I am featured in Canadian Woodworking Magazine’s June/July issue! Pick up your copy today, get a digital subscription online, or preview the issue on the magazine’s website.
The magazine also produced an accompanying slideshow. Watch it here.
Since moving into our new house last year, I have hung dozens of pictures and shelves. Okay, maybe not dozens, but very likely a dozen. Every time, the challenges are the same: what is the best location, where are the studs, and is it level?
While not immediately obvious, we always do reach a consensus of where best to hang the shelf or picture.
I am also fortunate to have a trusting family that doesn’t second-guess my ability to mount things level. However, I have certainly hung more than one where my “helper” is peering over my shoulder at the level and reminding me that it’s slightly slanted.
“Thanks, but why don’t you try levelling this a round clock?”
Not only is this not helpful, but it actually makes the process more aggravating. Sometimes I want to use the level in a very different way from which it was intended.
Besides that, I find playing “find the stud” is irritating enough (I’m pretty sure that whoever framed my house was an M.C. Escher fan). Instead of a stud finder, I need a pair of X-ray goggles. Or a treasure map.
While I’m still saving up for X-ray goggles and searching for that map, I have found a solution to make finding level easier, and I recently got to try it mounting one of my #WSBO wall shelves. Check it out: the First Guess Gravity Gauge.
It can be a challenge to work efficiently in a small shop, but I have arranged the equipment in the space of a 1-car garage to allow me to build with components up to five feet in length without having to rearrange. In fact, the only machine that is on wheels is my 13″ thickness planer.
Most of the things I build involve components not longer than five feet, so work goes very smoothly. Some machines have the capacity to work with stock greater than five feet as they sit and I sometimes take advantage of that, and other times I use a hand-held tool instead.
I have written an article for Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine that will appear in a future issue describing my layout, the benefits, and why it works well for me. If you work in a shop with limited space, I think that you’ll find the article interesting.
This time-lapse video was recorded during the Wall Shelf Build-Off, and illustrates my workflow in the shop, and how I use the limited space that I have. Duration: (10:18)
For more pictures of my shop, check out this post: Welcome to the New Shop.
Well, the ballots have been tallied and that means it’s time to award some prizes. Although there were not as many entries as I had hoped for, the shelves built were well-constructed, innovative, and certainly well made considering the two day time limit. This made it tough for judges to decide which shelf was the best of each category. Several categories were decided by a single vote.
First, I’d like to thank the generous sponsors who have provided the prizes. Please use the links below to learn more about the sponsors and their products.
I would also like to recognize the judges who took the time to carefully review the shelf submissions and cast their ballots.
In addition to every prize awarded, each winner also will receive a 360 Woodworking Fanatic Membership!
Click on any image to read more about the shelf design.
The winner of this category is certainly no stranger to innovation when it comes to furniture. The award of Most Innovative Design goes to Judson Beaumont and Straight Line Designs.
For their efforts, Popular Woodworking will be sending them a copy of Contemporary Furniture: 17 Elegant Projects You Can Build.
This very creative and original design, carefully crafted, earned Danny Siggers’ shelf the title of Best Concept.
His design has earned him a Kerfmaker from Bridge City Tool Works.
With a very resourcefully-built and arguably wacky design, the shelf built by Brian Prusa edged out other shelves in the categories of Best Use of Materials and Most Off-the-Wall (Figuratively Speaking) Design.
His floating live-edge shelf earned him a copy of Build 25 Beautiful Boxes from Popular Woodworking and a Set of 4 Bench Dogs from Time Warp Tool Works.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to any of us that the wild-looking wall shelf with lots of curves and bent laminations won the prize for the Most Ambitious Design. Eric and his daughter Hailey’s design also earned the title of Most Inspiring Design.
Coming your way will be a 2-year Print or Digital Subscription to Popular Woodworking, and a Woodpeckers Mini Square from Ultimate Tools.
Ballots were scored as follows: 3 points for each #1 vote, 2 points for each #2 vote, and 1 point for each #3 vote. With 171 ballots cast, the maximum number of points that a shelf could score was 513.
Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #3 goes to Danny Siggers, whose shelf got 21.5% of possible points. The prize for this category is a 1-year Digital Subscription to Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine.
Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #2 goes to David Barlow’s shelf with 30% of possible points.
He will receive a copy of Vic Tesolin’s book, The Minimalist Woodworker: Essential Tools and Small Shop Ideas for Building with Less.
Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice #1 is awarded to Eric and Hailey Zuehlk, whose shelf attracted 38% of possible points and earned them a signed copy of Ron Hock’s book, The Perfect Edge.
There were three individuals who accurately predicted the top three Flair Woodworks Reader’s Choice. We broke the tie, and the award of a 1-year Digital Subscription to Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine goes to Eric Zuehlk’s brother, Brian. Clearly that family has good taste!
Coming in Judges’ Honourable Mention, with 13% of the points from the judges is Matt Kummell’s shelf with impressive angled joinery and eye-catching metal inlay.
Time Warp Tool Works will send him a set of 4 Bench Dogs for a job well done.
Receiving 16% of points from judges, the Judges’ Runner Up is…me and my “Hashtag” shelf for displaying carved letter blocks.
I will be declining the prize of a Kerfmaker from Bridge City Tool Works, since I already own one.
And, taking the Judges’ Top Shelf award with 24% of all awarded points by judges is that wicked design by the Zuehlks.
Well done – Green Buddy Distributors will be sending you a Grex AOS368 Angle Random Orbital Sander.
Remember that you can view all the Wall Shelves built during the #WSBO two day build on this page. Thanks to everybody who participated and voted. See you next time!
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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!
Have you voted yet? You have until the end of this weekend to cast your vote! Are we having fun yet?
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.
The Wall Shelf Build-Off submissions are in, and I’ve uploaded them here on my site for your viewing pleasure.
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!
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.
The Wall Shelf Build-Off starts tomorrow, so now seems like a good time to announce the categories. They are as follows:
Today is the last day to register to participate in the #WSBO!
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.