These plans are for a two-level platform that sits on top of an existing desk to bring the height of the main surface to a comfortable standing height. My original desk is 28½” high, and the first platform raises this up 14¼” so the primary surface becomes 42¾” from the ground. This results in my forearms (I’m 6’ 3" tall) resting parallel to the ground when I’m typing at a keyboard. The second platform holds one or more LCD monitors at eye level and sits on top of the first.
The primary surface is ¾” birch plywood, wrapped with a thin strip of wood. This is supported by a frame of 1 x 4” rails and 1½” tapered legs. The rails and legs can be joined with mortise and tenon joints, dowels or pocket screws (I used 5/16” dowel pins, two in each side of the rails). The monitor stand is similar, but with 1 x 2” rails.
My standing desk is finished with several coats of amber and superblonde shellac, then waxed with a good paste wax.
The following is an SVG diagram showing the plans. If you’re having trouble viewing it in your browser (Internet Explorer and older browsers haven’t implemented the SVG standard), this entire post is available as a PDF file (919Kb).
I used a circular saw with a plywood cutting blade to cut the plywood tops and to rip the trim I used to wrap the edges of the plywood. The legs and rails were cut to length using a Millers Falls Langdon miter box, and I used a Henry Peace rip saw to taper the legs. The tapers were cleaned up with a Stanley #6 corregated sole hand plane. Dowels were located with a self-centering dowel jig and drilled with a power drill. I used Titebond III to glue the legs to the rails, and fastened the tops to the rails using small corner brackets.
|1||¾” x 30” x 60” birch plywood||Main platform top|
|1||¾” x 12” x 36” birch plywood||Monitor platform top|
|4||1½” x 13½” hemlock, tapered||Main legs|
|2||¾” x 3½” x 49” hemlock||Front and back rails|
|2||¾” x 3½” x 21” hemlocks||Side rails|
|4||1½” x 10” hemlock, tapered||Second platform legs|
|2||¾” x 2” x 27” hemlock||Front and back rails|
|2||¾” x 2” x 5” hemlock||Side rails|
Today I made a bow from a board. I started with a 1x3 piece of red oak, and ended up with the bow seen in silhouette in the photo on the right. It’s an American flatbow, similar to what many Native American tribes (including some Inuit) used. In mine, the upper and lower limbs don’t have quite the same shape and it has a lower draw weight than I had planned on, but I think it was a good first attempt at bow-making.
The hardest part is finding a board that has straight grain lines running all the way down the face of the board. You cut and smooth the sides first (it’s about 1½” wide at the handle and gently tapers to ½” at the tips) then begin tapering the limbs (full thickness at the handle, gently tapering to ½” at the tips). After each thinning the bow is drawn slightly further up a tillering board (a piece of wood with notches cut into it to hold the string) and the shape is evaluated to make sure it’s bending the way you want. My mistake was in thinning the wrong limb too much without making similar changes to the other half of the bow. Once I realized this, I had to remove a bunch of material off the now-thicker limb and wound up with a bow that is easier to draw than intended. Since I haven’t actually shot an arrow from a bow since high school, a light drawing bow is probably a good idea until I’m ready for something more powerful. This one is reasonably easy for me to pull, and shoots sticks very smoothly.
Tools used: I used a rip saw to cut the board to rough dimension, smoothed the saw cuts with a wooden jack plane, made the initial taper with a drawknife, and did the majority of the remaining adjustments with a coffin smoother, an adjustable mouth block plane and a handled cabinet scraper. Probably should have used the scraper more and the hand planes less. Volumes 1 and 4 of The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible were invaluable, and I think I could have used the other two volumes too, if I’d had them. There’s a ton of information in those books for both the beginner, and advanced bowyer. In addition to volumes 2 and 3, I need some real arrows, a target, and more wood for more bows!
A couple days ago I got an email and the photo on the right from a guy named Nathan in Chatanooga. He’d seen my bedside table plans from the Plans page on my web site and decided to make a version of it for his wife’s birthday. His version is made from red oak, and it looks great.
It’s always great to hear from people who have found something useful at my site.