How to Make a simple Timber Cookbook Stand or iPad Stand or Art Stand
A simple DIY project that you can make with very few tools and leftover material you may have lying around. This project gives you the opportunity to recycle some old pallet wood or even some old shelving, which is what I am doing.
It’s also a perfect example of a DIY product that you can make as a gift for friends and family, or even sell at weekend markets in your local area.
This wooden stand is also perfect to hold your iPad or even some artwork.
The Cookbook Stand
The style of this cookbook stand is based on an artists easel.
Here is a shot of the finished project sitting on the bench in my workshop.
(Actually, this image is “almost” the finished project. I needed to add one extra piece of timber to make this stand work a little bit better. It’s all explained at the end of this article)
The wooden cookbook stand is still just raw wood, as I haven’t decided on using stain or tung oil yet.
As I mentioned above, I used old timber shelving that I had lying around. I was actually considering burning the lot until I thought of this cookbook stand idea.
After pulling each shelf apart, the timber slats were in really good condition. It was already dressed and would need just a light sand to finish nicely.
This timber is 58mm x 12mm. (2 1/4″ x 1/2″)
Making the Cookbook Stand
First, keep in mind that you can use any wood that you want to. These timber slats were 58mm x 12mm, but anything similar will work just fine.
The first thing I did was cut the 2 vertical pieces, which will be the front legs of the cookbook stand.
The ends of each piece are cut at 15 degrees.
The length of each piece is 330mm. (13″)
Even though the timber I am using is being recycled from old shelves, it is dressed and in very good condition. So I just needed to give each piece a light sanding as I went along.
Also, just to clarify, I am cutting and sanding as I go along because I’m working out all the measurements as I go along.
To hold the verticals in place while working out the measurement for the top piece, I clamped a piece of plywood to my bench to work as a straight edge.
By sitting the verticals against the straight edge I know that they are in their final position so I can get a measurement for the top piece.
This top piece is attached to the back of the cookbook stand. So make sure you have your timber pieces the right way around on your bench. You don’t want to make the mistake of nailing this top piece to the front faces of your timber.
The ends need to be cut at 15 degrees. The length of the long points is 145mm.
I added glue to the top of the vertical pieces.
Then nailed the piece in place using 20mm x 1.6mm flat head nails. I used the flat head nails as I wanted them to stand out, to make it a bit more rustic looking.
Next is to set up the front horizontal piece that the cookbook sits on. This is made up of 2 pieces.
For the front piece I used the same timber as the verticals, and for the base 38mm x 18mm Plywood.
Both pieces are cut at 340mm long. (13 3/8″)
To join the pieces together I wanted to use the same flat head nails as I used on the top piece on the back.
Because the nails will be visible on the front, it’s important to space them out evenly.
Place a strip of masking tape on the wood, so you don’t need to sand out any pencil marks.
I measured in 30mm from each end, plus one in the center. (1 1/4″)
Hammer in the nails through the masking tape, just deep enough so they stay in place. Half way will be fine.
Once the 3 nails are in place, take the masking tape off. The tape will simply tear around the nails.
Add glue to the Plywood piece and nail the front in place, centered. I set my combination square to hold on the front piece to keep an equal distance from the bottom of the plywood to the bottom of the front piece.
To fix the horizontal front piece to the stand. Mark the back of the vertical legs. I measured up 50mm, and marked in the center of the timber. I should have used masking tape as before. Now I need to sand out the pencil line.
Drill and countersink both holes.
Lie the front horizontal piece on your bench and place the vertical legs on top. Measure up from the bottom 40mm (1 1/2″). I used my combination square again to keep the height consistent. Also you need to center it horizontally.
Drill a pilot hole and screw in place.
Before screwing add some packing pieces underneath the top to hold the stand level.
Now cut a piece for the back leg at 255mm long.
Drill a hole 50mm up on one end where the string will be passed through. The size of the hole depends on the string you will be using.
Fix the leg to the back of the stand with a nice hinge. I actually found this small brass hinge in a box of odds and ends I had lying around. Use some thin spacers to keep a small gap between the leg and the stand while putting the hinge in place.
Make sure to drill a small pilot hole for the screws, to avoid splitting the timber.
Once the back leg is attached add a screw to underneath the front horizontal section. This screw will hold one end of the string that keeps the back leg opened in place.
The only string I had wasn’t that thick, so I doubled it up. I wrapped the string around the screw and then threaded both ends through the hole in the back leg and tied a double knot.
The length of the string should hold the back leg open approximately 150mm (6″).
The Cookbook Stand Needed an Improvement.
After putting a cookbook on the stand, I found that the book didn’t seem to stand up as it should. The problem was that the bottom of the book’s spine, wasn’t supported in any way and was falling through the back of the stand.
The problem was easily fixed by adding a piece of timber to the back of the horizontal piece that the cookbook stands on.
All I needed to do was measure between the legs, and cut a piece in between with both ends cut again at 15 degrees.
Then just glued and nailed into the back of the horizontal plywood piece.
I’m pretty happy with the way this DIY timber project ended up. I do still need to decide on a final finish, but will leave that decision till a bit later. I have enough material to make at least another 6 stands. This will give me the opportunity to try more than one stain.
I might even set up an Etsy store and see how they sell. Let me know if you’re interested in one.
I hope you liked this project. I made an effort to take a lot of photos to try and cover every step along the way.
Let me know if you make one of these!
Thanks for reading!