Guitar Stand

Published Saturday, April 29, 2023 by Bryan

I keep my guitars in their cases. I live above a lake that wears a few feet of ice in the winter, and provides the cool breeze through our window in the summer. So, while it would be nice to have the guitars out to remind me to play, I like keeping the dust off of them, and slowing their humidity changes more.

Guitars stacked in the corner of the room. Each is safe in its own case, but messy and annoying to dig through.

But it was time to do something nicer than stack them in the corner. It looks awful, and it's a pain to dig through for the guitar I want to play.

Guitars still in their cases, but individually supported in a simple wooden rack.

So I built this. It has two lower supports that cradle each guitar's body, and a top rail with adjustable dowel stops to support each neck. The guitars lean into the top rail just enough to make sure they won't fall forward, and the feet extend far enough back to keep the headstocks from touching the wall.

The pieces of the rack, prepared for assembly. Left to right: upper rail (dovetailed), rear lower rail (tenoned), front lower rail (drilled), right leg and foot assembly, left leg and foot assembly (with wedges and dowel pins on top). Each rail is also lined with cork on one edge.

I went a bit wild with the joinery. No option felt quite right for every connection, so each one is different. The feet connect to the legs via a dadoed half-lap. The top rail connects to the legs with a dovetail. The front rail connects to the legs with dowel pins. And, the rear rail connects to the feet with a wedged through-tenon. It's a mishmash, it was fun.

Curly wood shavings, some nearly white, some distinctly reddish, and some darker tan in color.
Plane shavings from the edge of one board.
A wood dovetail joint. The tail contains both dark brown and tan colored wood. One of the pins is light blond, and the other is red.
One dovetail, showing all the colors of this wood.

You may notice that the color is also a mishmash. But, except for the cork lining the rails and the walnut wedges in those tenons, all the wood, including the dowels, came from two boards that were likely right next to each other in the same tree. It's all soft maple from the lumber I cut last summer.

The guitar stand, laying on its back on a plastic-covered workbench. Nitrile gloves and curls of blue painters tape lay nearby. The dowels can also be seen proped on finish standoffs in the middle of the table.
The finish brought out not only the color, but also the ripples of chatoyancy seen in many faces.

The finish is two coats of Danish oil, lightly buffed with mineral oil and beeswax after drying. I decided to experiment with just card scraping and not sanding (except to break sharp edges) before finishing this time. I'm mostly happy with it. It's pretty smooth to the touch, and the grain really shows ... but unfortunately, so do the places were I should have taken just a little more care. All data to consider next time.

Four guitars standing in the guitar rack. Two electrics, an acoustic, and a hollow-body electric. In the bad, several empty peg holes can be seen.
The rack also works well without the cases. And yes, there is room for n+1.

I was surprised how light and open this build feels. Lots of my recent projects have been boxes or heavy-duty furniture. This one, with just seven short-ish lengths of 1x2 feels like a wisp of nothing in comparison.

Are you interested in building your own? I haven't decided whether to write up plans for this project yet. Send me a ping if you'd like to know dimensions and angles.

Categories: Woodworking Music