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Build a Countertop Banana Stand
Tools and Materials
These are the steps that I take to make what I call a “Banana Stand”. It’s used to hold a bunch of green bananas off the counter until they get ripe. I've made mine from cherry, but any hardwood will work. You can use a wood that will match your kitchen or compliment it. Your finished stand can also be painted. This is a fairly simple project that can be completed using a minimal number of power tools.
Print and review the drawings for the parts of the stand i.e. base and arm. The base is made from ¾” stock and the arm is made from ½” and ¼” stock laminated cross grained to make a blank 1 ¼” thick. The special thickness stock is available from Woodcraft or if you have access to a surface planer, you can thickness the stock yourself.
CLICK HERE for a project plan.
How to Make
The finished arm blank dimensions are 5 ¾” x 10 ½”. Make the glue-up slightly oversize for clean up, about 6” x 11”. The ¼” thick center layer is oriented with it’s grain running horizontal, this will give strength to the shaped finished arm. You can make this layer from strips and edge glue them while gluing the layers together. See ARM BLANK drawing.
While the arm blank is drying, start working on the base. Cut the base to width, 5 ½” but don’t cut it to length until you cut the mortise. Layout the location for the mortise. See BASE drawing.
The mortise is 3/8”wide x 7/16”deep. Use a 5/16” brad point or forstner bit to rough out the mortise and finish with a sharp chisel. When you have the mortise complete, cut the base to finished length.
After the arm blank dries for 24 hrs. trim it to size and cut the tennon to fit the mortise.
Following the ARM DRAWING, lay out for the taper to be cut at the top end of the arm. Cut the taper with a band saw, handsaw, or use a bench plane. This doesn’t have to be an exact cut, because it will take shape later.
Print the full size ARM TEMPLATE and align and glue it to the arm blank. Following the template cut the arm to shape. Using a band saw, jig saw, or even a coping saw will work.
Cut the radiuses on the base corners and you’re now ready to start shaping the arm to it’s finished profile. I use all hand tools to shape the arm i.e. rasps, files, spokeshaves, and a lot of sandpaper. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this, just so it has a nice smooth contour and feel to the shape when done. The hook part at the very tip of the arm should be tapered down to about ¼” thick so it can fit into a bunch of bananas. This is where the strength of the cross grain lamination comes into play.
When you’re done shaping the arm it should have a nice smooth transition from the thick base to the ¼” thick tip. Remember it should be pleasing to your touch and feel as well as a visual appeal. Put the finishing touches on the base by rounding the corners and sanding smooth.
Drill a hole for a #6 flat head wood screw (FHWS) in the center of the mortise pocket. Drill the hole through the other side, drilling the hole this way ensures that you don’t miss the location. Turn the base around and countersink the hole so the screw is slightly below the surface.
Glue the tennon and assemble to the base with a #6 x 1 ¼” FHWS. When the glue is dry, check for any spots that might need touching up and apply your desired finish. I just leave it a natural color with a satin polyurethane topcoat.