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Sundial Stand

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This project started when we got a sundial and needed a place to put it. I came up with this design when I was watching the Fraiser TV show. They had a piece of furniture in the living room that looked like it would work great for our sundial. I broke out my CAD program and started designing. We're really pleased with the way it turned out.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Sides - 48" X 8" X 3/4" (Cherry)
  • Corners - 48" X 1 1/2" X 3/4" (Walnut)
  • Top - 11" X 11" X 3/4" painted wood
  • Bottom - 10" X 10" X 1 1/2" painted wood
  • #10 Biscuits
  • Glue
  • 3/8" X 36" threaded rod
  • 3/8" nuts and washers
  • Taper Sled
Using a good crosscut blade on your tablesaw.

Freud® LU74R Thin Kerf Ultimate Crosscut Blade

Set it at 84 degrees. I used my new Wixey Digital Angle Gauge.

Cut the four sides to length, 23 3/8". Cut each end and flip the board between cuts so looking from the side you'd have a parallelogram.

Mark the outside, inside, top and bottom of each side. This will really help prevent any mistakes later on when cutting the sides (speaking from experience :-).

Measure 23 3/8"

Measure the ends from the center out to get 7 9/16" on one end and 2 11/16" on the other. I really find the Incra Centering Ruler to be helpful.

Mark the 45 degree lines on the ends of one of the sides. You'll use this to set up your taper sled.
Put a Glue Line Rip blade or other good rip blade in your tablesaw.

Freud® LM74R Glue Line Rip Blade
Freud® LM74R Glue Line Rip Blade

Set the blade to 45 degrees.

Set up the Taper Sled that we made in our May newsletter,, to cut the taper on the sides. The tricky part is aligning the cut marks in the taper sled. Here are four pictures of what I did.

On the end closest to you I used a small ruler to align the cut in the sled with the mark on the side.

This is how I aligned it.

On the other end I aligned the mark with the saw blade.

This is how it should look when you are ready to cut.

Readjust the taper sled and cut the other edge.

Next we'll make the corner pieces. I used 3/4" walnut cut 1 1/2" X 26".
Cut the piece down the center. I used my band saw but you could probably use a rip blade on the table saw.

After I split the piece I ran it through my planer to get it to 1/4" think.

Cut the corners to the final length of 23 9/16" and 81.7 degrees. I used my Wixey Digital Angle Gauge to set the tablesaw miter to 81.7 degrees.

I got sort of tricky with my biscuit joiner.

Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557
Porter-Cable Deluxe Biscuit Joiner, Model No. 557

I evenly spaced four biscuits along each edge. I made a witness stick to mark each of the sides. I transfered the marks from the sides onto each of the corners. I marked the corners to match each side, A, B, C and D.

Set the biscuit joiner to "S" to cut the corners. This will make for a larger hole.

Set up a sacrificial board to cut into. This will help keep the joiner perpendicular to the small corner board.

Readjust the joiner to "O" to cut the sides. This will make for a smaller hole for the biscuit to sit in. You want the biscuit to sit high enough to go through the corner board and into the other side. You may need to adjust the stop pin on the joiner.
Practice on some scrap before you do your real pieces.
Set the joiner at 45 degrees and cut the slots.

It's very difficult to dry fit everything since the biscuits will fall out.
Add glue to the slots in the side board and along the edges of the side and corner.
Put the corner on then glue the next side slots and edges.

Repeat this with each corner until all four corners are in place.
Work fast as you want to have a little wiggle room once everything is in place.
Place clamps at the top middle and bottom. Before you tighten all the clamps make sure that it sits flat on the bench and the top is flat.

Cut the top from 11" X 11" X 3/4" wood.
Distress the edges with a grinder or rasp to make it look like rock.
Cut the bottom from two pieces of 10" X 10" X 3/4".
Glue them together and let dry.
Treat the edges and surface the same as the top.
Paint the top and bottom with Rust-Oleum "Stone" paint. We found this paint at our local home supply store and actually looks like stone.

Drill a 3/8" hole centered in the bottom and counter bore the bottom to house the washer and nut.
Drill a 7/16" hole half way through the bottom of the top. To keep from going through the top mark the depth on the drill bit with some tape.

Glue and install a threaded insert.

Measure the distance from the bottom of the inside of the threaded insert to just shy of the bottom of the bottom. Cut the threaded rod to this length.
If the stand is going to be used out doors use a good spar varnish both inside and outside the stand.
To add weight toward the base of the stand we'll add some small stones inside as you put it together.
Screw the treaded rod into the top.
Apply glue to the top of the stand and place the top centered on the threaded rod.

Fill the stand about 2/3's full of styrofoam peanuts, fill the rest of the stand with small rocks.
Glue and install the base with a washer and nut. Tighten and let dry.

That's about it. We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

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