tablesaw.
click to enlarge
Made of maple or another hardwood, the 3/8-in.-thick breadboard ends should be cut to a width of 1-1/4 in. The mortises which will later accept the tongues are carefully made using stop cuts at a tablesaw outfitted with a zero-clearance throat plate. With the blade set to make a 13/16-in.-deep cut, set your rip fence 3/32 in. from the blade. Mark where the front and back of the blade enters the throat plate, then clamp stops to the fence that will allow you to start and stop your cuts within 3/8 in. of either end. With the end of the bread board held firmly against the front stop, lower the stock onto the blade and continue to cut until the piece hits the back stop. Next, turn the stock side-for-side and repeat the procedure. This will yield you a 3/16-in. groove, 11-1/2-in. in length.
For an alternative method to make this cut, consider using a router table outfitted with a 1/8-in. straight-cutting bit. Attach two stop blocks to your fence and rout the groove…