Utilizing every available space is a priority; the area to the right of the rear side window is large enough to accommodate a magazine rack and is conveniently close to the bed. This will allow for some late night reading. Back to the workshop for some woodworking!
The main wood choice is again Cherry in combination with some Tiger Maple as a front panel.
After dimensioning and sizing the lumber, everything must be put together, including two extra pieces which are added to the side to act as a pen/pencil holder.
The Cherry plywood back panel first gets a solid Cherry strip glued to its top.
The Tiger Maple front panel gets two tenons that will fit into slots, routed in the side panels. The tenons are flush with the bottom, while the tops are cut back for an invisible joint.
Both side panels now receive the slots that will hold the front panel; at the same time, a full-length rabbet is routed that will hold the back panel. A bit of sapwood is showing, but will be largely hidden in the final product.
The bottom panel gets a similar rabbet.
Pencil holder supports.
Now a stylish curve is added to the Tiger Maple panel.
To save a bit of weight and add some more style, two slender slats will support the magazines. A little more work was involved to chisel out the four rectangular holes.
Enhance the Tiger Maple
Before continuing with the assembly, the three front pieces that are made out of Tiger Maple, need some ‘popping’, that is, enhancing the visibility of the curl in the wood.
Tools & materials required: Dye, sand paper and jar.
A little ‘Dark Mission Brown’ powder dye is combined with some distilled water.
The application of the dye to the wood is done with an old cotton rag. To that extend, the wood is sanded, starting with 80-grit paper, followed by 150-grit. As the curl absorbs more of the dye, after another sanding, the curl is visibly enhanced.
The larger bottom panel after a partial application of the dye.
Assembly and Finishing
Now that all the parts are ready, it’s time to glue and clamp everything together.
After a couple of hours drying time, the rack gets a final sanding.
A quarter is used to indicate the corners at the top of the two side panels. They are sanded off on a edge sander.
After working on it for some time, I decided not to attach the pencil holder.
The final step is the finishing. First remove the dust with some pressurized air.
The rack is flooded with some tung oil which is allowed to penetrate the wood. After a few minutes the excess is removed with a paper towel.
The next day the rack is sanded again with 400 or 500 grit sandpaper.
Two or three layers of shellac are applied to the surface, each with a sanding in between.
After the final layer of shellac it gets a light sanding with 0000 steel wool. Followed with a good coat of furniture wax.