I have made reference to the modern/contemporary shtender that I have been working on, and it was completed over the weekend. I was lucky enough to get a long piece of walnut as a “parting gift” while visiting the wholesale lumber yard where Shannon Rogers works, J. Gibson McIlvain. Usually, one long board is not enough to create a big project, but it did not take me long to decide to use it for another one of my “flying Shtenders.”
Each one of the these is basically the same, a couple of them have a “v” shaped top for holding a book open, and I call those “butterfly shtenders”, and my personal one has what looks like ladder rungs up the middle. My name is Yaakov, the English equivalent is Jacob, so you should get the reason for the ladder rungs. (If you don’t understand, let me know and I will be happy to explain it)
Each of these shtenders uses a couple of variations of captured tenons. I use bridal joints, fully captured tenons, and couple of different types of “loose” tenons. To add extra strength to these joints, I have added through dowels, and I have added a really long screws for the connection of the base cross bar to the legs and on through to the feet. I think it really needs them to support the structure. My personal shtenders has not given me any problems, but I saw that one of them failed, because somebody must have really pulled on it, or was really leaning on it with a lot of weight. Side note: I often wonder why I see people abusing furniture, I have seen people do some stupid things with full sized shtenders. Maybe I am overly sensitive to it since I understand how furniture is put together.
On this particular model, I did a basswood carving of a Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll). I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a very good carver, but I really enjoy carving a great deal. It’s another one of those skills that is a lot like eating potato chips, once you sit down to carve, it is hard to stop. I wish I had more time to develop this skill.
I have used various types of finishes on these shtenders, and for this project, I used clear Danish Oil with a top coat of shellac, and a final coat of wax to give it that silky feel.
Overall, the project is fun to make, and I pretty much used only hand tools to make this version, so here it is, “Flying Shtender #5” in walnut and ash. Hope you like it.