The music stand

I decided to make the music stand rather large in order to fit large books, A4 sheets and other larger formats – and I wanted to be able to place at least four A4 pages (portrait format) on the music stand at once.

I made a quick and dirty model of it in Google Sketchup:

The L-shaped stand itself is made from 15mm boards made from glued-up pieces of solid oak, much like hardwood floors. Cheap and very stable material! The only drawback is that the grain goes all over the place, so use caution when planing!

I started by gluing two smaller boards together to form a high enough back for the stand. I routed a rabbet in both pieces, applied glue and clamped the crap out of them!

By putting some masking tape along the joint, the glue didn’t smear on the surface, which would result in hideous “bald spots” when applying stain.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the process, but since it’s fairly easy to do I’ll describe it for you.

I could not get long enough oak boards, so I had to glue two small boards on the ends to make it wide enough. But first I routed the glued-up boards square using my router and a straight-edge (check the organ bench page for a demo on how I do that).

I then cut the “foot”, or the horizontal part of the L-shape, rounded the front corners and drilled holes for 6mm wooden dowels. I drilled holes in the back as well, but I didn’t go all the way through the front. The wooden dowels are now embedded in the back/foot assembly and completely hidden. I also drilled holes and countersunk them in order to screw the foot to the back using long screws. I then applied glue to the holes, jammed the dowels in and applied glue to the edge of the foot. I then mounted the foot to the back and screwed it in place. Once the glue had set, I sanded the whole stand and made it ready for finishing.

The music stand holder is just a couple of half arrow -shaped pieces I had lying around from the pedal board project – and a leftover pedal part. Never ever throw anything away! I mounted two dowels in the music stand holder and drilled matching holes (not all the way through) in the music stand, so that the weight rests on the dowels. That way I could just use a L-shaped metal bracket and some screws to secure the music stand to the holder. When I build the console, I’ll make a different holder for the music stand anyway.

I then stained the whole thing with two coats of dark oak stain. In order to keep the teme from the bench, I made a note-shaped inlay in the upper left corner in a light wood, just for decoration:

(sorry about the bad image quality)

I then applied two coats of clear lacquer, and mounted the music stand to the keyboard stack with four screws:

And there you go – a big, wide music stand that can hold a lot of sheet music!

There’s a few things I’m considering for the music stand:

  • Putting a thick piece of steel into a dado in the back of the stand so that I could use magnet holders on sheet music
  • adding a small edge at the tip of the foot of the L so that the pages won’t slide away
  • mounting side holders on the tip of the foot (instead of the small edge)
  • increasing the angle so that the music stand tilts further back (it’s about 10 degrees tilted at the moment, seems pretty steep). This will ensure that the music won’t tip forward and onto my hands while playing

And there you go – the first half of the project is now completed. During the winter, I’ll design the console which I’ll start building next summer. In the meantime I’ll use my setup as it is, gathering experience from use on how things should be put together to fit me best.