How to Build a Wood Magazine Rack

Free Woodworking Plans from Lee's Wood Projects

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Building a magazine rack is a relatively easy project that can be completed in a few days. This wooden rack is stylish and functional, and provides and attractive place to store your monthly magazines and other publications until you find time to read them. No matter where it is placed, this beautiful wood magazine rack is the perfect way to be organized and help eliminate clutter around your home.

Click On Image to See Larger Scalable Drawing

Technical Information for Building a Building a Wooden Magazine Rack

A. Materials List:

1 A Handle 3/4" x 4 1/4" x 16" Birch
2 B Top Rails 3/4" x 1 1/8" x 16" Birch
2 C Bottom Rails 3/4" x 1 1/8" x 16" Birch
1 D Bottom 1/2" x 8 7/8" x 16" Birch
10 E Slats 3/8" x 1" x 7 1/2" Birch
2 F Sides 3/4" x 10 1/2" x 17 1/2" Birch
1 G Center Divider 1/4" x 10 1/8" x 16" Birch Plywood
12 H Flathead Screws #8 x 1 1/4" Steel
4 I Flathead Screws #8 x 1" Steel
12 J Buttons 3/8" Birch



B. Wooden Magazine Rack Patterns:

  1. Scale handle (A) to the drawing dimension size. This can easily be accomplished by measuring the print out and dividing that size into the dimension size. This will give a multi-factor that can be used to figure the enlargement size for the pattern. Most companies that do duplicating can make the enlargement required for the pattern.
  2. Repeat step #1 for sides (F).
  3. Transfer the pattern enlargements onto poster board, and use a pair of scissors to cut out the patterns.

C. Wooden Magazine Rack Cutting Procedures:

  1. Use a jointer to joint one edge and one side of all lumber.
  2. Use a planer to plane handle (A), top rails (B), bottom rails (C), and sides (F) to 3/4" thick. Plane bottom (D) to 1/2", and slats (E) to 3/8" thickness.
  3. Use a radial arm saw and a table saw to cut lumber to proper lengths and widths respectively. Also use the table saw to cut the center divider (G) to proper size.
  4. Use a band saw to cut out shapes for handle (A) and sides (F).
  5. To cut out the slot for Handle (A), measure and mark the centers. Use a 7/8" Foerstner Bit to drill out the ends of the slot. Use a scroll saw to cut out the remainder of the slot.
  6. Use a spindle sander to sand the shapes for handle (A), and sides (F).
  7. Attach a dado blade to the radial arm saw to cut tenons on both ends of the slats (E). The tenon should be 3/16" x 1/2" x 1/4".
  8. Mark the top rails (B) and bottom rails (C) for the spacing of the slats (E). Mark 2 3/8" in from each end of the rails. Also, make four more marks spaced 2 13/16" starting from one of the 2 3/8" marks. These six marks will be the centers for the slots required for the slat tenons. Be sure the top and bottom rails are marked identically.
  9. Install a 3/16" drill bit in the horizontal boring machine and set the stop to drill 5/16" deep. Also tilt the table to 4 1/2 degrees. Next, align the drill bit with the slot center mark on the rail and drill out the slot. Make multiple drills to insure 1/4" slot on each side of the center to provide for the 1/2" wide tenon. To clean all the material out of the slot, move the rail back and forth a couple of times. This procedure should be repeated for each mark for the top and bottom rails.
  10. To cut the slot on the bottom of the handle (A), set the table saw fence 1/4" from the blade. Also adjust the height of the saw blade to 1/4". Place the handle (A) on the table saw and make one cut. Next, adjust the fence 3/8" from the blade and make another cut.
  11. To cut the slot in the bottom (D), set the table saw fence 4 5/16" from the blade. Also adjust the height of the saw blade to 1/4". Place the bottom (D) on the saw table and make one cut. Next, adjust the fence 4 7/16" from the blade and make another cut.

D. Wooden Magazine Rack Sanding Procedures:

  1. Rough sand all parts with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
  2. Intermediate sand all parts with an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
  3. Rough and intermediate, sanding should be completed before assembly procedure.
  4. Finish sand all parts with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper after the assembly procedure.
  5. Hand sand all edges, details, with 220 grit sandpaper just prior to the finish procedure.

E. Assembly Procedures:

  1. Place a small amount of wood glue on the tenon or each slat (E) and fit the slats into the top and bottom rails (B) & (C). Use a wooden mallet and a small piece of wood to pound the tenons completely into the slots. Use a framing square to make sure the slat/rail assemblies are perfectly square, and then allow the glue to dry 24 hours.
  2. Rip two 12" boards to 3 1/8" wide. Set these boards on edge approximately 16" apart and lay the bottom (D) on top of these boards. Next, stand the sides (F) upright on each side of the bottom. Fit the center divider (G) into the bottom slot and place the slot of the handle (A) over the center divider, and use bar clamps to temporally secure the assembly.
  3. Use a hand drill and a #8 x 1 1/4" screw-mate counter bore to drill two holes through each side (F) into the handle (A). Drill the counter sink approximately 1/4" below the surface to allow for the buttons.
  4. Secure the sides (F) to the handle (A) with flathead screws (H).
  5. Make sure the bottom (D) is level and in proper position, and use a nail gun and 1 1/2" nails to secure the bottom.
  6. Remove the bar clamps and place the rail/slat assemblies in position on the bottom (D). Use the bar clamps to temporarily hold everything together.
  7. Bore a hole into the ends of each top and bottom rail (B) & (C) with a #8 x 1 1/4" screw-mate counter bore. Secure the sides to the rails with flathead screws (H). Remove the bar clamps.
  8. Position the magazine rack up side down and connect the bottom (D) to each bottom rail (C) by boring two holes into each rail, 2" in from each side. Secure the bottom to the rails with flathead screws (I).
  9. Place a small spot of glue on each button (J) and tap into the holes with a wooden mallet.
    NOTE: Be sure to finish sand all parts prior to the finish procedure.

F. Wooden Magazine Rack Finish Procedure:

  1. Use plastic wood dough, if needed, to fill any holes or cracks. Allow to dry Approximately 1 hour before sanding.
  2. Hand sand wood dough with 220 grit sandpaper.
  3. If stain is desired, apply with a brush and allow to penetrate for approximately 10 minutes, and then remove with a clean rag.
  4. Allow stain to dry for 6 hours and then repeat with a second coat.
  5. Apply a clear finish such as Lacquer, Varathane, Polyurethane, etc. using a pure-bristle brush. Allow to dry for 12 hours.
  6. Lightly hand sand with 220 grit sandpaper.
  7. Apply second coat of clear finish.
  8. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
  9. Repeat this process for any additional finish coats desired.

G. Notes:

  1. Use a tack rag after each sanding procedure to remove the dust.
  2. Match wood dough color to the stain color.
  3. Do not allow stain to dry before removing with rag.
  4. If paint is desired instead of a stain and clear finish, match the color of the wood dough to the wood color. Clear pine or paint grade alder is recommended for painting.
  5. Most hardwoods are recommended for staining and/or clear finishes.

Congratulations, your magazine rack is finished and ready to use!

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