New Prize Category: Most Accurate Voter

With a last-minute prize donation from Green Buddy Distributors (distributors of Grex Tools in Canada), there is now one more prize than there are categories. So I’m going to create one new category and shuffle the prizes.

The exciting part is that EVERYBODY is eligible to win!

grex-aos368The winner of this category will be whoever most accurately picks the top Flair Woodwork’s Reader’s Choice Wall Shelves. In the event of a tie, I will contact the voters and we will break the tie.

Have you voted yet? You have until the end of this weekend to cast your vote! Are we having fun yet?

The Maker, the Buyer, and the User

As a creator (in my case, of designs, artwork, furniture and writing primarily), it is necessary to understand to whom one is accountable.

The maker doesn’t want it, the buyer doesn’t use it, and the user doesn’t know they’re using it. What is the object?

This classic riddle illustrates the difference between three types of people: makers, buyers, and users.

If you are a professional, the number one person you must satisfy is the buyer. It is their needs that you are responsible for fulfilling. Whether they have hired you, your company or your boss’ company is irrelevant. If you are unable to provide a product or service that is of value to them, you will likely find yourself out of work rather quickly.

If you create for yourself, you are the maker, the buyer and the user. You are accountable to yourself. What you do and what you make needs to satisfy your own needs before anybody else’s.

This means that you don’t have to, and should not, do things in a way that is not aligned with your way of working. This doesn’t mean that you should not try new things or listen to other people, rather you should not do things just because somebody thinks you ought to – especially if they are not invested in your work.

When you free yourself from the expectations of the world, I trust that you will find the creative process easier, more enjoyable, and more rewarding.

Be bold. Challenge yourself. Learn.

Vote for Your Favourite Wall Shelves!

The Wall Shelf Build-Off submissions are in, and I’ve uploaded them here on my site for your viewing pleasure.

Help choose the Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice Top 3 Wall Shelves!

View all the entires, then vote for your favourite three by the end of February 12. Then I’ll tally up all the votes and announce winners!

Wall Shelf Build-Off Entries & Voting

How to Follow the Wall Shelf Build-Off

With the big day looming and registration now closed, I’d like to share some links so that you can follow along with the Wall Shelf Build-Off participants. You can also search for the official hashtag #WSBO.

Note that not everybody who registered provided links to where they are sharing their builds. Also, not everybody has committed 100% to participating.

Wall Shelf Build-Off Prize Categories

The Wall Shelf Build-Off starts tomorrow, so now seems like a good time to announce the categories. They are as follows:

  • Best use of materials
  • Best concept
  • Most off-the-wall (figuratively speaking) design
  • Most ambitious design
  • Most innovative design
  • Most inspiring design
  • Judge’s Best Overall
  • Judge’s Second Best Overall
  • Judge’s Third Best Overall
  • Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #1
  • Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #2
  • Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #3

Today is the last day to register to participate in the #WSBO!

More Wall Shelf Sketches

I’ve continued to sketch, trying to figure out what design to use for the Wall Shelf Build-Off this weekend. I could well find myself in the shop Saturday without a design and just making it up on the fly – that idea is not foreign to me.

Have a look at my sketches – perhaps they’ll be the spark you need for your design.

If you need some more inspiration, check out my ever-growing Pinterest board of #WSBO inspiration.

There’s still time to register! #WSBO is January 28-29.

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Buzz about the Wall Shelf Build-Off

The Wall Shelf-Build-Off starts this weekend and you won’t want to miss it. In face, Jonas Jensen called it “the biggest event since the American presidential inauguration”.

Here’s some of the attention the contest has been getting around the web.

Jim Dillon @ The Thousand Dollar Shop

Garth @ Time Warp Tool Works

Megan Fitzpatrick @ Popular Woodworking

360 Woodworking

The Dusty Life

Jonas Jensen @ Mulesaw

There’s still time to sign up for the #WSBO!

Prizes for the Wall Shelf Build-Off

The Wall Shelf Build-Off is next weekend. Can you believe it?

A Pep Talk

If you’ve been hesitating to register because you don’t have a design, I’d encourage you to register today. Nothing like a little pressure for inspiration – even if it means heading out to the shop next weekend without a clear idea of what you’re doing.

Even though I’ve been doing lots of thinking and sketching, I still haven’t settled on a design. Remember that the event is about getting out in the shop and just making something – not about making a masterpiece.

Sign up for the Wall Shelf Build-Off!

Sponsors and Prizes

I would like to extend a big “thank you” to everybody who volunteered a prize for the #WSBO. I am especially grateful to have so many prizes available to woodworkers outside of North America!

Please use the links below to learn more about the sponsors and their products.

If you would like to contribute a prize, please contact me directly.

Now, where did I leave my collection of sketches…?

Sketching to Develop Wall Shelf Ideas

With two weeks before the Wall Shelf Build-Off, I spent some time this afternoon working on design ideas. I filled three pages of sketches with a variety of designs.

When sketching, I like to use pen and don’t spend more than half a minute on each.

I use the sketches to help me figure out what I like and what I don’t like. Sometimes I will sketch different variations of details, like square and rounded corners, right over each other.

If a detail is difficult to draw, or is an important part of the design, I may add an arrow and label. I may draw in the grain if it is part of the design, but I usually focus on basic concepts and form.

Feel free to use these ideas for your Wall Shelf Build-Off design.

I’m always interested in your feedback, but particularly interested in your thoughts on these sketches. Do any of the ideas stand out to you?

If you need some more inspiration, check out my ever-growing Pinterest board of #WSBO inspiration.

And there’s still time to register! #WSBO is January 28-29.

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Designing a Wall Shelf – Mounting Options

For a wall shelf, the best place to start is at the beginning – the wall.

How will the shelf be mounted to the wall?

Perhaps the biggest challenge in designing a successful wall shelf is attaching it to the wall strongly enough to support it and whatever it supports. The method of attachment will in part dictate the design of the shelf. Consider these methods of attachment when designing your shelf.

Angle Brackets and Screws

Probably the simplest attachment method involves store-bought metal brackets and screws to attach the shelf to the wall. This method is simple and effective, but hardly  elegant. To improve the look, use fancier metal brackets or make your own corbels from wood, metal, or another material. Screws can be visible or hidden. If you want to anchor the brackets into studs, you will have to consider that in your design and mount them accordingly.

If your shelf has a structural back, you can screw directly through it into the wall. It’s typically not very discreet, but with the right design and right choice of fastener it can look very good. In this case, as soon as books are loaded on the shelf, the back plate and screws are hidden.

screwed-shelf

Keyholes

A special keyhole-shaped slot that is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top captures a screw head to hang an object. The keyhole mount is mortised into the back of the piece and not visible from the front or edges. Cut keyhole slots with a special router bit, or buy metal keyhole brackets that attach with screws. These require a degree of precision to install, and may dictate where the shelf hangs on the wall if you need to hit a stud.

keyhole

French Cleat

A versatile and strong method of hanging something, a French cleat is usually invisible once the shelf is installed. A wide cleat provides a good chance of being able to hang it where you want and secure it to at least one stud. Comprised of a pair of matching strips with mating chamfers on the edges (usually 45 degrees), one is mounted to the wall and the other to the back of the shelf. You can hide it in a recess in the back of the shelf to make it invisible. The cleat allows simple drop on/lift off installation.

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Variations of this exist, including the narrow cleats I use on my tusk tenon wall shelves, and low-profile manufactured metal cleats.

french-cleat-varation

Slide-On Floating Shelf Systems

This style of mount consists of one part that fastens directly to the wall, and the shelf slides right over it for installation. Shop-made versions typically involve a strip of wood or wooden frame screwed to studs, and a hollow shelf that slips on and covers it completely. Like a wide French cleat, a wide mount makes it easy to fasten to the wall wherever you like.

floating-shelf

Metal hardware exists too, which typically requires two or more deep holes cut into the back edge of the shelf. These holes can be drilled, or routed in if the shelf is laminated. If the hardware must be mounted to a stud, this style of hardware makes it more difficult to mount it exactly where you want.

Need More Ideas?

If you need some more ideas, try wandering the aisles of your local hardware or home decor store. You can also check out my Wall Shelf Build-Off Pinterest board, and remember to register for the #WSBO!