This is  a wood lectern I put together for my sister-in-law. She wanted one for her classroom. It's made from one 4'x8' piece of oak veneered plywood, 3/4" thick. I have done a few wood based instructables and am an amateur , at best. But , I try to focus on making an idea come to form, from inception to reality with the experience and tools I have available to myself. You can too.  

TOOLS: Small table saw, miter saw, jig saw, drills, orbital sander,  counter sink bits, clamps, speed square, sandpaper, glue, biscuit joiner and all the other usual suspects in the tool box.

MATERIALS: 4' x 8' oak veneered plywood 3/4" thick, scrap wood for shelf cleats, some 2x4 scraps for the base, glue, biscuits, glue-on veneer trim roll. Stain, spray clear coat.

Cost: Around 75$ for materials.

I looked at factory lecterns to get an idea of how to make it look. I'v never made a lectern before this request. Google image, of course, helped with this. See the picture of the lectern that costs 300$, "I can make that", I thought.  The sites that were selling lecterns had the dimensions. It turns out 48 inches is the going height . Well, hey,  I'v got a 48" wide sheet of plywood  !  So , I was good to go there, no cutting wood off the end, just slice the sheet across. the sides are 22" wide the front is 24" across. So, it's easy to slice up the sheet for the  3 sides. The bookrest top and the inner shelves are 22" wide and glued to runner/cleat strips of wood about an inch wide. the cleats were glued and brad tacked into place. The base is made of 2x4's that had there front edge routed round. I used a jigsaw to cut the diagonal edge to the sides. The sides are held together with biscuits and glue. A few drywall screws hold the sides together as well as the bottom shelf and base. The wood was sanded down with 120,220, 400 grit paper. 
 Ultimately, the wood was stained with a waterproof exterior stain, BEHR, it is supposed to be redwood colored but I think it is a bit on the pink side..two coats..My staining technique prowess is average at best. I just painted the stain on, with the grain, then wiped it off 5 minutes later with a shop cloth . The stain is thicker in some areas..oh well..Then lastly , the lectern was sprayed with a clear coat finish. 

And since this was for a classroom setting, this lectern needed a white board front. The original idea was chalk board paint, which I tested on a piece of scrap and I think would have worked fine. But , I like white board better , mainly because it's easier to clean and rewrite on. Well a standard piece of white board is 2' x 4' and fit perfectly to the front of the lectern. But , I didn't want to mar the front with a permanent white board because the oak stained front was kinda nice, besides maybe this lectern would be used for formal occasions where a white board  would look tacky. So, I wanted a removable white board . What I came up with was a piece of 2x4 , routed out on the bottom , that fit on the top forward edge of the lectern and held the top edge of the white board in place with pressure only. The  bottom was resting on the 2x4 base of the lectern. So, this gave flexibility of removing the board to clean /write on it with out having to squat down to do it. FTW, I think. 

Well, my SIL liked the lectern. I delivered it to her classroom and she says her fellow teachers will be jealous. LOL. Well, what more could I want?

Step 1: First cut your main pieces

These are the basic steps taken to assemble the lectern. Flesh them out as needed to suite your own build.

1: Cut plywood sides 48"x20"  , front 48"x22", top shelf 4"x22", internal shelves 22"x 20"

2: Marked where cuts were needed for the diagonal cuts  on the sides. Used a jigsaw to cut off those areas.

3: I drilled in several drywall screws to attach the bottom shelf to the sides. Screws were countersunk a bit. Fill in screw areas with filler, sand  down..

4: Used a orbital sander to sand down the filler in the screw holes and generally smooth out the surface. Started with 120 grit , 220, then 400 grit sandpaper .

Thanks for the instructions! I made one for work with a few alterations. I angled the middle shelf a bit just for looks and I put a boarder on the flat part where it transitions to the slanted piece. That part was difficult cause I didn't know how you did it and made the pieces line up. So I ended up just covering it with that little strip. I also shaved off some of the front feet and put it on wheels too but that was post picture.
<p>good looking lecturn,, really like the white board in front, very nice</p>
Great job. It turned out nice. Thanks for posting .
That is just amazing. Nice info mate. I need this. I work full time from home and needed my computer to stuff close to me. This will be handy.

About This Instructable


140 favorites


More by eu4euh: Temporary Bio Art Installation Shoe Shelf A PLYOBOX construction, AKA jump box or  exercise step crate.
Add instructable to: