Bookstand, reproduction - William and Mary period

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Project by AstroGuy posted 10-23-2011 09:54 PM 2188 views 10 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my version of the William and Mary bookstand published in the November 2010 Popular Woodworking. The original plan is courtesy of Charles Bender and the Acanthus Workshop.

Executed in American Walnut with mortise and tenon and dovetail joinery, hand turned bun feet and a traditional shellac finish. I made this one for an upcoming charity auction.

Thanks for looking.


-- Richard

6 comments so far

View FrenchY11's profile


8 posts in 2797 days

#1 posted 10-23-2011 11:02 PM

Nicely done repro. Excellent photographic composition as well.

View OttoH's profile


891 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 10-24-2011 03:49 AM

Turned out very well indeed Richard. I am sure it will fetch a nice price at the auction.

-- I am responsible for how I respond to everything in my life - - Deadwood SD

View Rickterscale's profile


163 posts in 2358 days

#3 posted 12-09-2011 07:38 AM

Excellent execution, Richard. I am working on a couple of these for Christmas gifts, and I’m having a hard time working out a couple issues from the project plans. Hopefully you could clarify, since you did such a great job on this.

Does the support frame sit level with the top of the outer frame? The article indicates that the mortise cut on the front and back outer frame pieces for the sawtooth leg should be centered vertically. With the support frame pieces milled 5/8” thick, I believe that would leave the support frame, when laying flat, about 1/8” below the top of the outer frame. Is that correct? (I’m assuming that the support frame rests on the sawtooth leg when laid flat. The magazine pictures aren’t too clear, but certainly from your photos it looks like the outer frame sits level with the top of the outer frame, and that wouldn’t leave it resting on the sawtooth leg, unless I’ve got my measurements wrong.)

And if the support frame sits below the level of the outer frame, how did you measure and locate the round tenons for the bottom support frame piece on the outer frame?

Thanks, Rick

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

789 posts in 3830 days

#4 posted 12-09-2011 09:18 AM

Beautiful. Nice workmanship, beautiful piece and Frenchie is right nice photography!!

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View AstroGuy's profile


66 posts in 4042 days

#5 posted 12-10-2011 07:01 AM


The support frame does sit level with the top of the outer frame, ideally. I don’t recall deviating from the plan with respect to the location of the mortises in the support frame. On the other hand, if you build it the way the plan states, you will find that the support frame will not lie flat. There is simply too much wood between the sawtooth leg and the support leg. To fix this, I cut a recess into the back portion of the sawtooth leg to allow there to be enough clearance. You can see the cutout in the following picture:


Since the support frame is level with the outer frame, it is not difficult to locate the round tenons. To be honest, I diverged somewhat from the plan in this area. Rather than cut and carve an integral tenon into the support frame, I opted to use a small segment of walnut dowel. That way, it was easy to just drill on either side to set the dowel in the appropriate place. Not as period accurate as the original but has a smoother action when opened and closed.

Hope that was helpful.

-- Richard

View Rickterscale's profile


163 posts in 2358 days

#6 posted 12-12-2011 08:26 PM

Thanks for the reply Richard. Definitely helped. I recently found a Google sketchup download for this project plan (, which is very useful since you call get the measurements that aren’t provided in the article (sometimes I’m not too good at figuring these things out on my own).

And FYI, I figured out why your book support didn’t lie flat. The published plan listed the wrong length for the support leg. Plans called for 4 5/8” plus 5/8” for the tenon, but the length should have been 4 5/8” total (as reflected in the sketchup model), tenon included. That would be why yours wouldn’t lie flat and you needed to cut the notch in the sawtooth piece. Cut to 4 5/8 total, the support leg stops just short of the back support frame piece.

Last question – what did you use for your finish? Very nice color and tone.

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