Walnut William and Mary Book Stand

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Project by oldwolf posted 09-14-2011 06:31 AM 5716 views 16 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past winter I started a project that went horribly awry, In the November issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine featured an article by Chuck Bender featuring a recreation of a great William and Mary Bookstand. I thought “What a great little project. That should only take a weekend and I can use up some of that white oak I have just laying around too” Little did I realize what a roller coaster this little project would take me on.

The white oak version tanked horribly. I won’t go into the multiple reasons why but there is an old saying about what you get when you try and polish a turd . . . you get the idea.

But I still loved the project, the look of it hooked me from the get go. I had to build it. I had stocked away some black walnut I split myself and let air dry, and by the height of this summer it was ready to use. The wood was incredible to use, it’s stock that I just feel so lucky when I’m working with it.

What else blew me away ways the amount of work that goes into this great table top project, don’t make the mistake I did and underestimate it at first blush and think it a quick filler, especially if you walk the mostly hand tool path I prefer. This project is a great skill builder. You need to consider.

1. Milling pieces to size and thickness.
2. Through dovetailing.
3. Proportional layouts with dividers.
4. Decorative relief cut-outs.
5. Blind mortise and tenons.
6. Turning small pieces.
7. Through mortise and tenons.
8. Planing for moving elements in a piece.
9. Complex glue ups.
10. Careful finishing strategies.

I really enjoyed conquering this piece, if you want to catch a glimpse into the process I followed and all the decisions I made along the build I cataloged this build on my Blog and you can find this piece specifically here “

Thanks for looking,
Ratione et Passionis

-- Oldwolf -

15 comments so far

View oldwolf's profile


100 posts in 4174 days

#1 posted 09-14-2011 06:35 AM

Again I forget the dimensions, the overall outside dimensions are about 12” x 12” the height is about 3 1/2”

Good Day

-- Oldwolf -

View badger's profile


62 posts in 4262 days

#2 posted 09-14-2011 06:37 AM

I’ll bet you’re glad you stuck with it, because it looks great.

And I know what you mean about learning while making these projects, I learn something on every project. Lots of fun.

Good work!

-- "I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe." -- Jango Fett

View dakremer's profile


2748 posts in 4008 days

#3 posted 09-14-2011 07:01 AM

wow. Very elegant. That looks like a really useful/fun build! You are a soldier in the continuing fight against anterior head tilt! haha ! :)

Also…great pictures! I wish I could post quality pics here on LJs. unfortunately my camera has broken (and as a poor college kid, can’t afford another one), so I can only use my Iphone for pics!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View oldwolf's profile


100 posts in 4174 days

#4 posted 09-14-2011 08:01 AM

Badger, man you are so right about being happy I stuck with it, I am super proud of this one. Its not going anywhere, this one is staying with me.

Dakremer, I would like to say I have dedicated my life to the eradication of the plauge of anterior head tilt syndrome but alas the problem is too far spread and too widely accepted in society for one man to stamp it out by himself, please join in thebattle and pledge to build a william and mary book stand of your own. ;)

-- Oldwolf -

View Gonecrazy's profile


41 posts in 3446 days

#5 posted 09-14-2011 12:13 PM

Just some food for thought ….. On Myth Busters they acauly did polish a turd … to a realy high sheen also :D

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3870 days

#6 posted 09-14-2011 01:24 PM

Nicely done! You are certainly right that working in small scale can be a challenge.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 3514 days

#7 posted 09-14-2011 01:51 PM

It looks wonderful. I think everyone who works with their hands has a project that is bigger then anticipated, but patience is a virtue.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3993 days

#8 posted 09-14-2011 01:57 PM

Good stuff Derek! I really like this piece… Well done my friend!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4941 days

#9 posted 09-14-2011 02:19 PM

Finally got ‘er finished! It really turned out to be a nice piece. Good job!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3571 days

#10 posted 09-14-2011 03:09 PM


I love the through tenon for the support brace really well done. I like the “canquering this piece” line, so true on some projects.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View dakremer's profile


2748 posts in 4008 days

#11 posted 09-14-2011 04:29 PM

dont know if i’ll be making one to this caliber, but i DO need to make one. I’m in school for my doctorate, and always have my head in a book!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View AkBob's profile


201 posts in 3464 days

#12 posted 09-14-2011 05:41 PM

Very elegant. Well done!

View RustyL's profile


47 posts in 3608 days

#13 posted 09-14-2011 10:07 PM

Nicely done. This would be a good project for a student to be able learn and enjoy several aspects of woodworking. Only then do we learn to appreciate the passion and workmanship that goes into some of the simplest of works.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Don't apprentice under anyone with less than ten fingers.

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5317 days

#14 posted 09-15-2011 09:23 PM

Beautiful Job.

I consider Chuck to be a great friend. and he’s got a cool shop.

I’d love to make one of those also. I’ll have to find the issue. You didn’t state which year it was.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View oldwolf's profile


100 posts in 4174 days

#15 posted 09-15-2011 09:54 PM

Gonecrazy, you are right, I saw that mythbusters episode too, but mostly they proved my father right because the way he would say that line was Iif you try to polish a turd, you’ll end up with shit on your hands”. Sorry. . . His words.

Karson, sorry about that, it was the 2010 issue. If you go to my blog I have a link in my writings about this piece that leads to a free .pdf download of the elevated plans and cutlist because they screwed up that page when it went to print. Be careful though because even though they correctted the page and posted it I still found some errors.

Thank you to every one else for the kind words and encouragement.

-- Oldwolf -

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