37 comments on “Laptop Desk: Episode 1

    • Michael, there is a question:”, How does a pygmy eat an elephant?” The answer is…One small bite at a time. Relative to Paul, despite my age, I am a pygmy. I appreciate these ‘small bites’. Allows me to digest one complex procedure before going on to the next.

      • Agreed, John. It’s also easier to keep up with the project when it’s one small bit at a time for those of us who are neither skilled nor experienced. Gives us time to ask questions, correct mistakes, learn new techniques, mentally digest complexities, etc, while still being current.

        We should keep in mind that Michael didn’t specify — he might agree with us on the relatively limited number of woodworking procedures in a video, and would just prefer the video be longer so Paul can be more expansive about those procedures, about the piece, the design, or whatever else. I certainly wouldn’t object to that.

      • To me, it’s all about the quality and little about the quantity. If I’ve learned something and it took Paul only a couple minutes to do it in, It’s all good!

        That’s what I signed up for…to learn. It’s Paul’s job to teach, and mine to learn. I feel Paul and the crew are keeping up to their end of the bargain. It’s up to me to keep up to my end.

    • The videos are around 30 minutes long which is what was stated they would be before I signed up, no complaints here.

      “New paid project videos are published every Wednesday, with a running time of about thirty minutes each. They aren’t available anywhere else.”

  1. Really looking forward to this project. I must get some 6mm ply in for laying out, I’ve used my last big bit backing a mirror on your mirror project 🙂
    Loving the videos, where else could you get this much quality tuition for £10 a month? Keep up the good work, it is appreciated.

    • Stock preparation is assumed in most of these projects. And I think for good reason as it is usually the same process for every project. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. For me, stock preparation is one of the more enjoyable and rewarding phases of a project. I do it (mostly) by hand. Taking rough boards into a stack of accurately dimensioned stock is fun and helps me (at least) helps me get into a rhythm with the project. What’s not to like about a shop floor full of shavings and a brow glistening with well-earned sweat? 😉

    • Hi Craig,

      You aren’t mixed up. As Peter says this is often repetitive between projects, so some projects we just start with the wood milled. We do this, so we don’t keep saying the same thing over again.

      Our stock preparation videos combined with the cutting list given on the introduction episode should give you everything you need.

      Here is a link to a collection of helpful stock preparation videos:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl5Srx-Ru_U&list=PLqyeNiM0BJuWx0UZD_W6FPFtxx8L1LTjs

      Best,

      Joseph

      • Beg to disagree, Joseph. The preparation part is where very important teaching can take place, as evidenced in the superb videos on preparing wide boards (Dining table project). Each tree is unique and that is inherited by the wood, while one mortice is much the same as the next one; and I can’t remember a project without mortising.

        Watching dimensioning by planer and thicknesser is of course uninspiring, particularly to subscribers who have no access to those machines, but the evaluation and selection of the wood and pieces will always allow for a good class.

        Cheers
        /soj

        • I think it would depend on what actually happens when the wood is chosen and the stock prepared, perhaps also if the project contains new elements which require adjustments to the standard approaches to stock preparation. If there’s nothing in the preparation of the stock for this project that hasn’t already been covered, there’s simply no point is showing it.

          Perhaps you’d agree with this analogy — Each person is unique, but for 99.9999999% of all people you can just say “Hello”, you don’t need to be told 6.999999999 billion times how to greet another human. For the Queen, OK, some special tweaks to the greeting, if you’re in some nation with a very different culture, OK, some changes, etc.

          So if the stock preparation for this video was very “vanilla” / normal / standard / straightforward, what would we learn if they showed it?

          OTOH, I’d agree that if anything unusual, previously undiscussed, etc did occur during stock preparation, it definitely should be shown and perhaps even have its own episode, depending on the amount of tuition required to convey the new material.

          • Accepting your analogy, ‘Hello’ would (with substitutes depending on prevailing language), when used randomly, on average be a good enough greeting. But, neither human interactions, nor Mr P. Sellers’ choice of wood are random instances. Personally, when in France, I prefer ‘Bon jour’ above ‘Ca va’ when addressing anyone except my next door neighbour. Similarly, Woodworking Masterclasses (Shows[?]) prefer a few species (oak, sapele, and cherry); often further limited to straight grained, knot free, and quarter sawn. With these confinements, I agree no additional teaching on stock selection and preparation is required – Hello would be fine. Then again, it should perhaps be recognised that many (majority possibly) do not have access to such exquisite stock, or for whatever reason prefer other species; and are likely to benefit from information on when specific qualities of the wood are mandatory, and how to look for those properties both before and after dimensioning, which in itself I think does not need to be shown. Given that wood prices are not always of the benevolent nature found in Britain and North America, layout for optimal cutting should in my view also be presented.

            Basically, I just believe that challenges make for good learning and that perfect stock should only be used when absolutely necessary (as in door frames)

            /soj

        • Guys it’s depressing to read all this pointless exchange of ‘opinions’.
          Use your energy on something useful instead like practicing on your planing technique. That way you can get over your need for Master Sellers to show over and over what anyone watching these videos and considering building a piece should have mastered a long time ago.

          • Did you considered that not everybody subscribed years ago? Your case is not the only one.
            In your point of view , it’s not necessary to show tenon making, dovetail making….ect, do you realy want a laying out video, because everybody knows all joinery for years…..
            Not agree with you in this point

          • Cyrille,
            Access to all previous material is available to Premium ( paying) members at $15.00/ month.
            A spectacular value.
            By working through those you can catch up pretty quickly.
            And, ” wait there’s more”, over 100 free videos on Pauls Youtube channel.
            Best,
            Craig

    • I like wood preparation. There is something very satisfying in taking a rough board and turning it into a lovely piece of wood perfectly square and smooth with a nice grain pattern.

  2. Thanks Paul. With all of these angles, I had thought we were going to be using a bevel gauge (I that’s what it’s called). Was interesting to see that with the story board you have another way to do this. I love learning all the different ways to do things.

  3. Paul/Phil,

    Was the layout for the second set of lines transferred from the story board or from the newly cut pair of legs? I’m guessing you transfer from the newly cut legs rather than from the story board so that things come out as identical as possible.

    Is there anything that needs to be a mirror image on the second set of legs so that the two pairs are mirror images rather than identical? Looks like they are identical.

  4. Hello Praki, Just a note to say I finally emailed you back! Sorry about that. This issue does pop up from time to time, it’s usually pretty short-lived. DO email me back, and I will endeavour to respond a bit more swiftly next time.

  5. I like story board thing, but it got me thinking… From rough sawn wood, and not having power tools, isn’t it more efficient using templates (like rocking chair video)? It seems like less work and less waist wood… Or I’m more likely to make mistake that way? I could go back to story board after, but save time of squaring all sides on all components and then tapering? Don’t laugh at me for this question 😊

    • Hello Ivan,
      You could experiment and templates are very effective. Having all your stock square beforehand make a big difference when transferring your layout between legs and helps you to stay consistent with sizing, so keep an eye on that.
      Best, Phil

  6. I like the design, but I need drawers. Could this design be the basis for a writing desk with two drawers? Could I replace the front board but with a dovetail across the top span and a mortise and tenon connecting the legs below it? And a mid-board mortised between those two between the front and the back?

    • Hachten,
      Of course…it’s your table.
      You’ll need to figure out the runner placement obviously.
      I’d recommend a full scale dwg to sort out the details.
      Best,
      Craig

  7. Hi,
    Is there any videos where Paul talks about story-boards? I’m a recent paying member and going through the videos in a haphazzard fashion. This project and the step-ladder one use story-boards but no real discussion about them.
    cheers,
    Roob.

  8. Having just ripped my legs today out of Sapele today, I’m again amazed at Paul’s endurance with the hand saw. I’m a 20-something year old former athlete and I find myself stopping every 50 strokes or so to shake out my arm or stretch my hand. Paul just cruzes through this oak without even getting out of breath. Truly an expert at work. Thanks Paul and team for this project, I’ll upload some pictures of the final result!

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