Picture of Wooden Book Thing
A great gift for the bookworm in your life these book things are neat little doodads for anyone who likes to read physical books.

Some wood, some oil and some tooling and you can be done in no time.

*not so useful for e-books, not there's anything wrong with e-books.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Wood: about 1/2" thick seems to be the right thickness. I used plywood scrap but solid hardwood would give you a really nice finished product.

Drill or Drill Press

Forstner bits. A type of drill bit. You might be able to make do with standard twist bits but the forstner bits allow you to easily and safely drill overlapping holes which is nice for making an oval thumb hole.

Band saw

Sand paper of various grits

Dremel with sanding bits: (optional but SO useful. a bench sander would be helpful for the outside curve but the inside curves would be problematic.)

Some paper and pencil.

Olive or mineral oil.

Step 2: Design

Picture of Design
Figure out what you want. I did my best to sketch out a design that was symmetrical. In the end I figured it was just as effective, and easier to just fold over a paper and free hand it.  Kind of like cutting out paper hearts when you were in elementary school.

The hardest part or this step is cutting out the thumb hole. it's fairly small. take this time to get it roughly the right size for your thumb by unfolding, trying it on, and then cut out a little more until it's big enough.  You cant make the hole smaller butg you can drill a smaller hole in the wood later so don't stress. Just get it close.

Step 3: Trace

Picture of Trace
Put the paper guide you cut out in the last step on your wood and trace it.
jiangswei1 month ago
I like this idea,I wanna make this to my sun☺
timsbro2000 (author)  jiangswei1 month ago
If your son reads a lot of books I am sure he would love if you made one for him. Go for it!
AnnieMcD1 year ago
Love this idea. Wish I had even the basic tools to make this. I'll have to put them on the wish list.

I just made one using:

  • a random log found on the street
  • a hand saw (about 7$)
  • a 3cm straight chisel (about 8$)
  • a 0.6cm straight chisel (used on a power chisel, but it could be done by hand) (300$ for power tool or 8$ for the chisel)
  • sanding paper (I guess about a dollar's worth will be more than plenty)
  • mineral oil (orange scented for guitar necks that was laying around)

It will take you a lot longer than it took this brilliant block with his tools, but it works and it was pretty cost effective (took me about 3 hours with a ton of trail and error, net time probobly about an hour). wouldn't use olive oil though, as I heard it eventually gets rancid. Buying something to hold the wood in place while working will greaty reduce effort, but it's optional.

Good luck!

timsbro2000 (author)  coro19191 year ago
That's awesome. I had ideas about doing it without power tools and was going to reply with them but it's much better coming from someone who has actually done it. Do you have any pictures?

Took me a while, but here it is:

(Haven't been posting here before, so I don't know how to integrate the photos within the message, they'll have to be together at the end)

-So I started with a slice of wood, cut right from a branch.

-Marked the shape based on a previous attempt

-Chiseled it to the rough shape, and then started sanding with 100 paper

-Cut the finger hole. I must confess that although it is possible to do with a chisel, it is A LOT of annoying work cutting a deep and narrow hole, so I drilled with an electric screwdriver to create the initial hole.

-I sanded it up to 800 paper, using teak oil as a lubricant at the end to get a nice finish

-I've attached photos of all 4 attempts (in order). first one was just the rough shape, the second and third I sanded a little and used fret-board oil on. On the last one a payed more attention, rounded the edges and got to a much smoother surface, also the teak oil gives a lighter color.

timsbro2000 (author)  coro19191 year ago
Sweet! My band saw is currently out of commission so if I make another I may have to emulate the chisel approach when cutting out the main shape. Forgive me if I continue to use the drill press for the hole.
Reiff1 year ago

Did you really make that up yourself, I'm surprised no one has thought of it before. I always hate holding new paper back books open, the pages always flip around, that might be why I hate reading.

timsbro2000 (author)  Reiff1 year ago
Oh no. There is some company mass producing plastic rings with this very purpose in bright colors. Additionally if you search, like, "book thumb ring" on etsy you will find a few people selling them made of wood. And they were doing so before I made this instructable.

But I made my own and thought to share the process.

Well yes, probably about less than 5% of Instructables are made up with your "very own" idea. Thank you for sharing it. Very easy to make too, I will make it when I find the time because of all the other very important things I do.

patsheldon1 year ago

haha easy and clever idea! I think we've all been there too. Books are a nuisance to read sometimes, especially the small ones.

Lol i love the title
timsbro2000 (author)  titaniumsack1 year ago
Thank you. It is inspired by the copyrighted name of a (I believe) patented tool that does something very VERY similar (but is remarkably less pretty to look at being made garishly brightly colored plastic.
chestikof1 year ago
nice and simple
Mielameri1 year ago
What an awesome idea! So simple and effective...
Toffee191 year ago

It's very good ;)

This is cool, it keeps your book open. :)