Cookbook Stand | a DIY Tutorial

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Introduction: Cookbook Stand | a DIY Tutorial

About: Husband, Father, Woodworker based in Wilmington, NC

Below I will walk you through the steps of how to build a Cookbook Stand that is also a nice addition to your kitchen décor. Cookbooks are an essential item in every kitchen, however there is rarely a good place to keep them all in the kitchen. While some people have huge cookbook collections, they really probably only use a handful of them on a regular basis.


My parents recently renovated their kitchen and my mom had mentioned wanting a cookbook stand for her countertop to go along with her extensive collection of BorkWood cutting boards. She had sent me a few ideas so below is what I came up with.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 1: Select Your Wood

For this design, I knew I wanted to use contrasting wood species for the side pieces and rails. I dug into my wood pile and found a piece of charred Walnut that I thought would be perfect for the side pieces. This Walnut was recovered from a barn fire in Tennessee in the early 1980’s and was air dried in a tobacco barn in NC for over 30 years before I acquired it. The deep color and charred edges are not something you will ever find in your local hardwood store. You can use any wood available to build this cookbook stand, so don’t let that stop you!

I originally picked out these sticks of Ambrosia Maple for the rails but later changed my mind when I uncovered some highly figured Curly Maple scraps that I had. Either would have looked great, but I’m glad I went with the Curly Maple on this one.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 2: Cut Wood to Size and Notch the Side Pieces

Next I cut the rails to the length I wanted and cut the Walnut board in half so I ended up with two pieces for the sides. I cut the angled notches in the Walnut side pieces using my miter gauge and a beveled piece of scrap on the table saw. You could also do this by hand, I just chose this as a quicker method. I then cleaned up the notches with a chisel and test fit them to the rails to insure a tight fit for everything.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 3: Brand and Sand

After fitting all of the pieces I moved on the sanding everything. I started with 80 grit and progressed up to 220 grit using my random orbital sander.

Once everything is sanded smooth I heated my branding iron for a few minutes with my grill torch and burned the brand into the back of one of the side pieces.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 4: Apply Finish

I chose Minwax Wipe On Poly for the cookbook stand due to its ease of use and durability. The stand shouldn’t get too abused or be left in standing water, but it could get the occasional splash from a kitchen accident so I thought this would be a great finish. It really popped the rich color of the air-dried Walnut and the figure of the Curly Maple. I ended up doing 3 coats over poly over a period of 2 days.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

Step 5: Assemble the Cookbook Stand

With everything finished it was time to assemble. I used West System G5 epoxy to attach the sides to the rails. I also put a screw into each side piece on the rear side just for added support and to serve as a clamp to hold everything in place while the epoxy cured.

If you enjoy this tutorial please check out the full tutorial and video on my blog as well as a list of the tools I use in my shop.

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