SHAKER LAP DESK

http://www.motherearthnews.com/arc/194 /
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

What a piece of ugly - thought it was another of those Popular Woodworking plans 8-)
What is "Shaker" about this design, and for that matter, when did the Shakers make (let alone invent) lap desks ?
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Most likely this was designed during the same era in which they came up with that big 460v 3-phase shaper to allow for the intricate edge design on their entertainment cabinets that they proudly displayed on their web sites <g>
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Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Perhaps they are laboring under the misconception that "Shaker" refers to the device used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages to be consumed by a certain Mr. Bond.
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--John
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#1 - definitely ugly. I've seen much better lap desks in Fine Woodworking, etc.
#2 - Nothing is "Shaker" about this version of the item. The term "Shaker" is used today in ways that would make Mother Ann Lee roll over in her grave.
#3 - While Shakers would have used lap desks (when on the road selling seeds, rockers, etc.), they certainly didn't invent the item. In reality, as far as furniture goes, the Shakers "invented" very little. As most of the carpeters (male and female) joined the community and were not born into it, they also brought with them the skills and influences of the "world". The style of the day was influenced by the Shaker rule of simplicity in construction became the Shaker style. Unfortunately, anything that appears to be of a simple design is labeled "Shaker" in hopes it will generate additional interest in the item.
Brian
(J T)

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B Man wrote:

What is Non-Shaker about this piece?
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wrote:

Our local Borg is selling "Shaker Entertainment Centres"

I'm not so sure. I've not seen such a lap desk, and I've seen no records of one (if it ain't in Handberg...). Shaker writing desks are themselves pretty rare - the millenial laws are quite specific that they're unneccessary (and thus inappropriate) for most Shakers, other than those with specific tasks to deal with the world outside. It wouldn't be impossible for a "travelling seed salesman" to need one, but then I'm not sure they really did too much travelling as part of business either.
They certainly didn't _invent_ lap desks either - some well known examples are much older.
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Brian,
I have many Shaker books, and unless they are wrong, the Shakers had an amazing amount of inventions. I know there's been some discussion about the circular saw invented by a sister. But certainly, the Shakers invented many aspects of furniture building, including the tilting feet on chairs. Not all "Shaker" furniture was plain and simple.
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Wed, Mar 2, 2005, 1:42pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com (AndyDingley) says: What a piece of ugly - thought it was another of those Popular Woodworking plans 8-) What is "Shaker" about this design, and for that matter, when did the Shakers make (let alone invent) lap desks ?
Ugly? Well, it is a MotherEarthNews project, if I wanted pretty I wouldn't think about going there. But, it does look ugly in the picture; however, from the design, I don't think it would look too bad in person. Anyway, it's a free plan.
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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JOAT responds: Ugly? Well, it is a MotherEarthNews project, if I wanted pretty I wouldn't think about going there. But, it does look ugly in the picture; however, from the design, I don't think it would look too bad in person. Anyway, it's a free plan.
Ah, well. I thought it looked utilitarian, not ugly, but what do I know?
It's a project from the Dremel files that TMEN picked up, according to the credit.
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when "Charlie Self"

Read the advice on making the breadboard ends for the lid, particularly gluing every board.
IMHO, it's a criminal waste of good walnut to put it into a project like this. 8-)
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On Wed, 02 Mar 2005 13:42:14 +0000, Andy Dingley

Really? I did not think it was ugly at all. Not sure about the practicality of the piece in today's world, though. Personally, I use clipboards when working in the shop or gardens to take notes or hold paperwork. Anyone know who invented the "lap desk?"
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Phisherman wrote:

If that's a "lap desk" then the first guy who put his valise, briefcase, or whatever they called them when he did it in his lap to write on invented it.
Although I suspect that it was really some Babylonian who stuck a board in his lap for his clay tablet to sit on.
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