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Jefferson's bookstand--a total geekgasm

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Forum topic by naomi weiss posted 09-17-2009 07:40 AM 8823 views 10 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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naomi weiss

199 posts in 2061 days


09-17-2009 07:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plans tips jefferson bookstand

Bookstand
Hi everyone. I have seen Roy Underhill build this, but he didn’t give dimensions. I’m stuck on the swiveling bit—i’d like to make it without lazy susan hardware. Anyone have any plans/ideas?
Bookstand2

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor


40 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14798 posts in 2343 days


#1 posted 09-17-2009 08:37 AM

I saw that too. I don’t remember if he showed how it swiveled or not. I wuold be the top just sets onto a dowel pin that is sticking up out of the base.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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TopamaxSurvivor

14798 posts in 2343 days


#2 posted 09-18-2009 01:17 AM

If yoiu look closely, you can see a little bit of what looks to be the dowel pin in the center of teh base. I would bet the support is at the top and the bottom end is stablizes. Go here http://www.monticellocatalog.org/110000.html you’ll see better what I mean.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Waldschrat

505 posts in 2102 days


#3 posted 09-25-2009 08:35 PM

topamaxsurvivor has a good point…. I looked at the pic he linked. Dave R is also on a good track with the plastic piece…. I have utilized this with folding tables out of wood and it works great. I think that the dowel or some sort of metal turning/ball bearing hardware is used. But… i think you could do this also very simply “drilling” holes with a “halfround” sort of router bit and make holes in a cirular pattern (six holes maybe) and using a half round bit will leave the bottom of the hole semi-circular. You can buy steel balls or marbles (marbles from a toy store for childern are cheap) and put these in the holes. Then in the middle, drill a hole through both pieces, and in the top piece, screw in a metal thread piece, one that accecpts a machine screw that you can sink flush with the bottom of the bottom piece. Put you screw in and tighten it just enough so it turnes easily but does not “wobble”. a drop of thread locker or whit glue will work to keep the screw from loosening.

This type of system works really well… I have made a turning “sausage buffet” platter out of ash wood. The bottom was out of MDF. It still works well.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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spanky

14 posts in 2075 days


#4 posted 09-25-2009 09:46 PM

Glad to see someone else is trying to find dimensions for this project. I posted on this same subject last week. Roy’s show gave no dimesions, and only covered the book stand portions, with nothing on the base. I contacted PBS in North Carolina which was a waste of time. I e-mailed Roy and have had no reply in the last month. I finally e-mailed Monticello’s research library. They stated in their reply that they are looking and will get back to me if they find any plans for the bookstand. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

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rwyoung

369 posts in 2139 days


#5 posted 09-25-2009 10:30 PM

He does give dimensions, just not complete ones. Each of the “faces” is 9×12. From that you get a 12×12 cube and that means the top support is probably 12×12. What isn’t 100% clear is if these are only for his version or also reflect those of the original.

You can see too in the video a little bit about the rotation mechanism. It looks like a single dowel through the middle with a large washer at the top. There was too much shadow to see if there was a large washer at the bottom below the stand but I’d imagine so. And it isn’t completely clear how those washers are fixed to the central support. My first guess would be something like a cotter pin (wooden of course).

The idea of making something like a needle bearing but with a blunt end like ball bearing or marble sounds good too.

Knowing the stands are 9×12 one could guess at the size of the moulding used to keep the book from sliding off. Looks like it might be around 10” to 10-1/2” long and maybe a little more than 1” wide and 3/4” to 5/8” thick. Depends on what you have around for moulding profiles as to what would look “right”.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14798 posts in 2343 days


#6 posted 09-26-2009 02:27 AM

It wouldn’t surprise me if the top of the center dowel is rounded over like the end of a shovel handle and there is a corresponding depression for the turning part to set on it. They probably used an oiled leter for a bearing back in the 1700’s or maybe poured babbit. That shouldn’t be too hard to duplicate form the picture using any dimensions you want. I thought about making one, but I don’t know what I’d do with it ;-)) Too far behind on all me other projects anyway !! ;-(

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 2833 days


#7 posted 09-28-2009 05:53 AM

naomi weiss,
I would just turn a wooden bearing and wax it. I’ve got a sewing chest I built in my projects that shows the hidden compartment and I just turned a ring and waxed it. Turns beautifully and with quite a bit of weight on it as well. Have a look/see, I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View UnionLabel's profile

UnionLabel

660 posts in 1867 days


#8 posted 09-28-2009 03:36 PM

Topamax is right. It is a version of a Chippendale Birdcage Pivot. It was originally designed for a tilt top table that also would pivot. The bookstand uses the cage to support the shelves and the center dowel is the pivot point. I would go to my public library and see a couple of furniture books and make some reference copies for the shop.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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naomi weiss

199 posts in 2061 days


#9 posted 09-30-2009 03:34 PM

Wow-everyone has been amazing with feedback. What i was hung up on (i feel silly saying this) is which part spins? I think (from the comments and thinking more) that the column is stationary and the stand swivels around it?

The reason i wanted to make it the old-fashioned way is because in Israel, believe it or not, it is impossible to purchase lazy susan bearings!!! We invented the CAT Scan, the Intel chip, Instant message, etc., but lazy susan bearings and bedbolts? We scratch out heads, puzzled. It’s frustrating, to say the least. I had tried finding flanges (same blank look), and i was on my own. This is not the most woodworker-friendly country. Sigh…Union Label, that’s also why the public library idea is out, as well; it’s a great idea, and if i were in cleveland, i would get out underhill’s book that probably has the plan, but the resources in America are incredible—especially the library system in cleveland…

Anyway, I got my hands on some ridiculous ball bearings (photo to come) for about the equivalent of $4. My mother kindly went to woodcraft and picked me up some LS ball bearings for $1.50! Incredible! My hardware arrives with a friend in a few days.

But meanwhile, i don’t have a plan! I mean, i have basic dimensions, but i suppose it’s time to suck it up and be a real woodworker and figure it out! ;-)

I think i can take out the central column because of the bearings…right? And that would perhaps enable the user to store books inside the cube as well…

BTW—is it rash to consider the breadboard ends a waste of time? I was thinking of using pine boards (that’s the only wood i can touch out here. Hard wood is EXPENSIVE, and i am a student, and a complete novice at woodworking, so for now, it’s my only material) and just bevelling the sides on my router table…

Woodbutcher—i haven’t had the pleasure of turning (yet) but i do look forward to it—i have a book called router magic and i think there’s a plan to make your router into a lathe (does that sound scary?).

Anyway, maybe i will post my progress to keep everyone up to date. I really appreciate everyone’s time and effort in reading and writing responses!

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

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AaronK

1397 posts in 2131 days


#10 posted 10-01-2009 02:18 AM

wow, i totally forgot about jeffersons inventions. what a cool project to build. it’ll look sweet in my library.

anyway, with regard to your question, naomi, i’d bet that the column is stationary and the stand swivels around it. it would be much easier to maintain stability that way.

however, i wonder if the top and bottom are fixed together or if you can just slide the top off the column/dowel and separate them completely. there’s really no need TO keep them together, and that would only add more friction points. I’d say: rounded top of dowel in a squared-bottom round hole in the top would be smoothest operating.

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naomi weiss

199 posts in 2061 days


#11 posted 10-07-2009 03:58 PM

Here are some weird bearings i managed to find at the hardware store:
Weird Bearings
Any idea what they’re for? I bought the one on the left…

This is a massive lazy susan i saw in a shop, and i peeked under, and saw that it’s an axle with 2 castors or wheels underneath…perhaps an alternative?

LS Bearings

-- 'Humility is a duty in great ones, as well as in idiots'--Jeremy Taylor

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 2139 days


#12 posted 10-07-2009 04:13 PM

I think it was suggested above, but consider something more like a needle bearing than a ball-bearing-in-a-race to support the spinning.

The center post would be fixed. At the top of the post is a metal wear plate with a small dimple (pointing down). In that dimple would ride the “needle”. The needle in this case could be an acor cap nut, the needle in a needle bearing isn’t always sharp.

To keep the assembly from wobbling, you will need to find a way of guiding the base in a circle. A collar on the shaft or guides might work.

Just some things to think about.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 2833 days


#13 posted 10-07-2009 05:05 PM

naomi weiss,
Try this since you are into the bearing thing. Rout a concave circle using a core box bit 1/2 the depth of some copper tubing, whichever diameter you can find to use.Now bend the copper tubing into a circle and epoxy into this groove you routed. Drill a flat bottomed hole, using a forstner style bit 1/2 the depth of the base wood thickness, 3/8” in diameter in the center of the base. Insert an aluminum rod that is 3/8” diameter and flat on one end (this is the base end) and rounded or convex on the other end (this is the top plate side). Drill a convex hole in the center of the plate 1/2 the thickness of top plate. Liberally wax the copper tubing and place the top plate down on the aluminum centering pin and spin the top plate! Build the rest of your bookstand on this top plate.Knowing that you are limited in what you can access in materials, this should work fine since you can’t turn a bearing surface on the bottom plate. Hope this will help.

Sincerely,
Ken

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View spanky's profile

spanky

14 posts in 2075 days


#14 posted 10-07-2009 05:39 PM

naomi weiss,

I am currently working on this same project and have completed the first assembly of the rotating frame. This frame is constructed of two 10.5” x 10.5” x 3/4” separated by four 9” x 2” x 3/4” pillars. The base will be 12” square x 3/4” with a 1 1/4” axle shaft through the center, 9.250” high. I will inset a glass marble in the top end of the shaft to be the bearing surface. I will install a piece of sheet brass in the top mateing hole that will bear against the marble.

I hope this will be of some asistance to you and others.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14798 posts in 2343 days


#15 posted 10-07-2009 09:40 PM

A snug fit around teh center dowel on the bottom of the rotating cube should suffice for anti-wobble.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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