UpScale Music Stand

Comments (0)

This article is from Issue 51 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Take a lesson in bending wood.

Overall dimensions: 29"w × 281⁄2"d × 62"h

While you can’t make music in a shop full of loud tools, you can make items for those who play. This graceful cherry and maple stand allows musicians to adjust the music rest up or down for standing or sitting. And when not in use, it serves as a handsome home accent for displaying art books or drawings. For easy transport, both the music rest and rear leg detach. (See Figure 1.) Building techniques include a lesson in cold lamination for bending the leg parts and creating a simple book-matched music rest.

Mark the leg blank ends as shown, rip the strips, and then set them aside in the order cut.
With the leg strips arranged edge to edge in the order they were ripped, apply glue using a roller.

With the plywood-strip caul clamped at the top, loosely clamp the bottom end of the lamination to keep the glued surfaces together. Add more clamps.

Build the form

1 From a sheet of 3⁄4" particleboard, MDF, or plywood, cut two 233⁄4 × 641⁄4" pieces. Laminate them face to face with the ends and edges flush to form a 11⁄2"-thick form blank. Using a circular saw and straightedge, make the angle cut at one end, where shown on Figure 2. Draw the 18" radius with a beam compass, and cut the curve with a jigsaw.

2 Chuck a Forstner bit into a drill and drill clamp-head holes through the form where dimensioned in Figure 2. I drilled 13⁄8" holes to fit 6" Bessey F-style clamps. Make sure the holes you drill accommodate your clamp heads.

3 From hardwood scrap, cut a 3⁄4 × 11⁄2 × 30" clamping caul for the upper straight section of the leg. For the radius and the lower part of the leg, cut three 11⁄2 × 40" strips of 1⁄4" plywood. These strips bend around the radius to apply even clamping. 

4 Sand the “working” edges of the form smooth. Mark the leg-trim lines on the bending form, where dimensioned in Figure 2.

Make the legs

1 From 13⁄4"-thick stock, cut the front legs blank (A) and rear leg blank (B) to the sizes shown on the Cut List. Mill each blank to 11⁄2" thick. Resaw the blanks into strips slightly more than 3⁄16" thick, getting 10 strips from the 4"-wide blank and five strips from the 2"-wide blank, as shown in Photo A. To guarantee laminating success, see “Get The Best Laminated Parts Possible” on page 49.

Note: To ensure that the curve of the rear leg is the same as the front legs, you’ll cut strips and bend the rear leg the same as the front ones. With the laminating complete, you’ll trim the rear leg to final length.

2 To get matching color and grain on the two front legs, divide the 10-strip bundle in half. Mark the adjoining faces of strips five and six. When laminating the legs, orient the marked faces against the form.

3 Lay out the strips for one leg on your workbench, separating from the others the strip farthest from you as a reminder not to apply glue to this strip. Apply glue to the other strips, as shown in Photo B. Restack the strips in order and position the bundle on the form.

4 Starting with all the strips in the bundle flush with the top end of the form, position the solid caul and start applying clamps. Position the ends of the three 1⁄4" plywood strips against the end of the solid caul and apply two clamps. Continue clamping the lamination, as shown in Photo C. Let the glue dry for 24 hours. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the remaining strip bundles.

5 Scrape excess glue from the edges of the legs. Joint one edge of each leg as shown in Photo D. Then plane the legs to finished width at the thickness planer.

6 Mark cutlines on each leg, as shown in Photo E, and trim them to length, making a straight cut at the top and an angled cut at the bottom. Cut bevels at the top of each leg, where shown on Figure 1.

7 Chuck a 3⁄4" straight bit into your table-mounted router and position the fence to center the width of the rear leg on the bit. Clamp a stopblock to the fence so the distance from the block to the far edge of the bit is 8". Rout the stopped groove in the leg, as shown in Photo F. Square the end of the groove with a chisel.

8 Carefully mark the locations of the holes for the threaded rods in the rear leg. Drill 11⁄64" holes on the drill press, making sure they are centered in the leg width. Finish-sand all the legs.

To joint the legs, move the fence back for full support when feeding the bend over the cutterhead.
Clamp the jointed and planed legs onto the form, and transfer the trim lines onto them.

Get The Best Laminated Parts Possible

Successful bent lamination occurs when the part’s resulting glue lines between individual strips are almost invisible. The part will appear to be made from solid stock. Sawing high-quality strips is key. Here’s how to guarantee the best results:

  • Select a wood species with coarse-to-moderate grain, such as ash, oak (white or red), walnut, and cherry. Glue lines don’t “hide” as well in fine-grained species such as maple.
  • Use straight-grained stock without knots or other blemishes.
  • Make a “V” mark across one end of the blank so you can reassemble the strips in the same order they were sawn. (See Photo A.)
  • Use a sharp, high-quality saw blade. (For cuts clean enough for gluing, we used a 3⁄32"-kerf 40-tooth Forrest Woodworker II blade.)
  • All laminated parts will “spring back” slightly when removed from the form. Here, for uniform spring back, make sure all three legs dry on the form for the same amount of time.
With the top of the rear leg against the stopblock, lower the leg onto the running bit. Use a good pushstick (see page 18) to feed the leg over the bit.
Align the saw blade with the up-facing corner of the rail (C) and rip a 40°-bevel along the edge.

Build the upright assembly

1 Cut the rails (C), upper spacer (D), and lower spacer (E) to size. Cut a bevel at the top of the upper spacer, where shown on Figure 3. Clamp the lower spacer into the stopped groove in the rear leg with the top ends flush. Using the holes in the leg as guides, mark the hole locations on the spacer with an 11⁄64" drill bit. Separate the parts and use the drill press to drill 11⁄64" holes for the threaded rods 1"-deep into the spacer. Enlarge the holes in the rear leg to 13⁄64" and slightly countersink the holes on both faces. Finish-sand the upright assembly parts being careful to avoid rounding the edges. Don’t worry about sanding the outside edges of the rails as these will be beveled after assembly.

2 Glue and clamp the spacers (D, E) between the rails (C) with the bottom ends and front faces of the rails and lower spacer flush and the upper spacer positioned where dimensioned on Figure 3. Note that the upper spacer bevel faces the front and the lower spacer protrudes at the rear. The rear edge of the lower spacer has the holes for the threaded rods.

3 Cut 30° bevels across the tops of both rails (C) at the mitersaw. (The rails are beveled opposite the direction of the upper spacer bevel.) Then on the tablesaw bevel-rip the edges of the rails 40°, as shown in Photo G.

4 Apply a thin bead of glue to the middle of one leg and clamp it, centered, to the beveled edge of one rail (C), as shown in Photos H. Use a micro-pinner to fix the position of the leg on the rail. Repeat to attach the second leg. Carefully remove excess glue with a moistened rag.

Apply glue and then center and clamp the rail to the leg. Consider using a micro-pinner to lock in its position.
To keep the part flat, apply even clamp pressure to both sides of the panel.

Construct the music rest clamp

1 Cut the clamp block (F) and cleat (G) to size. Tape the parts together with masking tape with the ends and edges flush. Mark hole centers for the threaded rods, where shown on Figure 1 and drill 11⁄64" holes through both parts. Separate the parts and cut rabbets, where shown. Test the fit of the parts between the rails of the upright assembly, and then increase the size of the rabbets as necessary. The parts should easily slide along the rails. Chamfer the ends of the clamp block and cut the groove in the cleat. Enlarge the holes in the clamp block to 13⁄64", and slightly countersink the holes on both faces.

2 Cut the standoff (H) to size. Adhere the cleat (G) to the standoff with double-faced tape. Employing the holes in the cleat as guides, use the drill press to extend the 11⁄64" holes into the standoff so the combined depth of the holes in both cleat and standoff is 1". Separate the parts. Using a miter gauge equipped with an extension fence and stop, cut the taper on the standoff. Finish-sand the parts and glue and clamp the cleat to the standoff.

3 From 1⁄2" stock, edge-glue an oversized blank for the back (I), as shown in Photo I. (To learn how book-matching can turn ordinary wood into an extraordinary project part, see sidebar, below.) With the glue dry, sand both faces smooth. Trim the bottom edge straight, and lay out the side and top tapers, where dimensioned on Figure 3. Cut the back to shape. On the tablesaw, cut a 1⁄8" groove, 1⁄4" deep across the front face with the top edge of the groove 3⁄16" from the bottom edge of the back. Finish-sand the back.

4 To keep the cleat/standoff assembly (G/H) in position on the back (I) while gluing, clamp an end-stop block to the back with an edge 43⁄8" from the bottom edge of the back, and a side-stopblock 3⁄8" from the back centerline. Apply glue to the standoff, position it against the end and side stops, and clamp it in place. When the glue has firmly grabbed, but before it is completely dry, remove the stopblocks and any excess glue.

5 Cut the base (J) 1⁄2" longer than listed. Then bevel-cut the ends to length, matching the taper of the back (I) sides. Cut the front-edge tapers, where dimensioned on Figure 1. Form a tongue to fit into the groove in the face of the back (I) by cutting a 1⁄4"-deep rabbet along the bottom back edge. Initially make a slightly too-tight fit, and then form a snug fit by finish-sanding the part. Apply glue to the center 4" of the back groove and clamp the base in place.

Book-Matching Turns Scrap Into Treasure

The back of the music rest features a grain pattern that may look exotic, but actually is made from a quite ordinary piece of wood. The back started as a cutoff from the end of a roughsawn 5/4 board 12" wide and 15" long. The cutoff displayed a broad cathedral grain pattern, a feature difficult to use in most furniture projects. Although the rough-sawn stock was thick enough to resaw and plane into two 1⁄2"-thick boards, it was too wide for the capacity of the bandsaw. To reduce the width, I ripped the board through the straight grain adjacent to the cathedral pattern. (Mating straight grain to straight grain makes the glue joint almost disappear when reassembling the panel.) The resulting 8"- and 4"-wide pieces were resawn on the tablesaw, using a thin-kerf blade and cutting from both edges. We finished resawing the 8"-wide piece with a handsaw. The individual boards were planed to thickness and edge-glued to form the back blank. 

Fit the hardware and apply the finish

1 Cut two pieces of steel #8-32 threaded rod 21⁄4" long for the lower spacer (E) and two 25⁄8" long for the cleat/standoff assembly (G/H). File slight bevels on both ends of each rod. Test-fit the lower spacer rods to ensure they protrude 3⁄8" from the rear leg and the cleat/standoff assembly rods to ensure they protrude 3⁄8" from the clamp block (F). To protect the wood around the holes, apply masking tape. Then insert slow-set epoxy into the holes and insert the rods, turning the rods and pumping them in and out to work the epoxy into the threads.

2 Examine all parts and assemblies and finish-sand where necessary. Apply a clear finish.

3 Assemble the music stand by slipping the rear leg onto the threaded rods protruding from the lower spacer (E) and threading on two 11⁄4" cabinet knobs. Then position the rabbeted portion of the cleat (G) between the rails (C). Slip the clamp block (F) onto the threaded rods, rabbeted face first, and secure the music rest with two more knobs. Now go make music. 


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page