186 – Wall-Hanging Magazine Rack

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For the last few years, Popular Woodworking has been publishing numerous projects within their I Can Do That series. The idea is to provide straightforward project plans that just about anybody can do with a basic set of tools. Back in 2009, with Popular Woodworking’s permission, I decided to build a few of these projects for our Guild members. So this video shows you how to build the Wall-Hanging Magazine Rack, designed by Glen Huey. And because I don’t like to leave well enough alone, I’ll also show you an alternative version of the magazine rack that employs a few of my personal design changes.

Please note that this video was originally filmed in 2009. I was working out of a very crowded garage at the time in hopes of proceeding with my Dream Shop build. That was just days before the sale of our old house fell through and everything went to crap. So don’t be confused by the appearance of an old shop space. The Dream Shop wasn’t really a dream and it does exist. Ha!

Pocket Screw Construction

If you are a fan of The Wood Whisperer, you probably know that I don’t make use of pocket screws very often. I don’t begrudge anyone who uses them as primary form of joinery. It’s just my personal preference not to. But my goal with my website has never been to recruit you into MY way of doing things. Instead, I want to show you as many ways as possible to get the job done. Once you are armed with that information, you can make an educated decision on the tools and techniques you want to use. So this project makes extensive use of pocket screw joinery and I spend a great deal of time explaining the entire process.

Design Changes

Glen Huey’s original design was fairly straightforward and does a great job of holding a large numer of magazines in a small space. The changes I made to my version were not only visual, but also functional. First, I wanted a little more knuckle clearance for removing magazines. You’ll see I added a slight curve on the bottom of each shelf for this reason, which also happens to look pretty cool. Second was the fact that I want to see more of each magazine. To do this, I decided to take away the front support boards and replace them with two pieces of metal dowel stock. This supports the magazines just as effectively but also allows me to see the title and some of the magazine’s cover content. I also added a slight curve at the top of each side piece, just to take away some of the blockiness.

This is a fun weekend project that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Why not make a few at a time and give them away as gifts!

Category: Projects


  1. jgreasy November 2, 2012

    funny, I was just commenting to my wife that we needed a magazine rack. Wonder how i should change it up. I definitely like the lighter style changes you made. the rack doesn’t need to be beefy to hold magazines.

  2. I’d forgotten about the magazine rack project. Thanks for the reminder. I may just make one up. Your curved one was pretty cool.

  3. tony November 2, 2012


    How did you attach the metal rods to the sides?

    Nice design!

  4. Marc,

    I recently used some metal rods in a spice rack I made and I was wondering where you get your stock. The stainless steel rod I got wasn’t in the best condition and had some black marks on it. Also, what do you use to cut the rods in to smaller pieces?

    Thanks again, The magazine rack looks awesome!


      It has been a while so I don’t recall the source. But I always treat metal like wood and give it a little polish. I usually sand with a high grit abrasive and the apply some wax. Makes it look real nice.

  5. NiteWalker November 2, 2012

    Beautiful job Marc!
    Extra thanks for the syringes and plans links.

    I use epoxy quite a bit in my shop and the old scrap wood applicator is cumbersome at times.

    I like the use of metal rods in yours. I might do one similar with cherry sides, maybe curly maple fronts and brass rods. Right now my magazines in the throne room are just in a stack.

    @Sean, I get my metals from hobbylinc.

  6. TennesseeYankee November 2, 2012

    I do like the colors of your version better Marc.
    Seems lighter (color and weight)

  7. Jonathon November 3, 2012

    Looks good Marc. I enjoy a little metal in my woodworking as well. I appreciate the video.

  8. Skip November 3, 2012

    Looks great with the lighter colors…. It could be a quick Christmas project

  9. Claude Stewart November 4, 2012

    I like your redesign much better.

  10. Joe Eagar November 4, 2012

    On the redesign, is there a slight curve on the top edge of the front boards?

  11. Stanley Denning November 5, 2012

    This seems like a nice project for a beginner woodworker. Pocket screws – I have always seen them as a cheep, mass production, form of connection. It uses little wood working skill and is not craftsman like. Rather than use pocket screws. I would rather use some other form of joinery. Mortice & tenon, Dowels, what ever. ( Not to be disrespectful to you, Mark. You are a better wood worker than I well ever be.) I would rather see you whisper to that wood a little bit more. :-) LOL

  12. Mitchell November 6, 2012

    Where do youget your epoxy? YOuhave different colors or do you use dyes to color it?

  13. Mark November 16, 2012

    109 degrees! I think I’ll stay in freezing cold Scotland! I definitely couldn’t handle that heat. Its a great project though Marc.

  14. John December 6, 2012

    Very changes on your rack, 109 no chance, no way, no how. I will have to show you some of the temp is MN -25 alot in Jan. and Feb. That I why I have a little shop in the basement, I can stay comfortable year round, but can not make a table.

  15. Justin December 10, 2012

    Can’t wait to make this and get all the mags off the carpet. Thanks for the idea!
    I might change the metal dowels to wood and see how that works.

  16. Duncan del Toro December 16, 2012

    Amazing work, I think this project will be on my to-do list quite soon. I quite like the lighter version rather than the dark one, although perhaps the dark version with your changes by adding in the metal rods would lighten it up enough for me.

  17. TooLegitDeWitt December 18, 2012

    I have been wanting to make a saw blade rack. This is a good template I can use to make one. And then I will make a mag rack for my bathroom

  18. Thomas De Luna December 24, 2012

    This is a very useful and quick project I would like to build. While watching the video I thought of some minor cool features to add to it! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Hi I have an older style/type of the kreg jig you have to set the depth then refill the pilot hole. The kreg looks to have incorperated the both by using a stepped drill bit. Much more accurate and quicker great idea. I like the magazine rack and plan a to build in new year. I have recently given up work due to an industrial injury and woodworking and your show has kept me sane and stopped me dwelling. I can only do a little a day but have found a great way of keeping my mind active thanks to your show. Hope you have had a good Xmas and wish you and your family a prosperous new year , keep up the great show than from the uk

  20. Christian December 30, 2012

    I really like the wood you used for the rack. The rack came out great! Now I want to try to build one.

  21. Ken February 21, 2013

    What did you use to hang the magazine rack. The video of the construction is great and detailed.


      I decided to go with key hole slots by using a key hole router bit. The only drawback is the rack is narrow so you’ll only be able to get one screw into a stud. The other one will require a wall anchor for extra support.

  22. Ken February 25, 2013

    I tried screws for the front pieces and I noticed that I could not keep the boards flush with each other even when I used clamps. I was considering gluing the pieces first then let it dry and then reinforcing with pocket screws. What are your thoughts.


  23. JRivers March 28, 2013

    I really enjoy these nice “little” projects. Your own version of the design it’s so much better. I’ll go with a built in “in between the studs” version…one of these days.

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