Roubo Folding Book stand

Folding Book stand out of cherry-wood

Since watching the episode on Roubo’s folding Book stand on the woodwright’s shop I wanted to make this fun little project. So in this blog entry I will quickly describe and show how I approached this project. It also doesn’t help that everyone is making this project right now through the Holidays.

First I started with a piece of Cherry I had, which was about 6 1/2″ wide. The width I went with was 6″ final width, cause that’s what I had on hand. Originally I wanted to go with 8″ wide, but 6″ worked just fine to hold books. I went with 17″ long. The width dimensions are all preference and what you have on hand. Of course 4″ would be to small in my eyes.

I started planing and jointing the rough piece of Cherry to get started on marking out the Hinge joint.

I marked a line 6″ from the end, which is the starting point of the hinge.The line gets transferred around the board. Next I scribed a line in the center all around the board, which will guide with sawing later on. I set my compass to half the width of the board and drew a circle. This needs to be done on both sides.

A line needs to be marked on both sides of the circle all around the board as well as the center of the circle as shown below.

I set my divider for 5 spaces for the hinge, this is preference , but an odd number is needed to make this work and look good .Then as seen in the picture below on the right , the 5 spaces need to be staggered and marked for chisel work. Note that both faces are not marked the same, but opposite.

Next I drilled holes as straight as I could by hand. The hole size was the sizes of my spiral fret saw blade. The holes are drilled on the upper intersections of the marked joint as seen below. I have seen many different tools to cut out between the joint , but the fret saw with a spiral blade worked great for me. And yes you have to remove the blade 4 times , but that didn’t bother me.


Once all the lines were cut down with the fret saw , I chiseled out the waste as seen below. Most of these Book stands I have seen have a 45 degree angled joint, but I went with the circle .

After all the waste was chiseled out, I went ahead and sawed down the center line. To help cutting this joint by hand, I started with a dovetail and tenon saw and went all the way around. This gave me straight lines to cut with the rip saw.

This step is very important, to not cut through the center joint.
Luckily the stand opened on the first try.

I marked the design of the legs and top before, but this can also me done after and the design is all preference too. I used my Gramercy bow saw, and my Florip Tools dovetail saw to cut out the waste , and the cleaned everything with a rasp , and some sandpaper.

I cross cut off the bottom book rest 3 1/2″ from the joint. Seemed ok for me and looks not too bad. I also added a chamfer on the bottom. The I went ahead and chamfered all corners and sides, so that I have no spelching out for when cross plaining the surfaces.

Before putting the finish on I added a small decorative on top . Its a simple homemade punch with a design in it that I made for carving. Makes the piece look not to plane.

Last was putting a finish on, and for that I used Danish oil. This project is nice, cause it took me only about 4 hours by hand. Thanks for reading, and I hope this blog entry was informative.

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