Live Edge Magazine Stand

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Project by JSheldon posted 11-27-2018 01:33 AM 1788 views 4 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to do a live edge project for a long time. I had a few small pieces of Claro walnut that I picked up a couple years ago with no specific project in mind. Then one day I realized I really need a place to keep magazines by my chair other than on the floor, the arm of the chair, or on the footstool (which is usually occupied by a cat anyway). The basic design came to mind immediately. The details took a bit more work.

Choosing what would be the two uprights was pretty easy as I only had two pieces that would work. Once I squared up three edges of each piece, the angles of the uprights were easy to work out just by holding them at different angles and picking what I thought looked good.

The hardest part of the design was the feet. I sketched out a side view of the uprights on graph paper then sketched the feet. It didn’t take too many iterations to get proportions I was ok with. Then I started looking at the 4 pieces of wood I had that would work for the feet. I finally selected one because it had a small section of live edge that was very close to the angle I had sketched for the front bevel of the feet. I cut that piece to length, ripped it in two, then cut the bevels for the front and back of each foot.

That left the uprights. The top of one piece had a nice section of live edge with some additional wood extending above that. I cut away the extra wood off the top, more or less following the line of the live edge. You can see on that piece that the live edge does not extend all the way front-to-back; that’s from the wood that I cut off. I did that cut by hand with a coping saw.

The other piece was square at the top, so I cut following the grain and it turned out pretty well.

The hardest part for me was cutting the joint in the uprights (do these qualify as bridle joints?). I cut the joints for the front (lower angle) upright by hand (japanese saw, chisel, and a japanese plane-maker’s float). I cut them by hand mainly because I couldn’t figure out an easy way to safely support the piece at that angle on my table saw without spending a bunch of time building a jig. My hand tool skills are not that great yet, so those joints are not great, but the issues don’t really show unless you pick it up and turn it over.

The back (higher angle) upright turned out to be really easy to do on the table saw, so those joints were not done by hand. And look much better on close examination!

I don’t own a planer, one surface of each upright was pretty rough, and I had zero interest in trying to hand plane this highly figured wood, so I spent a lot of time sanding the pieces, working my way from 40 grit (for some of the worst areas) up to 400 grit.

Glue-up was pretty easy; I did one upright, clamped it for an hour, then did the other upright.

I tested a few different finishes on a scrap that was sanded to the same level: clear Johnson’s paste wax, dark Liberon wax, amber shellac, and dark Liberon wax over amber shellac. I liked the look of the dark Liberon wax with no shellac the best, so that’s what I went with.

I’ve included several pictures of the finished stand, one picture before glue-up and finish, and one of my mark stamped in the lower side of one of the uprights.

I started this on the Friday after Thanksgiving and wanted to get it finished no later than Sunday. Since I finished applying the wax Sunday afternoon, this officially counts as a weekend project! Ok… so it was a three day weekend – don’t bother me with trifles!

-- "Inferior tools corrode the spirit." -- Lewis Allen

3 comments so far

View Andybb's profile


3279 posts in 1689 days

#1 posted 11-27-2018 02:01 AM

The joints look fine. Very nice! That would be great for just plain mail too.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View swirt's profile


6205 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 11-27-2018 03:01 AM

Great work on a beautiful piece of wood.

-- Galootish log blog,

View StephenGiderson's profile


18 posts in 900 days

#3 posted 11-29-2018 01:25 AM

Isn’t it wonderful when you have the tools at your fingertips to create something natural on your own! It’s a wonderful storage unit man – keep it up!

-- Stepen Giderson,

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