I started a new French Knot rug a few days ago, this one is twice the size of the one I made for the dining room and I was really struggling to try and hold a hoop and make nice consistent knots, you kind of need 3 hands for that, coupled with the fact that I only have a certain short focal distance where I can actually see what I am doing, I needed a solution, BIG TIME!!!!! And here it is, a hoop turned into a lap stand. A local shop sells something similar, but knowing that I had wood at home, I thought I would make one myself.
Here it is without the embroidery, I am going to tell you how I made mine, because I know quite a few of you are stitchers too and maybe this can help somebody else. I started of with a hoop that I had, mine is just a bit larger than 12" in diameter.
I used wood that I had lying around in the garage, so I am only going to give length measurements, I don't think thickness and width are that critical. I started with the two short pieces that is glued to the hoop, they are 3 1/4" long, I cut out a slot where the hoop needed to fit in and filed it a bit round on the edges for the hoop to fit around it, I more or less just eyeballed the two sides to be more or less straight across from one another and just glued them to the hoop, holding it with a clamp while the glue was busy drying.
Here is a front view of the hoop glued to the two side pieces where you can see the curve. Next measure the distance between your two pieces of wood and deduct the thickness of your wood twice from that measurement, mine worked out to 10 7/8". Cut a piece of wood to that length, this is your bottom cross bar that will be glued and screwed to your base. Cut your two uprights next, mine are 12" long, the maximum I could make it, as I wanted to be able to use my magnifying lamp with it. Now glue and screw the two uprights to the cross bar. Next I drilled a hole 3/4 inch from the bottom into the two short side pieces that connects the hoop for the bolt, I suppose it would be easier to first drill the holes before you glue it to the hoop. I drilled two holes on each top of the uprights, one 1" from the top edge and the next one 2" from the top edge. I cut a base 5 1/4" wide and 17 " long from 1/4" thick MDF, but you can make it any size that suits you, now glue and screw your base and cross bar together. I am going to glue a piece of felt to the bottom of the base to protect my clothes from the screws.
You are almost there, next bolt your hoop part to the uprights, I used wing nuts as they are easier to tighten, I put a washer in between the uprights and the hoop supports as well as on the outside, the bolts I am using has a square piece on the shank, as you screw it tight it sinks into the wood a bit and will help prevent everything going loose in a hurry as you swivel your hoop. Now for the very last step, insert some embroidery and enjoy stitching!!!!!!