Magazine Rack Woodworking Plan
This Folding Rack Takes little time to construct and uses a few basic techniques. There are no joints to make, and no expensive tools are required; all you need are the basics of accurate marking out, cutting, and fitting together. The materials are easy to obtain and are ready to use without further preparation. The interlocking design allows the rack to be opened up or folded flat and stowed away, with no need for clips or catches.
• 4.2m (14 ft) of 75 x 12mm (3 x 1/2 in) planed softwood for the slats
• 2.7m (9 ft) of 50 x 25mm (2 x 1 in) planed softwood for the legs
• 6 mm (1/4 in) MDF (medium-density fiberboard) for the template
• 16.25 mm (1 in) brass wood screws
• 2.50 mm (2 in) brass wood screws
• Panel pin (brad)
• 2.65 mm (2.5 in) coach bolts (carriage bolts), nuts, and washers
• Thin cord
The rack consists of two separate assemblies that form the two sides. One slides inside the other and is attached with the two bolts, which form the pivot mechanism, It can be made to any convenient size, but if you follow the diagrams shown here, you will not have to calculate the dimensions and angles required for the legs. Draw it out full size on a sheet of plywood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) to create a template for marking out.
1. Cut the legs and the slats to their overall length. The slats for the inner frame are 55mm (2.5 in) shorter than those used for the outer frame, allowing them to easily slide within the latter. Cut a rounded profile at the top of each leg if desired, using the first as a pattern for the others so that they will be uniform.
2. Lay each pair of legs in turn over the template you have drawn out on a sheet of MDF and mark the positions of the slats and pivot point. Support the upper leg with a small offcut (scrap) of wood to keep it level. Drill a small pilot hole through the pivot point of each leg at this stage.
3. Assemble the inner frame. Insert one screw at each end of the top slat, then use a try square to adjust the assembly before you proceed. It is essential that the frames are absolutely square. Make sure the ends of the slats do not protrude over the sides of the frame.
4. Add the third slat, then turn the frame over to attach the bottom slat. The final assembly will be easier if you omit the second slat at this stage; it can be added when the rack is bolted together. Three slats are sufficient at this stage to keep the assembly square.
5. Use the inner frame as a building jig for the outer frame. Position the components carefully, making sure that the pivot holes are in line. Insert a small panel pin to keep the legs aligned in the correct position as you work. Note how the angled ends of the legs face in opposite directions.
6. Use two small offcuts of 12mm (0.5 in) wood at each side to support the outer legs at the correct level. Screw the top and third slats in place, checking they are square as before. All four legs should be parallel to allow the assembly to move freely.
7. Turn the assembly over to fit the bottom slat. At this stage, the two frames should enclose each other, but they can still be slid apart if required. Now is a good time to clean up any rough edges with medium-grade sandpaper before proceeding. You could also apply a coat of clear sealer or varnish.
8. Drill through the legs for the coach bolts, using the pilot holes to guide the drill bit. Fit a coach bolt to each side, inserting a large washer between the moving parts to reduce friction. Fit the nuts on the inside, but do not over tighten them or you will distort the framework. Note how the bottom slat on the outer frame will act as a stop to hold the rack in the open position.
9. Insert the bottom piece, which acts as a floor for the rack. Cut it to fit between the legs of the inner frame and attach it with two long brass screws. It should pivot easily, allowing the rack to be folded flat for storage. Put in the remaining two slats. Add a couple of lengths of thin cord between the bottom slats as a final touch to secure the legs in their open position.