Mouthpiece Holder

I am a music teacher by day wood worker by…whatever time is left.  One of my band director friends came to me in the early spring and said that he needed a small stand to set his extra instrument mouthpieces in for his students.  I had never built anything like this before but it seemed like a great way to support a friends’ band and test my skills at something new so I told him I would do it.

The Build


I started by making a paper layout of the design using some mouthpieces I have at home.  I play brass instruments somewhat and own several, so this was a big help in getting a basic idea of how big I needed to cut the wood.  I already had an idea in my head of making the whole stand two tiers with the larger mouthpieces on bottom and the smaller ones on top.  I also had some scrap wood that I could run through the planer and clean up.


One thing I’ve learned about putting wood through the planer is that you should not cut it to length until after you have gotten it to the right thickness.  You can see on the end of the top board that a knot ripped out in the planer and made an ugly gouge on the end of the board.  If you cut the board to length and this happens, then you’ll be stuck with that defect in the finished product or you’ll have to start that board over.  Starting with a longer board also lets you choose the exact part you want to use to get the best aesthetic match.


I used a drill press to try to drill all of the holes at the same time so that they would be in the same place on each board.  I originally wanted the dowel rods to only go all of the way through the center board and sit inside of the other two so that the base and the top of the top board would be smooth.  I made a mistake in the way I set the depth stop though, and ended up having to go all the way through all three pieces after taking this picture.  These three boards are arranged how they will be in the finished product, with a wide board on the bottom, one of the same size in the middle holding the larger mouthpieces, and a thinner one on top for the smaller mouthpieces.


I did a dry fit of the three levels so that I could accurately place the holes for the mouthpieces.  I used the actual mouthpieces to trace out the size I needed and then went to the drill press again to drill the holes on the disassembled boards.  You can see in this picture that I had not yet decided to drill all of the way through the top board.

After drilling the holes, I put a round over bit in the router (read my review of this router table here) and rounded the tops and bottoms of each hole as well as the edges of all of the boards.  This made it smooth to the touch, a better fit for the curved mouthpieces, and safer for the middle school kids that would be using it.

I reassembled the stand and used a pneumatic air gun to put small brads through the sides into the dowels so it would all stay together.  I thought about just using glue but with several young kids handling it every day I was afraid the glue wouldn’t be enough and opted for the brads.  I finished the whole stand with Teak Oil on a rag and let it dry.  When it took the oil the two kinds of wood turned nice contrasting colors that I think looks really nice.

Until Next Time…

Thanks for reading this post!  If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know.  As always, if you got value from this post please share and subscribe.  Help spread the word if you like what I do!



Author: Sam Adams

I am a musician, educator, and composer based out of Kentucky. I also dabble in wood working.

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