In Shop Blog, Techniques

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Three weeks from today, Popular Woodworking and I begin something new: an online class. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “online classes aren’t unique” – and you’d be right. The difference with this class is the project and the skills you’ll learn by taking it.

I’ve teamed up with Popular Woodworking to bring you one of the projects from my online woodworking show (No BS Woodworking) with additional content and a twist. The project is the Shaker lap desk pictured at left, and the first class runs from Jan.24-27, 2013 (sign up now!).

Over the four days we’ll work on the lap desk, you’ll learn how to select and lay out your materials for any project. Then, we’ll break down the lap desk material and mill it to size, and do a fair amount of the joinery by hand. (While this isn’t a hand-tools only class, you’ll be able to approach the project with hand-tools only if you prefer.) The best part? This lap desk will only cost you around $75-$80 – and that includes your stock and the registration fee for the class.

And that twist I mentioned? At No BS Woodworking, you get solid, online video instruction. But sign up for this special class, and from Jan. 24-Jan. 27, I’ll be available live each day in a webinar format to answer all your questions about the project. (But this certainly doesn’t mean you can only take the class during those four days; Popular Woodworking is creating a forum revolving around the project, and it will be available to you any time you need it.) As a student, you’ll also find an “FAQ” to help answer the most common questions about the project. And you can learn at your own pace – you’ll be able to watch the individual segments (“episodes” as I like to call them) as often as you like. The live Q&A sessions will be available to everyone who participates in the class, too (even if you can’t make it while they are happening).

The Shaker lap desk is a great beginner/intermediate project that can easily be accomplished in a long weekend or in a handful of evening sessions in your shop. The materials are readily available (and did I mention they’re inexpensive?) and you don’t need a ton of hand tools or power equipment to pull it off. Over the next few weeks, until the class begins, I’ll be posting some of the highlights of the class right here on the Popular Woodworking Editors’ Blog (even though I am not an editor…).

This is a fun little project with some great lines and some extremely cool features (my favorite is the little ink drawer at the back of the desk on the right-hand side). Registration is open for this class and class size is limited. And at just $50, I expect the slots will fill up quickly, so don’t wait to register. I look forward to seeing you (OK, maybe not actually “seeing” but you get the idea) in class. Below, you’ll find a short video preview:

Don’t miss out on the fun – register now. Registration closes Monday, Jan. 21.

— Charles Bender

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Showing 5 comments
  • Bill Lattanzio

    Chuck, give my boss a call and ask him if I can woodwork on the job for a few hours. Thanks!


    Same question, Chuck – I’m interested in signing up, but I have this pesky day job. Will evenings suffice for the Thursday and Friday sessions? Will we know what stock we need in advance? How many hours per session do you anticipate?
    Looking forward to your reply(s).

  • oakripper

    I made one of these lap desk four years ago, it can be viewed on in lumberdog’s woodworking projects.It was a lot of fun to build.

  • DonPeregoy

    It’s sounds great. Im in. One question – at what time of the day will the sessions be ?
    Thanks Don

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