project, utility, Woodworking

Adjustable oak book stand

This christmas my wife and I agreed that we would make our gifts for each other. Given we made the decision a month or so before christmas it allowed plenty of time to figure out a plan, order supplies, and have some weekends to actually start making.. Very quickly I knew I wanted to include some artistic element, and obviously I wanted to make it personal. A few months back Kat had drawn a design of her name such that it had rotational symmetry (looked the same upside down) and it struck me that taking that design and somehow rendering it in wood was a nice idea.

For a while I toyed with various thoughts about simply cutting the design out and mounting it as a purely artistic piece, but I really prefer to make functional things. I like the idea that what I make will enter every day usage filling some role.

Then I had a flash of inspiration, Kat often writes longhand in notebooks, then later refers to them whilst typing into her computer. She once made a comment about the slight inconvience of not having the book leant up so it was easier to switch views between monitor and notebook. So I decided to make a book stand, with her name design embossed on the front.

Here it is

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It supports 3 positions

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The last one maybe a little too upright since a heavy book pulls it over forwards, but for a few sheets or something light it's fine.

The notches in the feet were cut on my bandsaw whilst they where still a single piece of wood, then I split it lengthwise to get the two feet.

The dowels were hand turned on the lathe to be the right diameter to drill convienient holes for them. They are not yet glued in place as I thought I might want to be able to adjust things, but actually it might be better to just fix them so they stay centred.

There are two little retaining arms that can swing up to hold pages back. That are just held by a nail, the head of the nail is a tight fit in the arms, and a slightly loose fit in the base of the stand to allow them to turn.

The patern on the front was created by first cutting out a stencil, then drawing around that onto the wood in pencil. Then I used a burn tool to scortch the outline, before finally using a burr tip ina rotary tool to make the texture. It was my first attempt at texturing like this and I'm not altogether happy with it. It looks ok at a distance, but it might have worked better if I had coloured it. I did consider doing so, but lacked a fine brush and didn't want to ask Kat for one since it would have given away elements of the gift.

It's finished in woodwax, which I like for things intended to be handled. Hopefully it will last well, and live up to it's intended use to make it easier to reference notebooks whilst typing.