Christmas Gifts         2008

My daughter Angela requested a few things for Christmas this year and one of them was a day planner. She had a specific one in mind so I ordered it online a couple of weeks prior to the big day. While I was waiting for it to come in, she also wanted some kind of stand to have it sit on which would end up on her desk at work.

I went to one of our local stores and found a stand that looked pretty good so I bought it. The stand was made out of metal and had three legs holding it up. Come to find out, it was really made to hold a small picture frame but when I first saw it, I didn't give it a second thought because it looked like it would do the job quite well.

Christmas day is getting closer and the day planner still wasn't here so now I'm getting worried because I wanted to see if these things are going to work together. I ended up wrapping the stand because time had run out and still no package. Finally on Christmas eve her gift arrived so it was quickly wrapped and I was happy.

On Christmas morning we had a house full because all the kids came over along with their significant others. The paper starting flying and when Angela had those two gifts opened, I could see that there were problems.

The day planner has a large spiral binding and with the stand shaped like a triangle, they didn't work together at all. No matter what we did to have it sit right, it wouldn't. I told her that I'd return the stand and make her something that would work better. Now at that moment, I didn't have a clue what I'd make for her, but I was sure I'd think of something.



As things settled down that morning, I took a few measurements of her day planner (to have something to work with) wished her a Merry Christmas and started thinking about my new project.

A few days later I came up with an idea. I realized that I haven't made anything out of wood for a couple of years so that was the first part. What I needed to do was make a stand that had a wide area to rest it against, angled slightly back so it would sit without falling and a add some kind of personal touch just for her. I thought about making the stand out of just one type of wood and then joining the two pieces together at an angle. Now this would've worked just fine and then I thought, "heck...anybody could do that, why not go the extra mile and do something a little more challenging"!

So off I went to buy the materials which would be out of three different species of wood; oak, black walnut and maple.

Below you can see four pieces being glued together. I ended up with a total of seven pieces (3/4" thick each) once I was finished. Then I took the stack of wood to work and cut away what I didn't need.



Here is what I came up with. The area that the day planner sits against is at a 15 degree angle and with the pieces of wood placed vertically, you can really see how nice the wood looks. At the bottom of the angle is a recessed 1/2" radius so her day planner doesn't slide off.



The back has a 3/8 radius that transitions into the rear surface.



I also put a piece of felt on the bottom so it wouldn't scratch her desk, and it makes it easier to slide around too.



The size is 13" wide X 8" tall X 7" deep. The cross was the personal touch I came up with because she works in a Church as a secretary.



The finish that was applied is six coats of gloss urethane which was out of a spray can. I've never tried this method before but it seemed to work quite well. If you look close, you can see the different species of wood inside the cross too.



I made the stand just a little larger than her day planner. This way you can see the sides and bottom surface. Angela really liked it and says that it works just fine. I had a lot of fun making this and after seeing how that wood looked with that nice finish on it, I may have to glue a few more pieces together and make something else.