In part 1 of this project series I introduced the project and explained the inlay process on the front (or top?) of the music tray. In my excitement to make my first blog post I completely forgot about the mechanism on the back side of the tray that connects it to the center post and allows the tray angle to be adjusted. Today’s post will be about the mechanism I used to allow for angle adjustment. The third and final post will explain my process for building the center post and feet.
How it works
The smaller top knob is a brass pin that allows the music tray pivot at the end of the height adjustment post. The larger lower knob is a threaded brass rod that goes through a hole in the height adjustment post and screws into a threaded brass insert on the other side of the adjustment mechanism. The threaded rod is loosened to allow the music tray to pivot to the desired angle and then tightened.
The pivoting pin and pivot mechanism
The mechanism consists of a backing plate and two side plates that support the height adjustment shaft. The left side (as seen in the photos) is drilled for the pin and threaded rod. It also has a routed arc which allows the threaded rod to smoothly travel through it’s angle adjustment range. I could have made the project a bit easier by drilling holes at preset angles but decided that if I was going to do this project I was going to go “first class” all the way. The range of motion for the stand allows it to work for a sitting musician or from a standing position like a orchestra conductor might use. The right side is drilled for the pivot pin and has a threaded insert for the tightening bolt that tightens the mechanism so any angle can be maintained.
Making the pivot pin and tightening bolt
The hardware I needed for the mechanism was not available is it’s finished form. I had to source out the individual parts and then fabricate what I needed. I used high quality Baldwin solid brass cabinet knobs. Most brass knobs are mostly hollow and couldn’t be drilled and tapped. The weight of all the brass parts also gives them a bit of “heft” that helps reinforce a sense of quality that went into the project.
I drilled and tapped the knobs to make the pivot pin and the threaded tightening bolt. The pivot pin uses a 1/4” brass rod that i chucked into a drill press to round the tip and then polish it to a high shine with polishing compound. I used a few drops of epoxy on the knob threads so when the pin was screwed together there was no chance of it coming loose. For the tightening bolt I used 1/4-20 threaded brass rod and used epoxy to keep it in place as well. I could have soldered the part in place but that would have ruined the high polish on the knobs and would have created a lot more work for me.
Mounting the mechanism to the music tray
The mechanism used small screws and glue to attach it to the music tray. The majority of strength comes from the glue joint. The screws help a little but I used them mostly to help provide some clamping pressure and ensure mechanism didn’t move as it was glued. The glue joint is quite large and it’s face grain to face grain so I don’t think I have a strength issue to worry about. I used tapered plugs to cover the screw holes. I used a narrow paring chisel to trim the plug. If you look closely at the photo above you can see where the plug covers one of the screws.
Thanks for reading. Write me a note if you have any questions.
-- Linda - It's only a mistake if you do it twice!