Podiums are useful items. They are most often used by lecturers and other speakers to place their notes on but they can be used for make-shift storage or portable work stations among other things. Although sometimes podiums are ornate, displaying carvings and being stained and varnished, they can also be quite plain. You can leave them unstained and unpainted and some are constructed from old, weathered barn wood. No matter your choice in materials, you'll find it fairly easy to construct a wooden podium.
Mark out the pieces to be cut from your sheet of wood with the tape measure and a pencil. You will need one square piece 1 1/2 feet-by-1 1/2 feet; one square piece 2 feet-by-2 feet; one rectangular piece 1 foot 7 1/2 inches-by-4 feet 4 inches; and two rectangular pieces 4 feet 4 inches-by-1 1/2 feet.
Cut the sheet of wood into the podium pieces with the saw, using your pencil markings as guidelines.
Mark a point 4 inches down along one long side of the two rectangular pieces -- 1 foot 7 1/2 inches-by-4 feet 4 inches -- using the tape measure and the pencil. Draw a diagonal line from this point up to the top of the opposite side on both pieces. Use the tape measure to ensure a straight line.
Cut along the diagonal line you marked on the two rectangular pieces. This will give the tops of these two pieces a slope.
Apply glue to one edge of the base -- the 1 1/2 foot square piece. Place this glued edge up against the bottom edge -- the un-sloped end -- of one of the sloped pieces, securing them together. Allow the glue to set for a few moments.
Apply glue to the edge of the base opposite from the side attached to the sloping piece. Place this glued edge up against the bottom edge of the other sloped piece, securing them together. The sloped pieces should mirror each other so that the higher edges are towards the front of the podium and the lower edges of the slope are towards the back of the podium. Allow the glue to set long enough to bond the pieces together. A minimum of two to three minutes should be enough.
Apply glue to the front edge of the base. Place the remaining large rectangular piece up against the glued edge, lining it up so that the corners and edges are even. Allow the glue to set for two to three minutes.
Secure the sides and front of the podium to each other using the nails and the hammer. Begin placing nails at the bottom and work up, hammering in a nail every 2 to 3 inches.
Secure the sides and front of the podium to the base by hammering a nail every 2 inches.
Apply glue to the top edges of the podium sides and front.
Place the top piece of the podium -- the 2-foot square piece -- on top of the glued edges, centering it as you do so.
Pound a few finishing nails into the top piece of the podium to secure it to the sides and front. Because it is already glued you won't need more than two or three nails on each side.