Sunday, December 9, 2012

Conductor's Rostrum

At the school where I teach, all students in grades four through eight learn to play strings - violin, viola or cello. Recently our music teacher asked me if I could make a platform for her to stand on while conducting. Of course I said yes - and as a bonus, I got to put some extra wood that I have been tripping over to good use.

It was a bit of a rush job (Christmas concert), and it fought tooth and nail against its birth (all I'll say is I about got knocked out...don't ask), but I'm pretty happy with it. I think it is a good example of how a good design, with balanced proportions, doesn't need to be anywhere near perfectly executed to still be pleasing.

I was moving so fast (well, except after the head knocking part...) that I didn't take any pictures of the construction. The base is just a simple rectangle made from both 2x8 and 1x8 stock. It is joined with rabbet joints, which are screwed from both directions as well as glued. The top is a piece of 3/4 birch ply, and I stuck some quirk-ovolo-fillet moulding to hide the ply edge and it really added to the design. The finish is Tried & True Danish Oil and Varnish Oil, which of course I love.

Here are some shots of the final product:

Anyway, it was a fun project and was appreciated by my colleague. Of course, my son and daughter saw it and now they want a "dancing platform" of their own. I'll put it on the list...


  1. Nice work and proportions. I'm finding that as a shop teacher I get asked to build things around campus, and even our town. Is this normal?

    1. Thanks Steve! Yeah, it's normal in my experience. Not infrequently, someone at work will say something like "Hey, I know what the woodworking kids can do! They can make _________." I usually just smile and say I will see what I can do. But honestly, we don't have enough time to do the curriculum I have planned. I do work in many of the requests if they are short and quick or very important, but most of the time it ends up being my work. Of course, it's good to be needed and appreciated so I'm not really complaining - but it is a little funny.

  2. Nice work! :) All students playing strings?! Your school sounds so cool! :)

    1. Saaara - Thanks! Yes, I am very lucky to be teaching at a Waldorf inspired school!


Comment Moderation has been turned on - too much spam! Bummer.

I will get an email notification and will approve any appropriate comments ASAP.