For this month’s Power Tool Challenge, we are making gifts for the other bloggers in our challenge group! It’s a fun “Secret Santa” gift exchange, and my person is getting this:
I built a cookbook stand from scrap wood I had on hand and some thrift store spoons. Stained red, of course, for the holidays! It was actually pretty easy to build, with one hiccup I discuss below.
Here’s how to build a cookbook stand:
1 x 12 board (actual dimensions .75 in. x 11.25 in.) – I used part of a white wood board I had bought at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $3.95;
1 x 2 – I used a scrap piece I had in my scrap wood stash in the shed;
Drill – You’ll need a bit to drill a hole in metal and one to drill into wood;
Screwdriver (and maybe an allen wrench – see #4 below);
Sandpaper: both 120-grit and 220-grit;
Tape measure and Speed Square (or other straight edge);
Lint-free rag or brush for staining (I actually use old socks for this);
Stain or paint (I used stain);
Hinges – pick the size that works for the size you want. I used these:
Screws to attach spoons to cookbook stand;
Spoons from thrift store – make sure they are lighter-weight metal because that makes them easier to drill through and bend.
1. Cut the wood.
First, cut the 1 x 12 to the size you want using the miter saw (you could also use a circular saw for this, but I have a big enough sliding miter saw to use it, and the miter saw makes a straighter cut). The best way to decide what size to make the stand is to open up a larger-sized cookbook and see how much of a stand you’d need to keep it supported. I cut my board to 12 7/8 in.
Next, cut the support piece. This is slightly trickier, because you will need to bevel cut the ends so that it lays flat against the stand and the countertop or table it’ll be resting on, and then account for that in measuring the length.
Wait! – What’s a bevel you ask?
- The bevel angle (or blade tilt) is the tilt of the saw blade from vertical on the saw table. This means that a normal square cut has a bevel of 0°. Typically saws have a maximum bevel of 45°.
- The miter angle (or cross-cut angle) is the horizontal angle, as seen on the saw table, from a line perpendicular to the long edge of a board. A perpendicular cut has a miter of 0°. (From http://jansson.us/jcompound.html.)
Now, I didn’t measure the support very scientifically, I’ll admit. Basically, I held the 1 x 12 cut piece at the angle at which I wanted the cookbook stand to, well, stand. I used the Speed Square to measure the distance between the board and the table top, then I added a little more to account for the angles.
At first, I cut both angles at a 22.5° bevel angle, but that didn’t work for the end that would be flush against the stand. I realized that it had to be 45° in order for it to work properly (and fold up when not in use).
Not to skip ahead, but here’s what it ended up looking like, put together:
That’s what I’m talking about!
2. Sand it smooth.
Once the wood is cut, give each piece a good sanding to make it smooth. Start with 120-grit sandpaper, wipe it down, then use 220-grit to get a nice, smooth finish.
Wipe all the dust off the board so it’s good and clean, using a tack cloth or damp rag.
3. Stain or paint the stand.
I decided to stain the cookbook stand, using Varathane Barn Red wood stain.
I thought the red made it festive for the holidays! I love this color!
I used old socks to apply the stain to the board, but you can use any lint-free cloth or brush.
Remember to STIR stain before using it. Do not shake the can, the way you do with paint. Shaking creates bubbles which can end up in your finish. Stir it instead.
When applying the stain, remember to brush or wipe the stain with the grain of the wood. Apply a little stain at first and then wipe it off. You can always add more for a darker finish.
Once the stain dried, I applied a coat of polyurethane to protect it. If you are using paint instead of stain on this project, you won’t need the polyurethane.
4. Attach the support to the stand.
Once everything was dry, it was time to attach the support to the stand. I decided to do this with the strap hinges, shown above, and I wanted the hinges not to show (to be on the underside of the support). In retrospect, I would have done it slightly differently. Lemme explain.
First, I tried attaching the hinge to the support and then to the stand…
…but that didn’t work, because I didn’t have a screwdriver that would bend to get in the space between the stand and the board.
Then I thought I’d try attaching the hinge to the board and then to the support.
Same problem, though. I could get a bit more leverage on it, but not much.
The solution? I grabbed an allen wrench with a phillips head bit on one end. That did the trick.
In retrospect, though, I’d attach the hinge to the outside of the support, not underneath. That way, I can access the hinge to screw in the screws.
5. Shape and attach the spoons.
The spoons are what will hold the cookbook open. You want to find thrift store spoons that are fairly light-weight, so that they’re easy to drill through and bend.
Get a drill bit that will drill through metal and drill a hole in the center of each spoon. Then attach the spoon to the stand with a screw that’s big enough to support the spoon (and cookbook) but not go through the back of the board. Make sure to hold or clamp the spoons in place while drilling (or the spoons will spin and it could hurt your hand).
I decided the spoons should be 2 1/2 inches from each side of the stand.
Note that the spoons aren’t lined up level on the board because they are not the same size. The key is to make sure that the bends in the spoons’ handles are level. That will ensure that your cookbook stays put!
To bend the spoons, hold one end (or, if already screwed in place, you’re good) and then use pliers to gently bend the handle up. Don’t press too hard because you don’t want plier marks on the spoons. If your spoon is really lightweight, you can even bend them with your hands!
All that’s left is to find a good recipe and get cookin’!
This was so fun and easy to make (except for the hinges, but I know how to fix that now!)! I think I might make several more as holiday gifts (shhh!).
You know you want one, too! Pin it for later:
Please check out all of the Power Tool Challenge Team’s Secret Santa gifts:
Wooden Chair Spindle Snowflake by Interior Frugalista
Hanging Christmas Card Holder by H2OBungalow
DIY Pallet Wood Shadow Box by Create And Babble
Repurposed Cabinet Door Joy Plaque by Designed Decor
Textured Photo Transfers To Wood Blocks by The Kim Six Fix
DIY Cheese and Crackers Serving Board by Virginia Sweet Pea
Aren’t they awesome?!? Which is your favorite?