First Ever Commision - The Podium #1: Drawings and Cutting Diagram

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Blog entry by Kerry Drake posted 11-21-2011 10:49 PM 7474 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of First Ever Commision - The Podium series Part 2: Updated Cutting Diagram »

People at work have started to notice I do woodworking stuff at home (it could be I bring in every project when I finish it and set it on top of my cubicle wall…).

Now it seems they need a podium for the meeting room and wanted to know if I would submit a proposal to build one.

Here is the basic design:

And I figured it out to be 2 sheets of plywood and some 1×4 trim.

All told I have it at $179.12 for materials.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

11 comments so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 11:18 PM

Looks like you have a good start on a plan.

I did notice one thing, and I could easily be missing something. Your photos show vertical grain on the sides and font if I am seeing it correctly, but your cutlist drawing would have them with horizontal grain. Of course I have heard you can buy plywood with grain that runs across instead of up and down, but I’ve never seen it my self.

I mention this mostly because I have made this mistake myself, but luckily I caught it early enough it didn’t really hurt anything.

I have created a cutlist diagram that will give you vertical grain, but not sure if it will attach to this post. Never tried to upload a photo before on LJ.

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 11:19 PM

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3075 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 11:23 PM

Yeah, it worked. Looks like WudnHevn noticed the same thing while I was using the cutlist program.

If anybody is interested, it is a free program and works well for basic stuff. I first heard of it on LJs. It is available at

Some times it doesn’t quite get things right, but it lets you use it’s diagram as a starting point then drag things around to however you want them.

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2588 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 12:18 AM

I agree with Lifesaver about the diagram showing vertical grain… I think your cutting diagram would show horizonal grain.

Assumming your diagram is your desired grain direction, I suggest you reverse the angle on the side closest to the corner. This would allow you grain pattern to flow around the podium from side-to-front-to-side. Since most plywood has a preferred side (A-side), this would also allow you to have your best side out for the completed project.

Nice design. These are fun to make. I made one a few years ago for one of my children’s teachers.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3856 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 01:33 AM

choke up on the depth, you sneak it all out of one sheet and keep the other as money in yr pocket

as a rule…….grain should run vertically

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2464 days

#6 posted 11-22-2011 02:49 AM

If your top shelf is angled, it will work out to be just a little longer than the two below it. Probably it won’t be very different, it all depends on the angle.

And talking of grain, typically the grain would run across the shelves from left to right.

It looks like a great project though, and congratulations on you first commission. Very exciting I’m sure.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3856 days

#7 posted 11-22-2011 03:00 AM

cut the base down to a 15 1/2” depth……..then you get 3 slices.

and they dont need to be 24 inches wide either, just wide enough to hold letter size paper

in fact………check out the podiums they use at the Oscars or Emmy’s……….just a post with a lid

Good luck with your commision

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Sylvain's profile


698 posts in 2462 days

#8 posted 11-22-2011 05:20 PM

Hi everybody,

I would suggest to place the bottom board high enough to be able to put the speaker’foot under it, and may be to make a nice curved cut in it in such a way that you don’t hurt your leg.

Nice project.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Kerry Drake's profile

Kerry Drake

167 posts in 2983 days

#9 posted 11-22-2011 10:04 PM

Thanks for all the input! I totally would have screwed up the grain pattern!

Update to cutting list in next entry.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

View Lifesaver2000's profile


551 posts in 3075 days

#10 posted 11-23-2011 04:24 AM

Glad to be of help. That’s why most of us are here, to help and get help.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2638 days

#11 posted 11-23-2011 05:19 AM

These guys have the wood part straightened out. Have you thought about mounting a computer screen in the top shelf so you can use it while you tare talking and the rest of the people can use the large screen behind you. It keeps you facing your audience. Of course you have to wire the room for this but it is a great feature.

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