A friend of mine who works for one of the local newspaper asked me if I wanted to make a few stands for them to replace their old wire racks. The requirements for the new stand were the following:
- Needs to display the news at eye level
- Needs advertising on sides and front
- Needs a suggestion box
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Not too expensive
Based on this list, I designed a 4.5 feet tall stand in 1/2" Baltic birch plywood with acrylic panels on 3 sides. While this is not a common thing to build, I though I would share my design with the community in case somebody was looking for something similar.
Step 1: The Design
I always start my project on a sketchbook. It is a quick way to come up with new ideas and improve my designs.
Based on my drawing, I traced the different panels of the stand in Inkscape. I have attached an SVG version of the plans. If you have access to a CNC, you can use the file to quickly cut all the parts. Otherwise, you can do it manually like I did.
The SVG file is a good tool to validate your design. By moving parts around each other, you will also optimise the use of your plywood boards by maximising the placement of the parts.
I wanted to avoid nails and screws so I added dowels (a lot) to my design. This makes the build a little more complex but more appealing in my opinion.
Step 2: Materials and Parts
The stand is made out of the following materials:
- 1/2" Baltic birch plywood for the wood panels
- 1/8 Baltic birch plywood for the small wood strips
- 1/8 Plexiglass panels
- 1/4" hardood dowels
- Wood glue
- Polyurethane varnish
The tools you will likely need are:
- Tablesaw to cut the panels
- Jigsaw to make the round cuts
- Holesaw to make holes on 3 sides
- Router to smooth the edges
- 1/4" Forstner bit for the dowels
- 17/64" drill bit for the dowels
- Clamps or tie down straps
On the pictures above, you will see the each part individually. Some of them have 1/4" holes on them. This is where you will put the dowels that hold everything together. Similar holes are drilled on the side of other boards.
The boards edges can be rounded with a router prior to assembly.
Step 3: Glue the Dowels
There is a total of 45 dowels in one stand. You are free use less of move them. Just remember to change the corresponding holes too.
In this step, we only glue dowels on the face of the boards, not on the sides. The holes are 1/4" so the dowels should fit tightly in them. The list of boards you should be working on is: face, left side, right side and back.
Step 4: The Headline Board
While the dowels are drying, we are going to prepare the headline board. This is where one copy of the newspaper goes in order to advertise it to people.
The newspaper stands in between two 1/8" strips of plywood. In order to keep it in place, I added a 1/8" plexiglass panel against it. The acrylic can easily be removed by sliding it out of the 4 screws holding it.
Step 5: Assembly
The easiest way to assemble the stand is by placing on side flat one the ground and adding perpendicular panels.
Try to put those panels in place and cover them with the second side. If everything fits tight together, you can disassemble everything and reassemble the entire stand using glue.
You will have about 10 minutes to do the assembly and place straps and clamps in order to keep the boards together.
Let the glue dry for about 2 hours.
Step 6: Add Side Panels
There is a lot of space on the sides that can be used for advertising. We don't want to directly put stickers on the stand so we'll make sliding pockets with plexiglass panels.
In order to be able to slide a poster, the panel needs to be about 1/8" away from the plywood surface. To achieve that, we use small strips of plywood that we glue directly onto the sides and the front of the stand. The plexiglass is drilled in a few places and screwed onto these strips.
The 2" hole seen in the pictures is a to help you remove the poster once you slid it in those pockets. Just push the poster up from the inside with your finger.
Step 7: Finishing
The faces and sharp edges can now be sanded. Apply a couple coats of polyurethane varnish to seal the wood.
This stand is not meant to live outside so we won't worry too much about weatherproofing it.
To full fill the requirements, I added a slot that serves as a suggestion box. I also made a wooden box (the thing that says "Pick one up") to raise the stack of newspaper when they don't print as many as usual.
Step 8: Add Newspapers
You can now add your stack of newspaper. Without the removable wooden box, you can place around 400 copies.
The advertising posters need to be printed a bit smaller than the opening so that they can slide easily up and down. The front poster has a convenient size of 8.5"x11" (letter size).