Man starts with 8 wood boards, ends up with the ultimate space-saving furniture piece

A laptop cabinet is a wonderful space-saving idea for small homes and a sleek, functional piece of furniture. Unlatch the cabinet door to reveal a work surface for all home computing. When not working or surfing the internet, simply lift the table to secure it in the cabinet.
Preparation is key to creating this attractive and useful laptop cabinet. For the project, woodworkers will be handling a total of seven birch boards and one large piece of maple. Ensure that five horizontal birch boards are cut to 30 3/16 inches in length and 5 1/2 inches in width. The additional two boards, which will serve as cleats, should be cut to 25 inches in length and 4 inches in width. The largest board, made of maple, will resemble a large rectangle; it should measure 29 15/16 inches by 17 7/8 inches. Cut one corner off the maple.
- Birch wood
- Maple wood
- Steam iron
- Edge banding
- Chisel
- Edge banding trimmer
- Wood block
- Piano hinge
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Clamps
- Drill
- 1/8 inch bit
- 3/8 inch Forstner bit
- 2 inch screws
- Magnetic latch
- Wood glue
- Wood plugs
- Rubber mallet
- Japanese saw
- Orbital sander
- Sandpaper
- Clean cloth
- Polyurethane
- Drywall anchors (optional)
1. Place the maple wood on a work table.
2. Plug in an iron and allow it to get hot.
3. Prepare edge banding. Break off a small piece of edge banding from the spool. Place the piece of edge banding on the flat surface of the absent corner.
4. Adhere the edge banding to the wood using the iron.
5. Rub the wood block against the edge banding.
6. Remove excess edge banding with an edge banding trimmer. Trim off any pieces of edge banding exposed on the top of the wood.
7. Use a chisel to remove excess edge banding exposed on the sides of wood.
8. Continue to secure edge banding to the side of the maple wood, following steps 4 to 7.
9. Place the piano hinge against one of the long sides of the maple wood. The hinge will attach the piece of maple to the cabinet in a later step.
10. Retrieve three 30 3/16-inch birch boards. Place one birch board against one short side of the maple wood. Place the next piece of birch against the piano hinge. Turn the third piece of birch so it's in a vertical position, then place it on the floor to line it up against the shorter side of the maple wood.
11. Mark a line on the horizontal birch board against the shorter side of the maple. The line should mark where the vertical board and horizontal board meet.
12. Remove the horizontal board from the previous step and clamp it to a table.
13. Use a pencil and ruler to add an 1/8 inch for the reveal.
14. Set the two horizontal boards in place and make a mark with the pencil.
15. Set the two sides together and transfer the lines.
16. Lay all the boards flat. Mark out where all the horizontal parts will go, using the ruler and pencil.
17. Mark center lines, then mark 1/8 inch from the edge.
18. Clamp the sides together.
19. Drill a pilot hole with a 1/8-inch bit, then drill with a 3/8-inch Forstner bit.
20. Assemble the cabinet. Place three sides of the cabinet together. Clamp the sides to the cabinet bottom. Grab a fourth board. Place the last board on top of the cabinet, sliding it down to meet the holes on the sides. This piece will serve as the cabinet shelf.
21. Ensure the sides, shelf and bottom are aligned, then drill using a 1/8-inch bit through the sides of the cabinet. Fasten the wood together with 2-inch screws.
22. Mark a straight line on the bottom of the cabinet. Fasten the bottom wood cleat, using a 1/8-inch bit and 2-inch screws.
23. Attach the hanging cleat to the shelf of the cabinet. Use a 1/8-inch bit and 2-inch screws.
24. Set the piano hinge center on the bottom of the shelf. Mark all the holes on the shelf, using the piano hinge as a guide.
25. Mark three additional holes on the shelf: left, center, right. Mark the door (maple wood), then drill the holes with a 1/8-inch bit. Secure the hinge to the cabinet with 2-inch screws.
26. Attach the hinge to the maple with 2-inch screws. The door should open and close.
27. Attach the magnet latch on the door. Place the latch on the inside surface of the maple. Mark the two circles of the latch with a pencil. Drill with a 1/8- inch bit, then secure the latch with screws supplied with hardware.
28. Stick the interior piece of the magnet latch on the (maple) door magnet. Shut the door and line up the magnet on the birch. Mark with a pencil, then secure the interior magnet with screws supplied with hardware.
29. Mark the location of the shelf support on the birch and maple. Drill with a 1/8-inch bit, then secure with 2-inch screws.
30. Attach the top of the cabinet. Squeeze a line of wood glue along the back edge of the shelf. Set a 30 3/16-inch birch board in place, then clamp it. Drill two 2-inch screws into each side of the wood to secure it.
31. Put wood glue and wood plugs into all the holes made in step 19. Bang the plugs in with a rubber mallet.
32. Cut the excess plugs off with a Japanese saw.
33. Remove the maple from the hinge on the cabinet to prepare for wood protection.
34. Place the cabinet and maple door on a flat, protected work surface. Sand flat surfaces with a random orbital sander. Remove sharp edges with loose sandpaper.
35. Use a clean cloth to apply polyurethane to the wood. Allow the polyurethane to dry.
36. Reattach the maple door to the cabinet, this time securing with all the piano hinge screws.
37. Use a hanging cleat that is cut at a 45-degree angle. Screw the hanging cleat to the wall with drywall anchors or directly into studs.
38. Mount the cabinet to the wall and secure with two screws to the bottom cleat.
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