Lap Desk with Light Burn (LightBurn file included)

I mention that I use LightBurn almost exclusively for all things CAD (even when the final destination is the CNC mill). So I thought I would post / provide an example of a project I threw together to make a little lap desk from 1/2" plywood for my son. Certainly this could be cut on the laser for those with 100+ watts and a longer focal length. 150 watts+ EASY.

If you don’t want any post cut adjustment on the leg connection to the top, just create a small extension off of the top of the leg (equal to the top’s material thickness) matching the leg top angle. Otherwise some VERY MINOR filing of the top slots to account for the angle is necessary.


LapDesk.lbrn (104.0 KB)


Very nice, how thick is the plywood?

He notes 1/2" in the original post.

It is 1/2" nominal. IIRC, the exact thickness of that material that the drawing reflects (you can verify this by measuring the short side of the slot / cutout for the leg on the top) is .46 inches. I am not at my home computer right now, so I can’t verify.

That slot depth is the only adjustment to the drawing that is necessary for different material thickness.

What laser are you using to cut 1/2 inch ply so cleanly?

I cut that on a CNC mill, although my laser would cut it the same but with brown edges. (150w Reci / Unique CNC 900 x 600 with Ruida). The point I was making is that I used LightBurn for the CAD work.


So you do the design in LightBurn and then export the SVG to Vcarve to generate the toolpath?

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That is correct. Here is a picture of the lap desk completed with the Laser cut shelf liner top that has been applied using 3M spray adhesive.

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For projects that leave plywood edges exposed, I like to add edge banding. Creates a very clean look and makes the entire project appear to be made of solid wood versus ply. Nice project.

For a 30 minute / an hour project for an 8 year old‘s lap desk, edge banding isn’t a rational effort. I do agree with managing the aesthetics of the plies when there is an appropriate need for cosmetic edges.

Edge banding is my least used method however. I prefer trim or mitered joinery.

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How do you like your laser. We have a Boss 1420ls and are starting to look for a second machine with more power 100-150w range.

I would be challenged to effectively articulate my satisfaction with my 150W machine. It is not singularly the power that is overwhelmingly satisfying. The machine itself is so well refined.

Some examples of the refinement are:

My motorized Z is driven by TWO beefy steppers. My former 100W machine, just one stepper and it sometimes struggled to raise or lower the 24 x 36 bed with the added honeycomb table and material weight added.

My access door / lid is huge and offers incredible access into the working area and easy view into the machine.

The Ruida controller and panel are the nicer 6445 having a larger display and Dedicated Z control panel operation.

The machine sits on leveling and locking casters (instead of leveling feet). It is a very nice feature.

And in addition to how the machine came to me configured, I have a lot of customization that I have applied to it.

I think thats a really good Idea, I detest inkscape with a vengeance and never thought of using this software to do that, Do you think you could output the file to SVG then import into Easel to generate the tool paths for my cnc?

I’m starting to know my way around Lightburn really well now and never thought of using it for my CNC, I been playing with Easel and its limited non pay functionality and I dont like Carbide create that much. I’m a hobbyist and dont want to spends hundreds and hundreds on a piece of CNC software where i dont get a real return for my money as I dont make things to sell on it. I

ts just for the pleasure of doing something for myself or friends at the moment while I recover from an long term illness.