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Children's picture books provide hours of fun looking at the stories. It is a pity to put those books away in a closed position: the book's world is cut off almost completely.

A bookstand solves this problem: it allows the book to be placed with open pages, thus allowing to see its contents. This instructable documents a special type of bookstand: one that is meant to be hung on a wall and thus upgrades a picture book into a 'painting'. The book hanger will not damage the book.

This wooden book hanger is not only suitable for picture books, but may also come in handy for displaying a cookbook in the kitchen.

The design features of this hanging bookstand are threefold:

1. The height of the construction is adjustable, thus allowing various book sizes to be displayed, and
2. The construction's depth is really flat and an innovative but simple method is used for the sliding construction, and
3. Only a few wooden slats are needed to build your own hanging bookstand. Wooden paint stirrers are excellently suited for this.

The construction in this instructable is being applied to a relatively thin picture book, which makes the whole construction lightweight and flat. Alternative sizing can make the hanger suitable for other book dimensions.

Picture books with pages from cardboard are best suited for displaying in the book hanger: it ensures that the pages remain upright. Suggestions for dealing with pages from paper sheets are provided in step 5 of this instructable (see items 4a to 4c).

A wooden book hanger is available from the openproducts webshop (either as a kit or as an assembled product), see www.instructables.com/member/openproducts.

Two picture books have been used in this instructable for the purpose of demonstrating its functionality:

The upper images show the picture book entitled 'The yellow balloon' by Charlotte Dematons, published by the Dutch publisher Lemniscaat.
 
The images displayed a bit lower show the picture book entitled 'The Story of the Root Children' by Sibylle von Olfers, published by the Dutch publisher Christofoor.

The cookbook displayed in this instructable is a release from Odin, a Dutch supplier of organic food (www.odin.nl).

For all three books permission has been granted to show pictures in this instructable.

More about both books (including ISBN) is mentioned in step 6 of this instructable.

In step 10 some words are being spent on explaining why the book hanger is innovative.

Step 1: Find the Right Slats

Based on the dimensions of the book you'd like to display find suitable slats and cut them as desired. The design documented in this instructable encloses the complete top and bottom edge of the opened book, but that's not a requirement. If you'd like the construction to be really thin then the thickness of the slats used for the sliding construction is important.

The dimensions of the book hanger in this instructable are as follows: the width is 48 cm (18.9 in) and the height is adjustable from 20 cm (8.7 in) to 38 cm (15.0 in). The thickness of the complete construction is 28 mm (1.10 in).

In this instructable wooden paint stirrers have been used for the sliding construction. More detail is provided in the next step (step 2).

Step 2: The Sliding Construction

For the sliding construction thin slats are needed, from which the sides are to be shaped slantwise as shown in the pictures to yield a dovetail slide rail set. The design in this instructable has three slats that have double slanted edges (the three middle rails), and six with a single slanted edge.

By arranging them like as indicated it is ensured that the slides will not loosen after the horizontal bars have been fixed with woodworker's glue. The horizontal bars have double functionality: they enclose the slanted slats and also prevent that the two parts of the book hanger can be separated from each other. The upper and bottom book rail are also involved in keeping the sliding construction in place.

Important to mention is that the middle slat on the two outer slides has been sanded to make it thinner. This is needed to let it run smoothly along the two spacers introduced in step 4.

The next step documents the assembling of the book hanger.

Step 3: Assembling the Book Hanger

Assembling the book hanger is quite straightforward. There is one constructional aspect of major importance for conveniently operating the hanger: the vertical dovetail slides need to be positioned at right angles to the vertical bars and book rails. If this is not the case, the slides will pinch, thus preventing to attain the full span of the hanger. A carpenter’s square or a setsquare are really indispensable. Allow some space between the slats when fixing them: this is needed to have them sliding smoothly.

The book hanger can be assembled with only woodworker's glue; screwing or nailing is not required but may provide additional support. To complete the hanger the visible edges may be sanded for reasons of aesthetics and safety. Painting the hanger is optional as well.

The next step documents how to fix the book hanger to the wall.

Step 4: Screw the Book Hanger to the Wall

When screwing the book hanger to the wall make sure to only fix the lower part of the construction. The upper part needs to slide vertically in order to adjust the construction to the size of the book and to be able to carefully press the rail around the book's top side. Apply at least two screws in order to prevent the construction from hanging at a slant or worse from turning around. In order not to get streaks on the wall be sure to use spacers for fixing the bottom part, for example a piece of wood or felt. Note that the spacer is also needed to support the dovetail slide, depending on the way the slanted edges have been positioned.

The next step documents how to fix a book into the hanger.

Step 5: Fix the Book Into the Hanger

Picture books with pages from cardboard are best suited for displaying in the book hanger: it ensures that the pages remain upright. The risk with books with pages from paper is that the sheets will bulge, as the construction does not press the book towards the rail.

To fix a book the following steps are to be executed:

1. Lift the upper rail by sliding it upwards;
2. Place the book in the bottom rail;
3. Slide the upper rail down again.

In case the book feels too loose then apply some pads to push the book forward towards the rails.

If you'd like to fix a book with paper pages you might observe that the sheets start don't remain upright. To prevent this, different options are available:

4a. Cut two slats the same size as the height of the book and fix it on both sides at the end of the rails. This solution has been chosen in this instructable, see step 8; or
4b. Cut a solid transparent sheet or plate (for safety reasons not glass but rather plastic). This solution is not shown here; or
4c. Press the book with some pads from the back onto the rails, in combination with a rubber strip on the backside of the front slat. Most probably it is enough to apply this modification only to the upper rail. This solution is not shown here.

The next step provides information on the books used in the pictures of this instructable.

Step 6: More About the Books in This Instructable

Two picture books and a cookbook have been used in this instructable for the purpose of demonstrating its functionality. This step gives more detail about them for those who'd like to have a closer look.

The upper images show the picture book entitled 'The yellow balloon' by Charlotte Dematons, published by the Dutch publisher Lemniscaat (www.lemniscaat.nl). On every page four tiny items have been hidden: a yellow balloon, a blue car and two miniature characters: a prisoner (to be recognized for his black-and-white striped prisoner's suit) and a fakir (to be recognized for his magic carpet). It is really not easy to find them all. See the close-up pictures to get an idea of the scenes.

The original title of the book is 'De gele ballon' (Dutch language) but it is also available in English as 'The yellow balloon' (ISBN 9781932425017). Note that this is a real picture book, it has no written text except on the title page.

More details about the book and how to purchase it are available on the publisher's website (in Dutch): www.lemniscaat.nl/Jeugd/Prentenboeken/auteurs/Charlotte Dematons. (ISBN 9789047701736)

The second one is the picture book entitled 'The Story of the Root Children' by Sibylle von Olfers (1881-1916), published by the Dutch publisher Christofoor (www.christofoor.nl). The story originally was published in German but now is available in multiple languages. The picture book in this instructable is in Dutch, the title is 'Het muzikale verhaal van de wortelkindertjes' and the book features sheet music and a CD (with children's songs in Dutch). The book (ISBN: 9789062388318) is available for purchase at www.christofoor.nl/cgi-bin/showpage.cgi?section=2&action=showbooks&genre=18&book=9789062388318#9789062388318.

The cookbook displayed in this instructable is a release from Odin, a Dutch supplier of organic food (www.odin.nl). The book is in Dutch (ISBN 8710251517043).

For all three books permission has been granted to show pictures in this instructable.

The next step in this instructable documents safety issues and operational instructions.

Step 7: Safety Issues and Operational Instructions

The design of the hanging bookstand as shown here is a little fragile and should better not be operated by toddlers. Improper use might damage the book or the construction. If the construction is being painted, make sure to apply non-toxic paint or oil. Round off edges to prevent injuries when children fall towards the construction.

The next step shows for which other types of printed publications the book hanger may be used.

Step 8: Fixing Other Books in the Book Hanger

The example in this instructable focuses on applications for children, but the hanger is perfectly suited for use at an advanced age.

For example, the hanger can be fixed in the kitchen on a closet. This is really handy for displaying a cookbook, especially since it is usually not needed to turn the pages while cooking. For fixing the book hanger on a kitchen closet I suggest to use double-sided foam tape in order not to damage the front panels. Alternatively, thin ropes can be used for hanging the hanger loosely on the closet door (fix the rope on the backside of the door by wrapping it around a screw, a screw-in hook or a nail). The most reliable and stable however is to use screws to fix the hanger, either on a kitchen closet or on the wall (which will affect the respective surface).

The pictures of the cookbook highlight the use of additional side slats to keep the pages upright. This demonstrates option 4a in step 5 of this instructable.

Another example to display is a magazine (not shown here). Also posters could be displayed (not shown here), but such single sheet application should be strengthened with a piece of cardboard as to prevent it from sliding out.

The cookbook displayed in this instructable is a release from Odin, a Dutch supplier of organic food (www.odin.nl). The book is in Dutch language (ISBN 8710251517043).

Note that the electrical switch at the bottom of the kitchen closet has been introduced in an earlier openproducts instructable and is used to manually control hot water preparation. An LED shows whether hot water is instantly available or not. The aim is to save energy by reducing the stand-by natural gas consumption of a combi boiler. See www.instructables.com/id/Energy-saving-by-omitting-stand-by-energy-use-in-c.

The next step provides some improvements for the design of a next generation book hanger.

Step 9: Improvements for a Next Generation Book Hanger

The book hanger documented in this instructable can be regarded as a prototype. It succesfully demonstrates the basic functionality and additionally shows where design improvements may be desired. Four improvements are listed below.

1. As the construction does not press the book towards the rail, the risk when using books with pages from paper is that the sheets will bulge. As a result, the instructions for use were adapted and the construction was limited to picture books with pages from cardboard to ensure that the pages remain upright. See the suggestions 4a to 4c in step 5 for suggestions how to improve this and to make the book hanger suitable for non-cardboard books.

2. A next version should have an empty space in the horizontal sliding slats allowing to countersink the spine of the book. It is suggested to change the number of vertical slide sets (the three sets of three paint stirrers). For narrow dimensions of the book hanger the number may be reduced to two sets of three slats. For the dimension shown here (48 cm wide) it is suggested to increase the number of triple-slats-sets to four, two on every side of the book's spine, with a total of four short horizontal bars (two on every side of the book's spine).

3. In the current design the paint stirrers are visible when lookup at the book hanger from above (as well as when looking from below, but this is less relevant. It is suggested to use a milling cutter to create an additional edge which covers the ends of these slats. Alternatively, and additional slat could be applied to cover these edges.

4. The paint stirrer-based dovetail-shaped slide is one of the design features which adds to the construction's elegance. However, it also introduces quite some additional work in manufacturing. If one has only little time or one would like to make a large number of book hangers it could be considered to omit this feature and find other, less elegant, ways to enclose the sliding paint stirrers. 

The next step explicitly mentions the innovative aspects of the design of the book hanger documented in this instructable.

Step 10: Innovative Aspects

The concept described in this instructable has innovative aspects. These are:

1. The height of the construction is adjustable, thus allowing objects from various sizes to be fixed and displayed;
2. The construction's depth is really flat, which has been realized by using thin slats, slanted on the sides to form a closed dovetail-shaped slide bearing;
3. Only a few wooden slats are needed to build your own hanging bookslide. Wooden paint stirrers are excellently suited for this.

Although it is not complicated to build your own picture book hanger both ready products and construction kits are available from the openproducts webshop (see www.instructables.com/member/openproducts).

The next elaborates on the license type chosen for this instructable.

Step 11: License and Webshop

This instructable is made available through a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) license. The innovative part of the concept has been described in Step 10.

Republishing this instructable in a non-commercial venue under that same license is allowed, provided it is being attributed properly (cite the name openproducts, link to www.openproducts.org, www.instructables.com/member/openproducts, or the original Instructable).

For other arrangements send a Private Message through the instructables member page (www.instructables.com/member/openproducts). Openproducts is open to agreements on innovative business models for commercializing the picture book hanger.

Both ready products and construction kits are available from the openproducts webshop (see www.instructables.com/member/openproducts).

If this design infringes any rights then refer to Article 28 in the Terms of Service (www.instructables.com/tos.html).
<p>Good idea.</p>

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