Making a Stand

I used to make quite a few of these one-piece folding book stands from off-cuts of mahogany, oak and walnut etc. They are simple to make and have always proved welcome gifts.

My interest in making bookstands was renewed again recently and below are images of some of the stands I took inspiration from.

18C_oak_folding_bookstand_01aFig. 1. Early eighteenth-century oak book stand. (Christie’s)

Geo_I_oak_folding_bookstand_c1723_01aFig. 2a. Carved and inlaid oak book stand, dated 1723. (Bonhams)

Geo_I_oak_folding_bookstand_c1723_01bFig. 2b. Detail of carving. (Bonhams)

18C_oak_folding_bookstand_02aFig. 3. Carved oak book stand, mid eighteenth-century. (Bonhams)

I previously posted about a rather fine sixteenth-century Sino-Portuguese missal stand.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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10 Responses to Making a Stand

  1. Le Loup says:

    Excellent Jack, thank you.
    Regards, Keith.

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  2. Hi Jack. These stands are really beautiful. I also have made several for gifts, but was bothered by a book would cover the prettiest wood that I had used. Did you ever have that feeling?

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    • Jack Plane says:

      In my experience the recipients of the bookstands predominantly regard them as ornaments and seldom stand a book on them!

      Everything I make for my own house is used as intended. I become complacent with the pieces I have made and often don’t really notice them until they are de-cluttered and then I enjoy the revelations all over again.

      JP

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  3. Mark Cass says:

    Seemingly simple, practical and very beautiful, thanks. Do you have any plans for a future post series on your making one? I’ve only a hazy idea on how to go about it, but may well give it a try as my curiosity is steadily growing.

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    • Jack Plane says:

      I don’t intend a bookstand ‘how-to’. There is bound to be some instruction on the internet though. I learned the technique from a boy’s annual many years ago.

      All you need to make one is a suitable piece of wood, a bow saw (or bandsaw), a coping saw and a fine pointed knife.

      JP

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  4. ged gardiner says:

    There is a nice example in the Burrell Collection, it has a nice depiction of an English hand saw on it.

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  5. I have been trying to find one of these, but I cannot manage to find it. All my search terms keep coming up with the stands designed to hold a book open resting on both sides instead of resting standing up. Is there a term for this type of stand? Do you happen to know someone who makes/sells them? If not (I realize this isn’t the purpose of your site), would you be willing to make and sell a fairly simple one for me? I’d be happy to explain further in email if you’re open to the conversation.

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    • Jack Plane says:

      I am not aware of any differing nomenclature; they are all bookstands as far as I know.

      I’m afraid I can’t help you with a bookstand at present, but one of my readers may be able to (if someone contacts me I’ll make the introduction). Bear in mind this is an old post and has gone off the boil.

      JP

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  6. Brian Crawley says:

    If you Google “Roubo book stand” you can find an article Roy Underhill did for Popular Woodworking, and a short video by Lost Art Press, and further procedural info from others too. Roubo illustrated such a stand, though clearly didn’t invent the item.

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