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View Full Version : Music stands We made in Wmsbg.



george wilson
09-13-2010, 1:41 PM
These are 10 music stands Jon Laubach and I made in the Toolmaker's shop. Actually,there were 12,but 2 didn't make it to the photographer's busy schedule.

This was a project that I in particular didn't want to do. The former cabinet maker used to make these for the music program. About every 2 weeks one would come back with a leg broken off,because they were not properly cared for by the careless musicians. It drove him nuts!! I didn't blame him.

I made my boss promise that We would not be called upon to repair these if we made them.

They were mahogany,as is obvious. The round protrusions are candle stick stands that folded out on either side of the stands.

I don't think I have posted this picture before. It's been a long time since the multiple postings I made previously.

Soon,I will be posting pictures of new work I am currently doing.

Rick Markham
09-13-2010, 3:39 PM
Very nice George! See, even back in colonial times musicians were destroying their craftsman made equipment :D

David Weaver
09-13-2010, 3:55 PM
I wonder how often a musician bumped into their stands in a bout of musical tourettes (not the real disorder, but rather the people who get way too far into their music and are all over the place while they're playing - there's one in every orchestra or band) and burnt sheet music with a tipped candle.

Bill Houghton
09-13-2010, 3:55 PM
I remember in high school the competition for the Manhasset stands that were the cream of the crop in band room. These put the Manhassets in the shade!

David Weaver
09-13-2010, 4:21 PM
I remember in high school the competition for the Manhasset stands that were the cream of the crop in band room. These put the Manhassets in the shade!

They were our favorites, too. There were always about 10 too few for our very large band, and those folks got those awful metal folding things.

The manhassets were hard to snag quickly because they were bottom heavy. Made a lot of people trip on them and go down with them, too, trying to fit between rows of them and rows of folding chairs on a small stage.

I'll bet the districts get charged a lot for them.

Mike Henderson
09-13-2010, 4:27 PM
Very nice, George. How did you make the sawtooth rack that's used to set the angle of the platen?

Mike

george wilson
09-13-2010, 4:42 PM
The sawtooth racks were just hand chiseled from the solid. Not too hard to do,really,you just have to be very consistent,or they'd look awful.

Mike Henderson
09-13-2010, 5:01 PM
The sawtooth racks were just hand chiseled from the solid. Not too hard to do,really,you just have to be very consistent,or they'd look awful.
Okay, thanks. I thought you might have some ingenious way of making those by machine. Making 24 of those racks by hand is a challenge, I expect.

Mike

Bill Houghton
09-13-2010, 7:15 PM
They were our favorites, too. There were always about 10 too few for our very large band, and those folks got those awful metal folding things.

The manhassets were hard to snag quickly because they were bottom heavy. Made a lot of people trip on them and go down with them, too, trying to fit between rows of them and rows of folding chairs on a small stage.

I'll bet the districts get charged a lot for them.

The sociology of high school band/orchestra was and probably still is very interesting - aching for some sociology grad student to study. First chair (the top musicians) for each instrument got the Manhasset stands, no question. Depending on how many were around when we went out to perform, second chair got them, too; if there weren't many, it was a free-for-all.

But I digress...George's stands are lovely. Maybe, if I start playing again, I should make one like his.

george wilson
09-13-2010, 7:19 PM
I have another(unprintable) name for cutting 24 racks by hand.:)

Leigh Betsch
09-13-2010, 7:42 PM
What's that round device hanging off the side used for? Cup holder:eek:??

Never mind I re-read your original post, candle holder. I should have known, cup holders would have had a hole in them!

george wilson
09-13-2010, 8:05 PM
They didn't have those kind of cups back then,either!

george wilson
09-13-2010, 10:35 PM
Picture some gentleman in his colonial dress,playing Bach. Then,he reaches out for his "Big Gulp" and takes a big swig!!:)

Rolly Rhodes
11-17-2013, 11:20 PM
George, I saw these stands at Colonial Williamsburg years ago and thought if a good reason ever presented itself I would make one. Well, my brother who is a musician and a fine one will be completing his education in March of 2014. I would like to make this stand as a gift to him. My wife and I are traveling from California to CW the first week of December. Tara Chicirda, the curator of the CW Foundation has arranged for me to be able to measure an 18th century English music stand that I think is just like what you have made. Would you happen to have plans that I could purchase from you? I would appreciate any assistance you could provide. Thank you. Rolly Rhodes

Marko Milisavljevic
11-18-2013, 12:18 AM
OK, I have to ask... if stands kept coming back every 2 weeks for broken legs my first thought would be that they were not fit for use and redesign was in order, instead of blaming the user?

(edited for spelling)

Jim Koepke
11-18-2013, 1:20 AM
OK, I have to ask... if stands kept coming back every 2 weeks for broken legs my first thought would be that they were fit for use and redesign was in order, instead of blaming the user?

There are a few things in the mix here.

First is someone somewhere probably required the music stands to be just like the ones made centuries before.

Another is the more musicians walking about in a group of musicians the more likely something is going to get knocked over or stepped upon.

Finally the local postman once commented that what the public calls junk mail they call jobs mail.
Repairing pieces that break all the time is one form of job security.

jtk

Jim Matthews
11-18-2013, 6:52 AM
I would hazard a guess that a similar stand, in the musician's home would last a lifetime.

As a former reed instrument repairman I can say that the rental instruments were always abused.
I think a similar mindset lead to this problem at Wmsbrg.

george wilson
11-18-2013, 7:49 AM
Yes,the stands were required to be accurate copies of originals. They had slender Queen Anne legs. I had dreams of hollowing them out and installing steel inside!! I think people knew how to take care of things in the 18th. C.. So much of their furniture was of a delicate nature. Those careless musicians in the museum didn't take care of anything they didn't own. They were lazy,and got BOYS(yes,BOYS) from the fife and drum corps to carry around the music stands. I think they'd set them down too hard and break a leg. Those boys also managed to break the corners off of harpsichords as well. We had to repair the harpsichords too. No one was ever held responsible for breaking things in the museum. It still bugs me even today. If I'd been running it,those musicians would have had their pay docked for the cost of repairs. Then,things would have suddenly gotten more careful!

The stands WE made were not carried about,fortunately. The music program had changed over the years. Instead of being so itenerate,the musicians had the stands set up somewhere permanently where they aloud hold regular concerts.

It was the poor cabinet maker years earlier who had the constant problem of broken legs to contend with.

The ancient Egyptians,working with copper tools,would tie young trees to forms so they would grow into their cabriole shaped legs,pre formed. Less work with their extremely poor tools. I wished we could do some of that sort of thing! The grain would have been much stronger,flowing in the curves. But,these were mahogany,which requires warmer climates.

Why doesn't someone make some copper tools and try working wood with them? They'd be glad to get back to even our worst quality saws and chisels!:)

Brian Holcombe
11-18-2013, 8:03 AM
In Europe I took notice of how well kept the antiques were, we found pieces that were a century old and looked untouched. By half that time in the US it looks like it was pulled out of the trash heap and put on the selling floor.

george wilson
11-18-2013, 8:58 AM
That probably depended upon how high class the antique shop was. I saw some pretty poorly kept antiques in Greenwich,England. Also saw a guy sitting on the concrete in the subway,coughing blood into a well used paper napkin. I suppose he was left to just die of tuberculosis. All we wanted to do was keep away from him! When I was in Alaska,the natives got T.B. all the time. They were rushed off to an island clinic in Sitka as the disease was very catching. One of our 7th. grade class mates,who we had gone to school with for years was found to have T.B.. He had put a tack in my seat shortly before. I was glad he didn't infect me.

John Powers
11-18-2013, 11:48 AM
Sometimes the kids would break something old that I liked. I'd be philosophical but have to mention it would only have lasted a hundred years anyway. I expect those stands are that way. Any height adjustment for a seated guitarist or standing fiddler?

george wilson
11-18-2013, 12:22 PM
Music stands generally had a square wooden rod that went down inside the column to adjust height. Ours were made for the specific use of a seated ensemble,and no height adjustments was required.

Steve Voigt
11-18-2013, 12:43 PM
Hi George
Looks great. As a violinist with a serious coffee addiction, I know I'd repurpose the candle holder as a coffee cup holder. :)

-Steve

Brian Holcombe
11-18-2013, 12:54 PM
Le Louvre Des Antiquaires in Paris and Via Dei Condotti in Rome were two of the antique shopping areas that we visited, they are high end. The antiques were spectacular and far beyond the age I'm used to finding in similar shops in America. They did seem to have a consciousness of their past and concern for keeping it intact in a general way, a nice change of pace from the replacement culture I'm familiar with.

Matthew N. Masail
11-18-2013, 3:29 PM
Those look amazing.... I wish I had something remotely like that. I use one of those folding metal ones, and I must admit I've knocked it over a few times... but it's not hard to do it's top heavy.

george wilson
11-18-2013, 4:35 PM
Don't be discouraged,Brian. There are plenty of high end antique stores here,too.

Brian Holcombe
11-18-2013, 5:59 PM
I'm well aware of that George.

george wilson
11-18-2013, 6:09 PM
Brian,I haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. I'm not at all sore about anything. When did you reference my mentor?

Brian Holcombe
11-18-2013, 10:42 PM
I apologise george, it occurred to me later on that you may just have a dry sense a humor which is hard to read on the internet.

Rolly Rhodes
11-27-2013, 9:43 AM
George,
did the piece that you copied have an height adjustment rod?
how would the square hole be created? Would the pedestal be ripped in two, dado'd out, glued back together, then turned?

george wilson
11-27-2013, 1:54 PM
Yes,that would be about the only way to do it,Rolly. If the billet of mahogany was ripped,dadoed,and glued back together with the pieces in original alignment,it would have been a bit hard to see the glue line. There was a brass ring atop the column of the adjustable height ones,with a brass thumb screw throughout it to bear against the square rod and hold it together.

Earl Sullivan
11-29-2013, 11:46 AM
But then you can't blame the musicians.

And that would be a travesty.

Beautiful stands though. I definitely want one.

Manhassets just aren't very aesthetic.

george wilson
11-29-2013, 12:17 PM
Earl,what post are you referring to with your post just above? It doesn't make sense with no frame of reference.

Earl Sullivan
11-29-2013, 2:05 PM
"OK, I have to ask... if stands kept coming back every 2 weeks for broken legs my first thought would be that they were not fit for use and redesign was in order, instead of blaming the user?"

My posts take forever to show up. I think it's because I rarely post and might still be under a moderator approval probationary period due to my small post count. No idea.

Not surprised by the musicians enlisting unsuspecting children for set up/tear down. Some symphonies are terrible about that.

Which is kind of funny, considering they probably spent their entire pre-professional life having to do it themselves.

edit: I could just be being careless about quotes and switching pages considering I'm bored&distracted at work while wistfully daydreaming of how much fun it was to play chamber music last night as well. That's probably most likely.

do you have any other pictures of those stands?

george wilson
11-29-2013, 3:02 PM
No other pictures. Yes,the legs were not suitable for careless handling,but we had to make them exactly authentic. Like I said,from the generally light lines I have seen on some 18th.C. furniture(NOT that blocky Rhode Island Townsend stuff!!),people knew how to take care of their things back then. Some of the cubby holes in desks are quite thin. Besides,everything was exceedingly expensive when it was hand made. You'd be paying someone's wages for the several months that it took to make some things.

I blame the careless users. For example,it took us many months to make a violin. One time,those careless idiots let a high school girl Christmas hire take a violin not 2 weeks old,and CRACK the top from screwing on a chin rest too tight. And,this should not have been permitted for her to use in the first place. Plus,they didn't use chin rests in the 18th. C..

There was a brick patio behind the Music Teacher's Shop. They gave little concerts nearly every day. I SAW them lay my instruments on the wet,steaming bricks after a rain. To lazy to bring out a chair to lay them on. I SAW the assistant music teacher put a small harpsichord WE didn't make,into the back of a station wagon. Then,he couldn't quite get the rear door to close. He SLAMMED it repeatedly until it finally snapped shut. I reported this. You think anything was done about it? NO.

So,don't blame the equipment,guys. You weren't there to see this behavior.

Mel Fulks
11-29-2013, 3:19 PM
I know a guy who has a couple of period stands and has used them on gigs for his baroque group when they perform in costume. The girl cello player broke one of them. But I think most of them were made to sit in one spot in a fine home and be used by the family.

Winton Applegate
11-29-2013, 10:32 PM
Thank you for putting up this post.
I happened on the interview of you that was done here some time ago while looking for other photos of your work to show Queenmasteroftheuniverseandbabybunnytrainer, (my significant other (that is not her name but what I called her in another forum; long story)).
Aaaaannnnnnyyyway . . .

I remember reading there about these music stands. Great to see them. The tilt adjust is reminiscent of the Jefferson lap desk he designed and had built.

As far as the broken legs and music stand damage . . .
. . . perhaps you should have suggested keeping traditional practices alive by reintroducing caning and flogging into the community there. I imagine music stand breakage would have all but disappeared.
:D

PS: did you see my question in the grinder wobbly wheel thread asking you what you thought of the machining on the guy's grinder shaft ? :confused:

Winton Applegate
11-29-2013, 10:58 PM
not fit for use and redesign was in order, instead of blaming the user?
Some times I work with people who use very high end bicycles, (think $3000, $5000 etc., etc., etc.) and some not so high end, and there are some who don't get it that some things are not bomb proof and are delicate in some ways for the really good stuff and so one must respect that and learn the correct and careful way to handle such.


For the few "Special people" I have always wanted to have a few of these around with bicycle wheels painted on the side just for the "Special people" to use.


http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/014_22_zpsa694a0d2.jpg (http://s801.photobucket.com/user/noydb1/media/014_22_zpsa694a0d2.jpg.html)


Might do a similar thing and paint a music stand on the side for the "Special" musicians.

Roger Myers
11-30-2013, 7:05 AM
George,

Those are beautiful stands and I may try my hand at a similar design.

For those enquiring about height adjustment options and column hollowing and so on, you can see what I did on a recent music stand I made in this post

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?209579-Music-Stand-Mahogany-and-Satinwood&highlight=

The column starts out as a solid blank... Is ripped and jointed carefully in prep for gluing.
The post and hollowed section are hexagonal, to prevent any rotation of the post.
The hollow is achieved with a dado set on the table saw, first at 90 degrees, then tipped to 60... With the stock flipped end for end after one pass. The post is shaped using the dado set while it is at the 60 degree setting. The column is hollow except for the bottom 12" or so, as the legs are dovetailed into the column, so you don't want that area hollowed out.
After hollowing the column it is the reglued, and the post is used as a bit of a squeegee to make sure no glue squeeze out ends up in the hollowed area.
A short section stock is also made into a hex shape with a wider rim... This is used to plug the hollow when mounting on the lathe for turning.
Turn the column to the desired shape, dovetail the legs, and so on. If you are concerned about strength you can add a metal spider to the bottom of the column, but if receiving reasonable care in use this shouldn't be needed.

Any more questions, feel free to ask...there may also be a few more pics on my website...address is shown in my profile.

Roger

george wilson
11-30-2013, 11:07 AM
Winton,I think necking down the grind shaft is a bad idea on several counts. Especially if the flimsy flanges are so thin they fall into the neck!!

Why they are doing that? Most likely an easy way to avoid any corner with a radius. When they face off the register of the shaft,they let the tool go a bit farther into the shaft. But,there is not communication between whoever is responsible for making the tin can lid flanges. Else,they just don't care. The only solution for now is to buy thicker flanges.

If you can't buy thicker flanges,I'd suggest carefully cleaning the necked down place with acetone,and filling the groove with J.B. Weld. It is really great stuff,and adheres to steel ,CLEAN STEEL!! Really well. It is also very hard. And,it will stand 600,which is fantastic. We use it to fill any little holes in our jewelry models,so they don't get caught in the rubber mold when it is made. The rubber mold is vulcanized at something like 450. We needed something with real high heat resistance to use.

It the grinder over heats,the J.B. will be more than adequate. Make sure the J.B. is CAREFULLY filed flush with the shaft,or the flange will still not run true. I still suggest buying decent flanges anyway.

Necking down the shaft means that the shaft is no stronger than the diameter of the neck. All around,a very bad idea.

Rolly Rhodes
12-02-2013, 11:26 PM
Roger, thank you for your input. I will be able to use your method. Question, did you make a hexagon instead of a square for a classier design? Or was there mechanical reasons?

george wilson
12-03-2013, 8:23 AM
He used a hexagonal design to go with the shape of his outer post. You'd best make yours square,Rolly. The originals were square in our style of music stand.