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Thread: Map Desk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Journal Entries

    Default Map Desk

    Not exactly canoe gear, but related:

    I’ll be retiring June 11. There is a canoe trip in the offing. It will be between a week and a month long. As long as I have no demands on my time – I get to make it as long or as short as I want.
    First thing I need to do is look at a map. I check the map drawer and it is, as always, a total mess. I’ve been shoving maps in this drawer for about 25 years. It is a large drawer, but not wide enough to lay the maps out. Some are folded, some are rolled into tubes. I decide the time has come to rectify the map situation. Flattening them out takes some time. There are over 100 maps.
    I decide to do something I've been thinking about for years - build a map desk out in the bunkhouse. This will be a quick and utilitarian project.
    I measure the largest maps and decide the best size for the inside of the desk is 26” X 35” (66 cm by 88.9 cm). I cut four pieces of ash ¾” x 3 ¾” (1.9 cm X 9.5 cm). Two of them are 35 ¾” (90.8 cm) and two are 26 ¾” ( 67.9 cm). I inlet all four of them 3/8 inch by 5/8 inch lengthwise. I rabbit the ends of the two longer pieces, 3/8” X 5/8” and fasten them all together using screws and glue. For screws, I use 1 ½” drywall screws and finishing washers. I end up with an open rectangle that is 26 inches by 35 inches, inside diameter.
    I cut a piece of 5/8 inch plywood 26 ¾ inch by 35 ¾ inch. I fasten it to the inletted bottom of the rectangle with #4 box nails.
    For the desk top, I cut another piece of 5/8” plywood 38 ½ inches by 28 ½ inches. I cut a piece of oak ¼ inch plywood the same size and glue it to the 5/8 inch plywood. When it is dry, I rip the plywood lengthwise, 3 inches wide. I fasten the 3 inch by 38 ½ inch piece to the top of the ash rectangle using finishing nails. Using a piano hinge, I reunite the two pieces of the desk top. I edge the desk top using ¾ inch by 3/8 inch ash. I angle the joint, slightly, where the pieces of ash meet at the piano hinge, so the desk top will open and close easily.
    To make more room when the map desk is not in use, I attach a piece of pine, 1 ½ inch square by 36 ½ inch long to the wall. I attach another piano hinge to the desk and to the piece of pine attached to the wall. The map desk will now hinge down parallel with the wall when not in use. For legs, I drill a 1 ¼ inch hole in two pieces of pine, 3 ½ inch by 3 ½ inch by 1 ½ inch. I attach these pieces of pine to the two bottom outside corners of the desk. Two pieces of 1 ¼ inch oak dowel make up the legs. I thought about trying to hinge them, but decided it was too much monkey business. When the desk is in the “down” position, the dowel legs are kept in place behind the desk with two Velcro straps.
    The desk is sanded and varnished. Looks okay, for a quick project. Now, I will be able to open the desk top, pick out the right map, and lay it out on the desk top to check it out. Seems simple, but it's been a long time coming.
    Wish I had some photos, but the camera battery was dead.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries


    A map desk sounds dangerous to me. Every time I passed it I would need to open it and have a quick look at a map. A quick look usually lasting hours, if experience is anything to go by.

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

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