Introduction: Reading Aids, Bookmark and Wooden Page Hold Open Gadget

About: I am a Marine Engineer in the RNZN (45 years done in various navies) and am looking forward to retirement!!! so I can do more messing about with tools

I was at a loose end and had a couple of hours to spare and thought that I would make something for the Books and Bookshelves Contest.

I have gone for the Book Accessories Category and am making a "Paperclip" Style Bookmark and Page Hold Open Gadget.


Scrap Wood

Drill Press


Forstner Bits

Bench sander

Step 1: The Bookmark

The bookmark is a prototype, just to see if it could be done, so is made from a piece of framing timber.

I will make one out of Teak later.

First I sketched a rough plan on a handy scrap of paper.

Step 2: Drawing on the Wood and Cutting the Outside

I then drew out the shape I wanted onto a piece of scrap framing timber and using the Bandsaw cut the outside shape.

The timber was an offcut found in a skip and is about 50mm x 5mm

As you can see by the numerous pencil marks a bit of guesswork was used to get the shape I thought was best.

Step 3: Drilling the Holes

Using my pillar drill and various size Forstner bits I drilled the internal holes of the "Paperclip", as you can see I started cutting it out with the bandsaw then realised that I needed to drill one more hole (the smallest).

Fortunately I was able to do so without anything breaking.

I bought a full set of Forstner Bits recently from a garage sale really cheaply and have to say they are excellent

Step 4: Cutting Out and Sanding

I then completed cutting the shape and sanded using increasingly finer grades of sandpaper to remove any bandsaw marks.

Step 5: In Use

Here it is shown in use (appropriately in a woodworking book!)

Step 6: Bonus - Because That Didn't Take Very Long

I was expecting the "paperclip" to take me longer (as I am generally an oaf and was expecting to break at least one while making it)

So a "Bonus" 'ible.

A friend gave me a few lengths of this wood to make him 2 challenge coin holders, I believe that it is Totara.

It came from the framing of his house when renovated so is over 100 years old (he lives in a villa in Auckland)

When I was making his coin holders I really liked how this cut and polished, he was happy for me to keep the spare pieces.

Step 7: Cut a Slice

I cut a slice off the end roughly 2cm thick and gave it a rough sanding on the bench sander. I then marked the centre.

Step 8: Marking Our

With a compass and pencil I marked out the shape that I wanted.

Step 9: Thumb Hole

I selected a Forstner Bit approx the size of my thumb and drilled a hole in the centre using the Pillar Drill.

(Actually the hole is a little large for by thumb, but I expect that I will sort that out at some point with a hammer and my clumsiness!)

Step 10: Shaping

I then used the bandsaw to cut the outer shape.

Step 11: Sanding

Finally I used the bench sander to sand the block into a more streamlined lozenge shape and applied a coat of Neopol furniture polish to bring out its colour.

Books and Bookshelves Contest

Participated in the
Books and Bookshelves Contest