Portable productivity with a nod to steampunk style.
By Mag Ruffman
The glorious thing about being self-sufficient is that you can usually figure out ways to create what you need.
My latest need arose after a bad case of Burning Thighs Syndrome, a malady caused by sitting on the couch typing on a laptop computer. With my quadriceps performing as heat sinks for the laptop’s toiling battery, I had the hottest legs in Canada.
PLAN: Download the free SketchUp plan for the Lap Desk.
ARTICLES: All the “I Can Do That” articles are free online.
Download the complete “I Can Do That” manual. Read more
When it comes to slouchy comfort, there are few chairs that answer that call better than the Morris chair. But when it’s 70 degrees, the sun is shining and you just want to get out of the house, you need a special Morris chair. An all-weather Morris chair. Say no more! This is the newly-updated … Read more
My favorite project is usually the last one I’ve finished, or the one I’m about to start. The cover project for the April 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine will likely stay a favorite for a long, long time. It’s a reproduction of a Gustav Stickley No. 369 bent arm chair. Gus knew what he … Read more
Combine five 2x4s, a handful of screws and a long afternoon to build a handsome and sturdy sitting spot for your deck or garden. By Christopher Schwarz & Kara Gebhart Pages: 80-83 From the April 2004 issue #140 Buy this issue now My father always has had a knack for doing more with less. He … Read more
A one-of-a-kind table reappears after 100 years. By Robert W. Lang Pages: 56-61 From the November 2006 issue #158 Buy this issue now Most original Gustav Stickley furniture can be easily identified by model number. This was, after all, factory-made furniture and pieces were designed to be made in multiples. When you come across an … Read more
Steam-bending or bent laminations can be used to make this eye-catching design.
By Michael Fortune
From the February 2011 issue #188
Buy this issue now
The design of this table is part of a series that I revisit from time to time. The original concept for the series was based on a pinwheel (a common example of which is a child’s pinwheel on a stick that blows in the wind.)
This shape lends itself to repeating one design element several times then attaching them together, an efficient approach when making furniture. So far I’ve made several different stools, cabinets and even massive boardroom tables based on the same pinwheel motif. Generally speaking, I come up with an idea then problem-solve how to do it, often relying on the well documented history of furniture making in books and magazines.
For this table I revisited a sketchbook that is 25 years old. At the time I had completed a commission for stacking
tables with Australian lacewood tops and steam-bent cherry frames. In my design exploration there were several sketches that I thought had some value but didn’t work for that particular commission so so I filed them away for use at a later date. My old sketchbooks have become an idea bank that I’ll make a withdrawal from when I’m casting about for something to make.
Web Site: See more of Michael’s work on his web site.
Web Site: Find out when Michael is teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.
To Buy: Purchase Michael’s CDs on various aspects of design and construction.
In Our Store: The “Sourcebook of Modern Furniture.” Read more
Born on a bayou, this sought-after American table is spiced with both French and Canadian influences. By Christopher Schwarz Pages: 66-73 From the February 2007 issue #160 Buy this issue now Until recently, Creole-style furniture was a bit obscure, known mostly to a handful of furniture collectors who specialized in pieces made in the Mississippi … Read more