Wood Cook Book Stand

For me, in the world of wood working, it seems every project takes about 3 times longer than you think when you are planning it.  While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, the statement has some truth behind it.

Just the other day I was able to knock out a project in about the time I expected it to take.  I tell you what – that was pretty exciting and fun!  This was intended to be a quick and simple project using just what I have on hand, and that’s what it turned out to be.

A Quick Build Process

I went to the wood pile with a tape measure and some measurements in my head, and I about fell over when the 3rd board I picked up was the perfect piece!  I was able to quickly find another board that was already the size I needed for another piece and I was off to a good start.

A few quick cuts to square up a board and put some angles on another, and I was ready to start assembling.

I think I spent more time drilling holes for wood pegs than I did prepping the boards!  But with the angles in play I needed to take my time on these and ensure they lines up and were angled correctly.

Lastly a bit of sanding and a few coats of butcher block oil and this project is ready for the kitchen!

Man, it’s fun to turn out something quick.  On top of it, this project fills a need for us, and thus it also felt good to build.  I guess I never did shop around for what they cost, but I’m sure this would be a $20+ item if we were to buy it, so it feels good to knock it out in a few hours!

The Project – A Wooden Cook Book Stand

The project I’m talking about here is a wood cook book stand.  It’s really not a complex project at all.  You need a slab for the book to lay on, a rest at the front of it to keep the cook book from sliding, and some legs to set the book at an angle.

Wood cook book stand
Scrap pieces of veneered 3/4″ plywood were used to build this wood cook book stand.
A 20 degree angle seems to be give the perfect height to the cook book.


I did a quick measure of a few of our cook books and found that I needed a slab about 15″ wide by 9″ tall.

A 1″ ledge on the front was enough to hold the book and most of the ‘hump’ created by the pages.

Lastly, we found a 20 degree angle to be a comfortable position for us.  This equated to the legs being about 4″ tall at the back side.

I did cut some little “wings” that could be attached to the top edge of the ledge that would swing in and out to hold pages that might want to flip (or is it flap) shut on us, but we decided to try without those before we attach them.  So for the time being the cook book stand is very clean looking and simple.  And so far helping us to produce some very yummy food!

Risers for the cook book stand
The legs, or risers, are simple triangles. A 20 degree angle creates about a 4″ height on the back side. I used the same piece of wood as the slab to cut these. Since they were the same depth, just adding the angle when cutting meant that they came out nearly the exact right size – I had a hair bit of trimming off the back side to do.
Attaching the ledge
Using some wooden dowels and glue, I attached the front ledge to the slab. Clamps and a bit of time ensure that this holds in place nicely.
Attaching the legs to the slab with wooden pegs and glue
Some more glue and wooden pegs hold the legs to the slab. The pegs aren’t always the easiest to work with since they need to line up perfectly, but they prevent screw holes and create a nice clean look that is fastened very tightly. So they are worth the extra effort.
Final assembly of the cook book stand
A few clamps and some glue puts this project into the final assembly stage.
A finished cook book stand
Two coats of butcher block oil seemed sufficient to coat and protect the wood for this cook book stand. The oil also adds a nice shine to it!

While the plywood left some exposed edges that may not be the nicest look, this was a quick project built out of scrap. Using solid wood would prevent this look of course, so feel free to build yours out of what ever materials you like. For us though, this is a nice addition to our kitchen!


Cook book stand holding a cook book
The cook book stand is already in use!

Note that the edges of the book overhang just a bit. That was by design actually – I didn’t want to make a massive stand that took up too much room in the kitchen. I instead wanted a sufficiently size stand that holds all of our books enough that they wouldn’t be flopping around. Yet it’s small enough to tuck in the corner or a cabinet when not in use.