The Roubo bookstand. It is one piece that truly fascinates me. Why? Perhaps it is the wooden hinge or the fact that the entire piece is made from one section of wood. The curves and the overall shape give it a look the outdoes anything with metal hardware. They are fun to make and a joy to look at. For this project I did not want to rush and make a mistake, so I am splitting it over two days. I picked out my last piece of mahogany and packed some tools and headed off.
Now to make the Roubo bookstand is a very simple task using a minimal amount of tools, and of course I will be using only hand tools. The following tools I’m using today are as follows: 3/4″ Woodriver chisel, wooden mallet (my creation), a square, knife, pen/pencil, a single clamp and last but not least a hand plane.
To do the bookstand I chose to use a piece of mahogany that was 9 1/4″x6 5/8″. For my first stand I wanted to keep this as simple as possible so I planed the width down to a nice and even 6″.
After making sure that all the sides of the board were square it was time for layout. I found the center of the thickness of the board, which was just shy of 1/2″, and used my knife and square to mark a line all the way around. I knew I didn’t want my legs any shorter than 3 1/2″ so I made a pencil line on the side of the board making that my base for the hinges. The next part is hard to explain (at least for me), but from the where the knife mark and the pencil mark meet you draw two 45° angles, one to the top and one to the bottom. Then from where the edge of the board meet and your 45° mark, you draw two line again at 45° back to the middle and it should look something like this.
After you get your square layout done you have to draw the exact same thing on the other side. To do this you simply run your line across the top and bottom sides of the board. These line will also be used as guides for when you begin to chisel out the wood for the actual hinge effect.
As I said earlier, I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. I wanted to make just four parts of the hinge, this means each hinge part will be 1 1/2″ wide. I went ahead and marked those out, the colored in what will be my waste. If you accidently chip out section, you will have created a new design or have more wood for the fireplace.
So here is the moment you’ve been waiting for, MAKING THE HINGE! If you want chisel practice this was the perfect project to do. I chiseled away my sections creating 45° cuts following the lines on the side of the board. It is simpler to do the two outside parts first to get a depth visual to cut the inside parts to. I personally can tell you that you can tell a difference from my first cut compared to my last cut.
This is where I leave you today. Join me tomorrow as I finsih this little stand by cutting the boards width in half, cutting a decorative design in the top and bottom, and splitting the hinge to give them the actual hinge effect.
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