Folding Bookstand – Reader Build: Patrick Brennan | Popular Woodworking Magazine
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Bookstand completed stand unfoldedIt’s not every day that I get excited about a bookstand, but there was something uniquely enticing about Chris Schwarz’s folding bookstand build in the June 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking. In true campaign furniture style, the “transformer-like” bookstand is constructed cleverly with copper rivets that double as both the joinery and pivot points. When the issue came, I put aside my current project and started cutting out the pieces for two bookstands.

parts for the bookstand

Construction of the first stand went well, with only one minor correction to the placement of the pivot points for the foot and catch. As it turns out, the foot will only unfold in one direction. I incorrectly drilled the counterbores on the wrong side of the support piece relative to the foot. This mistake was easily fixed by drilling new holes for the pivots.

cracked bookstand partrepair of bookstand part

During the construction of the second bookstand, I ran into some more significant challenges. I cracked the middle support piece while peening the final rivet of the bookstand. Thankfully, the crack did not propagate through the entire middle section, and I hoped that I could salvage the stand by removing the two affected rivets. Removing rivets is not easy. I used a small handheld grinder to remove the peened portion of the copper rivet posts. Once the posts were ground down, I used a punch to drive them back through the hole, effectively separating them from the burr. From there, I was able to remove the cracked segment, liberally apply glue, and set it in a clamp to cure for the night. The morning had come, the glue had dried, and I had a second chance to rivet the stand. Success.

completed bookstandsThe folding bookstand turned out to be a great project. Not only did I add a few new tricks to my joinery repertoire, but it appears that I will be making several more to satisfy holiday gift requests!

– Patrick Brennan


Patrick Brennan is a geologist in Houston, Texas. He and his fiance, Rose, spend their free time woodworking and blacksmithing. You can find more on his blog www.tektonguild.com with daily updates on Instagram @tektonguild.


June 2018 issue of Popular Woodworking!

Will Myers shows you how to make a pair of simple, sturdy sawhorses from humble Southern Yellow Pine. They’re super strong yet collapse for storage and transport – one of the best designs we’ve seen. Then, Tim Celeski shows you how to build a Greene & Green masterpiece – the Blacker House mirror. Through a combination of simple jigs and delicate handwork, you’ll be able to batch out a bunch of these for yourself and for gifts, one of the author’s favorite uses. Next, Nancy Hiller presents the second installment of her series on hinges, giving tips for installing some of the trickier sorts. Plus, Chris Schwarz shows you how to make a folding bookstand, we tell you about a few great new tools, share insight on choosing wood, designing furniture for its surroundings and give you the straight scoop on grain raising.

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