Music Stand

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Project by caocian posted 05-25-2006 01:26 PM 8106 views 18 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this music stand for an old friend’s 50th birthday. The bent-laminated arc, shelf, and legs are native Iowan walnut. The tines are maple with walnut splines at the joint. The feet are curly maple. I used brass rod to secure the tines and to pin the legs.

I have a total of about 60 hours on the stand, much of that time was spent building jigs.

I want to point out that this is not an entirely original design. I saw something like it years ago, but can’t recall where. I’m not sure how close this is to the original. I’ve looked through all my old magazines and books, but couldn’t find it.

17 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 5010 days

#1 posted 05-26-2006 04:55 PM

I like this music stand. It reminds me of an art-deco style. Is that the correct description of it? I love maple and walnut together, and this is a great use of the color contrast. I recently saw an episode of “The Incurable Collector” with the topic being George Nakashima furniture collectors. Nakashima built a music stand that sold at auction for around $32,000 (after his death unfortunately).

Something to shoot for in both of our careers with wood.

I was watching my pastor play guitar and lead us in songs at small Bible study this past Wednesday night, while he was straining to see the music sheet laying on the floor. I was thinking then, that I should make him a gift music stand. I would want it to be foldable, and toteable, either strapping to his guitar case, or fitting into a small bag that he could carry with him. Then, Thursday morning I checked out new projects posted here, and saw your music stand. Providential?

Got any ideas that might help me?
thanks for posting this piece,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View caocian's profile


47 posts in 4991 days

#2 posted 05-26-2006 06:34 PM

Thanks for the comments, Mark.

I often use the maple/walnut combination. I’m always struck by the effect. (And, I have a nearly unlimited supply of native walnut.)

Regarding your design of a portable stand, I have played around with some ideas, but it’s tough to make any wooden piece strong enough and still be collapsable. The legs aren’t too big a problem, there are several sliding options that would work well, but the trick is the joint between the legs and the shelf. I think the best option may be to have the shelf detach completely.

For a different approach, and some more ideas, check out Mr. Standman:

He’s made a business of this and found a good market.


View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 5010 days

#3 posted 07-26-2006 04:42 PM

Hey Dennis:
since you like using maple and walnut together, I thought I would ask you a design question. I have a large natural edge, thick walnut top that I made recently. I was wanting to put in on a base. I bought some hard maple a while back that has some tiger stripe figure (not a lot, but some stripe), and have been wondering if a maple base would look good under the walnut top. I would do something similar to a trestle leg design along the style that George Nakashima did back when he was alive. I have seen walnut bases with maple tops, but never the other way around. Is a light colored base too light for a table? Thought I would ask you to see if you had any thoughts on the subject.

Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View caocian's profile


47 posts in 4991 days

#4 posted 07-26-2006 05:06 PM


I’ve always gone with a walnut base for a light top, because the light colored maple draws the attention immediately—I suspect even more so with figured wood.

Having said that, I’ve never been a slave to that sort of convention. In your case, the natural edge of the walnut slab may actually be accentuated by the contrasting base. That Nakashima-styled trestle invites attention anyway. Go for it!

Can’t wait to see the results.

I’ve been in the process of relocating for the last eight months for a job change. I finally found a house that meets my requirements (of course, by that I mean it has a suitable shop) so I should be back up and running soon.


View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4932 days

#5 posted 08-24-2006 02:34 PM


I enjoy the simplicity of the design, an inspiration for the musician and those being entertained.

Tony Ward

View mikeH's profile


98 posts in 4896 days

#6 posted 08-30-2006 10:15 PM

a very nice looking stand. i really like the exposed joinery (walnut splines) it looks very time consuming but well worth it.

-- mjhaines

View Shawn's profile


225 posts in 4758 days

#7 posted 01-11-2007 10:02 PM

beautiful…I’m bookmarking this, I think I’ve been inspired…

-- Cheers

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4682 days

#8 posted 04-14-2007 06:17 AM

Sweet music to be made. Wow!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4727 days

#9 posted 04-19-2007 03:56 AM

I love this. I agree it looks like art and I never saw anything like this before. I’ll go see if you have other projects to look at after this.

I actually need a music stand so I’m interested in buying one that is portable. I have an easel for painting I don’t like so I’m thinking of getting a music stand that can be used for both purposes. It would need to be adjustable for different heights and be able to be tilted straight upright when I was using it as an easel instead of a music stand. I saw one that fits the bill at the music store I go to but it is not really portable, it is metal with a heavy base and doesn’t fold up.

I’m hoping to find one that meets all my needs. My easel is taking up alot of room folded behind a chair in my livingroom. I’m wondering if I could make something out of it I dislike it that much. It is my second easel the first one I had to bring back because it was defective. My only other options are these monster sized easels that I have no room for.

So I wil be getting a music stand at some point. It would be nice if it was made from someone in this group instead of buying things that don’t work as they should like I have been doing.


View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4915 days

#10 posted 04-19-2007 07:11 AM

What an intriguing design. Well done!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View shall1028's profile


2 posts in 4580 days

#11 posted 07-09-2007 03:32 AM


It was probably an image of William Keyser’s stand in Fine Woodworking’s Design Book 4. For an image refer to:


-- Steven Hall, Vancouver, BC, Canada

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4766 days

#12 posted 07-09-2007 05:39 PM

Very nice stand. You did a great job on it.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4587 days

#13 posted 11-07-2007 12:12 AM

Beautiful piece of work.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4506 days

#14 posted 11-07-2007 12:32 AM

Thanks Dan for resurrecting this astonishing piece. Well worth another airing

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View caocian's profile


47 posts in 4991 days

#15 posted 11-07-2007 05:05 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Stewart, are you really from Yorkshire? I lived in England for 8 years and went to a lot of great horse races in Yorkshire.


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