Friday, September 26, 2008

The Lectern Initiative, part the second

I'm finally declaring that I'm on part two of this project. I have glued up the column, cut the half-lap joinery for the upper and lower supports, and I did a dry fit of the parts this afternoon before I had to stop making sawdust and mow the lawn.

Everything fits like the parts were molded to work together. And, in effect, they were. They were milled to work together anyway.

Now I only have to do the following:
1. route an edge detail on all four sides of the column, the top edges of the lower supports and the bottom edges of the upper supports. I haven't made a decision on a round over detail or a chamfer for these edges, but they will all get the same treatment.
2. assemble all the parts I have already built into a solid unit, using glue and lag 
screws. I really want this lectern to be rock solid because the eight or ten lecterns that are in use at the junior high school SUUUUUUCK!!! I know of three which are incapable of standing up straight, one of which tilts so badly you can't assume a book will stay in place on it.
3. build the top portion. I have put this part off for last because I wanted to have the base finished and ready to receive the top. That's almost a reality at this point. I want to be able to test fit the top as I go. I have to build it in two sections so I can attach it to the upper supports on the base column and then add the slanted portion to that section. That way there will be no visible screws anywhere on the piece.
When this upper portion is done it will have storage underneath the topmost surface which will be accessed from the right side. I also plan to add a pen and pencil cup of sorts to the top. Originally I wanted to have a rectangular box attached to the side of the top, but now I'm leaning more toward drilling four or five holes in the surface farthest from the user and building a box underneath the surface where it will never be seen. Only the pens will be visible sticking up out of their holes.

I'll figure out the remaining details as I go along. That's pretty much how most of my projects are handled, how most of my designs get established. Eventually I develop a routine method of building a particular item. This lectern, however, will either be one-of-a-kind or will be the first of a fairly limited run, and that only if another teacher just has to have one.

There's probably some money to be made here, considering what the teachers at the junior high have had to work with for the past several hundred decades -- seriously, you should see the building because portions of it are just a few thousand termites holding hands. Maybe I should take some time, add up my hours and material costs and figure out how much to charge for one of these things. I'll have to completely finish this one and deliver it to the Debra's classroom before I do that, though, so the other teachers can get a good look at it and I can judge their responses.  I should be able to finish this project by the middle of the week so I can deliver it on the very day I'm subbing for Debra.  That'll work!

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