Magazine Rack

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Project by ferstler posted 03-14-2012 07:56 PM 2803 views 12 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had been using thick cedar wood for various projects (some of which have been posted to this site) and had a few scraps left over. So, I built a workable magazine rack out of the stuff. The sides and bottom are cedar, 1.5 inches thick, with thick cedar trim caps covering the exposed end-grain edges of the sides. The divider in the middle and the two end panels are made of select pine planed to 1/2-inch thickness.

The side and bottom panel boards were first cut to size with a Ridgid 4510 jobsite saw and Ridgid 1290 sliding miter saw, and then planed square down the grain length with a Ridgid jointer and parallel planed by a Ryobi thickness planer. They were then joined edge to edge using biscuits, with the slots cut with a Ryobi biscuit saw. The bonding agent was Elmer’s carpentry glue. The pieces were clamped and allowed to dry overnight.

Once the cedar panels were properly joined and dried to full strength, I used a Ridgid band saw to cut the curved sections, doing some smoothing work on the side-panel cuts, plus some major contouring work on the curved sections on the bottom panel, with a Ryobi oscillating spindle sander with the 3-inch drum. The bottom cuts required some freehand spindle sanding, because the contouring had to conform to the line-of-site requirements with the finished pieces. (The unit was initially drilled and assembled dry to see just what kind of contouring was needed.) The tops and bottom edges of the cedar side panels were routed with a roundover bit mounted on a Delta shaper, with the end and divider panels similarly routed, but with a smaller roundover bit. Sanding of the cedar sections was first done with a Ridgid 6-inch random-orbit unit, with the finish sanding done by hand down to 220 grit.

The finished side and bottom sections were then assembled using PL construction adhesive, with Kreg pocket screws helping to secure the three sections from the bottom, and eliminating the need for clamping. The center divider was attached at the bottom and glued in place, with three long screws driven in from below to add even more security. The end pieces were inserted into routed recesses in the sides as the side panels were installed (routed on the Delta planer prior to gluing on the cedar end caps) and glued into place in the sides with more PL adhesive. The end pieces were also secured to the center divider with PL glue and black, square-drive wood screws – the only visible screws on the workpiece.

Before assembly (and after blue-taping the surface points that would be glued), the cedar boards were first treated with Minwax red-oak stain and then given two coats of brushed on Minwax semi-gloss urethane. The end panels and middle divider were each given two coats of very dark brown, satin-finish enamel. Then, once the rack was assembled the whole works was given a moderate coat of sprayed-on Minwax satin urethane.

A final, mdf bottom plate (edge painted flat black) was then screwed into place on the black-painted bottom to keep the unit a small distance from the floor.

This thing turned out pretty good. I had no construction or finishing glitches at all (rare for me), and I think my wife likes the results. The thing is now full of magazines.

Howard Ferstler

9 comments so far

View KMT's profile


603 posts in 3144 days

#1 posted 03-14-2012 08:07 PM

Good job, very nice design and a good description of the project. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow the idea.

-- - Martin

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 03-14-2012 08:27 PM

Looks awesome!!
Thanks for taking the time to describe and photograph your projects so well

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 4002 days

#3 posted 03-14-2012 09:02 PM

KMTSilvitech, I would be honored by your borrowing the idea.

Attached is a shot of the rack in operation.

Howard Ferstler

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4038 days

#4 posted 03-14-2012 10:36 PM

Good looking magazine rack

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3476 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 12:01 AM

Interesting design. Great finish.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2788 days

#6 posted 03-15-2012 01:33 AM

Great design and a beautiful finish, dont see too many shop notes magazines in there though ;-D

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4072 days

#7 posted 03-15-2012 02:08 AM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Woodbridge's profile


3691 posts in 2900 days

#8 posted 03-15-2012 03:53 AM

That is a great looking magazine rack. I really like the design!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3051 days

#9 posted 03-16-2012 02:57 AM

Who knew a magazine rack could look so good? I love the finish. Nice worky.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

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