Walnut and Maple Napkin Holder

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Project by Ron Stewart posted 10-21-2020 06:41 PM 1413 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this simple walnut and maple napkin holder to match a cookbook stand I made recently. (It’s actually made from the same walnut board.) It’s the last of the six projects I completed for our kitchen remodel (seven if you count a storage shelf I made for the adjoining laundry room).

I used the same techniques as I did for the cookbook stand, but this project was much simpler. The only slightly tricky part was cutting the slot for the partial strip. I used my crosscut sled for that, with the saw blade raised to the height of the slot’s length. I used my kerfmaker to get the slot’s width correct.

The finish is Watco, with which I have a like/dislike relationship. I like how easy it is to apply, but I don’t like how long it takes to dry and cure, and it’s too easy to end up with a dull, boring finish if I wipe too much off. In the future, I plan to use Arm-R-Seal over BLO for walnut.

-- Ron Stewart

9 comments so far

View mdzehr's profile


500 posts in 1521 days

#1 posted 10-21-2020 09:29 PM

Classy! I really like the cookbook stand and it could hold a iPad as well which we seem to be using now more than cookbooks. Well done Ron!

-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

307 posts in 3657 days

#2 posted 10-21-2020 10:33 PM

Thanks, Mike. She does use it as an iPad stand sometimes, but she usually uses it to hold one of the dozen binders she has filled with her recipes.

-- Ron Stewart

View SubVette's profile


189 posts in 2699 days

#3 posted 10-21-2020 10:44 PM

Very elegant design. I like it.

-- John in Florida

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

307 posts in 3657 days

#4 posted 10-21-2020 11:01 PM

Thanks, John. My wife will like your comment… the overall dimensions and the arrangement of the accent stripes were all her. For this project, all I had to do was execute the design.

-- Ron Stewart

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26398 posts in 4259 days

#5 posted 10-22-2020 02:22 PM

Good looking holder, Ron! At first I read you name wrong..I thought you were Rod Stewart!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

307 posts in 3657 days

#6 posted 10-22-2020 03:12 PM

Thanks, Jim. Yes, I’ve been confused with him before. I guess it’s because we’re both sexy… :-)

-- Ron Stewart

View Build4Fun's profile


26 posts in 291 days

#7 posted 10-26-2020 03:47 PM

Very nice Napkin Holder and Cookbook holder as well. I like the contrasting wood to add some interesting detail.

-- Brian, North Carolina,

View splintergroup's profile


5429 posts in 2375 days

#8 posted 10-26-2020 04:13 PM

Nice looking matched pair Ron!

I’m in the same boat w/regards to Watco. I like how it looks on walnut and the dry time does;t really bother me. What I don’t like is how it will accentuate any end grain, no matter how small. For instance, mitered corners, there is always a sliver of end grain at the corners, just the nature of the joint. When many woods are “Watco’d”, the corners really jump out and look goofy/sloppy with certain light angles. Nit picking, but hey, I’m a woodworker 8^)

For the sheen problem you mentioned, I’ll alway top-coat with a clear finish so the sheen becomes dependent on that surface. If I don’t plan on a top coat (maybe just a wax), I’ll go through the process of soaking the heck out of it until it can drink no more…

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

307 posts in 3657 days

#9 posted 10-26-2020 07:36 PM

Thank for your comments, Build4Fun and splintergroup.

I’m not fond of the end grain thing either, but I guess it would apply to any oil finish. On these two items, I had hoped for more contrast between the walnut side grain and maple end grain on the edges. The oil darkened the maple so much it visually blends with the walnut. I should have sealed the maple end grain first. It’s something to keep in mind for future projects.

-- Ron Stewart

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