Homemade wood business card holder

Blog, Woodworking / Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Since I’ve joined the rat race many years ago, I’ve collected a mass of business cards from the different jobs I’ve held. For the longest time, they seemed like such a treat to see my name officially on a piece of paper to hand out to other people. To me, it was an extra sign that the company was investing in me. Of course, I knew it was a small investment and oftentimes it took forever to motivate my boss to get those cards for me. But it felt nice. The problem was, however, that I never had a place to put those business cards, not even a business card holder.

I didn’t have clients to hand them to. I didn’t have trade shows to attend or even restaurant fish bowls to put them in for the hopes of a free meal because I bring a lunch from home every day. The only place I could think to put the cards was in my desk drawer. What’s the fun in that?

Recently, my job ordered me a box of business cards. They weren’t dragging their feet about it, I just kept forgetting to follow-up to get them ordered. When I did follow-up, it’s because I was excited to get the cards again because I had a plan for them.

Stack of business cards

A couple of months ago, Ellie also received her business cards from her work. Naturally, she was excited. On a whim, I asked her if she wanted me to make her a business card holder so she could have them on display instead of tossing them in a drawer like I usually do. She said yes, and then I sat on the idea for a while. I needed some get up and go to figure out what I wanted to do for her.

What I ended up with was incredibly simple and easy to make. I took a block from the 1-inch white oak board I bought for a project last year and cut it down to the correct business card width. Then I angled my saw blade and cut out a slot to put the cards in. I finished it off with the same angle to slice off the front corner of the business card holder. After all the cuts were complete, I cleaned up the edges on the ShopSmith’s disk sander and applied a liberal coat of oil.

Business Card Holder

The result was so beautiful, I set out to get my business cards so I could have one sitting on my desk as well.

And so I did.

What I learned along the way will help me make more of these in the future, if I have a need. Most importantly, I learned that my radial arm saw does not like to lock onto a specific angle other than 90° and 45°. So the slight angle I put in the wood varied a bit and the depth of the cut shows it. The best way to get around this in the future will be to use my ShopSmith set in
table saw mode and to angle the table to the correct angle. I also want to try using the dado stack to quickly cut away at the wood. That will probably give the cleanest cut as well.

Business Card Holder Mr. Potato Head

If you want to build this yourself, I put together some plans for the wooden business card holder. Included are instructions and a Sketchup file.

If I were to offer a pre-made business card holder in my shop, would you be interested in buying one? How much would you pay for it? Let me know and I can consider it for the future.

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