|Project by Holz_und_Geschichte41||posted 07-13-2010 12:37 AM||4561 views||18 times favorited||12 comments|
This project has been the most complex to date. It was a bit intimidating at first, but going at it step by step, double checking measurements, estimated angles and range of motion, it turned out to be a fun experience. A pleasant surprise with this project was how relatively inexpensive it was. With all the materials and hardware, the cash outlay was about $80.
• Approx $50-$60 for the Eastern Red Cedar ($3.59/bft) with plenty of wood to spare
• $20 bucks worth of small hinges and half inch, flat head screws for the lazy Susan mechanism.
I have seen reproduction online priced from $600 to $1,950.00. I think this time spent was worth the savings. The original was made either out mahogany or black walnut and so is likely a bit tougher than my wood choice. Further, I use biscuits, glue, and screws to hold everything together while the original, being handcrafted consists mostly of mortise and tenons. I am envious of those who can do this by hand. As I slowly grow my non-power tool stock of woodworking equipment I may revisit this project as a quality challenge.
About three or four years ago I got the chance to tour Monticello and the Charlottesville area. If you haven’t been there is it quite gorgeous and a good way to spend a vacation. Especially if you are a history buff, lover of wine (Barboursville Vineyard), and enjoy scenery (Blue Ridge Mountains are just a head turn away). While you are up there, take the 20-30 mile drive north to Orange, VA and visit Montpelier, the personal residence of James Madison. This visit was prior to my taking up woodworking but once I did it rang some serious bells.
Anyway, the panels are all biscuit-jointed together. Always remember where and how deep your biscuits are in the wood for when I had to cut out the slot on the top, I re-exposed the center biscuit by accident! I pyrographically (pen) burned a square to make it look less like a mistake; lesson learned. I used a drill press (1/2 diameter bit) for the notches in the supports. Prior to using a drill press I had tried with a chisel by hand; I found the quarter inch spaces between the notches to be weaker because of the non-uniform cuts into the grain. This was my first rodeo with a drill press and I learned not to drill all the way through for it results in large tear outs on the bottom. I lucked out on this project for the torn out areas are not visible but unwanted nonetheless. I recommend finishing (used HVLP spray gun with a pre-thinned polyacrylic (sp?) finish to bring out the color of the cedar) prior to assembling the bookstand. Otherwise I would have been trying to get every nook and cranny but likely over-spraying in certain spots and under spraying in or missing entirely others. Hinging the pieces on was by far the most difficult and time consuming of the tasks. It got down right frustrating especially in the 110+ degree heat of the Arizona summer. An additional note, do not route the sides where hinges are to go because you may end up with exposed screw tips or miter joints fitting a hair too tight and then you have to play the hinge adjustment game; not fun. The lazy Susan mechanism installation wasn’t hard, however one should be mindful of the reduction in space from the top and (upper) bottom pieces after the hinges are installed. I had to place an additional piece of wood between the upper bottom piece and the mechanism to ensure enough clearance for it to spin and for the panels to lay flat.
All in all, it was an extremely fun and challenging project. I recommend it!
-- Ryan, Arizona