The Wall Shelf Build-Off: January 28-29

Everybody is Invited to Participate!

The purpose of the Wall Shelf Build-Off (#WSBO) is to encourage woodworkers from around the world to simultaneously build a project in their own workshops and share the process online January 28 and 29, just like the Shop Stool Build-Off that I hosted four years ago. I expect to see many returning participants and lots of new faces.

#WSBO Rules are Simple:

  1. Build a wall-mounted shelf during the weekend of January 28 – 29.
  2. Share the process online via social media (#WSBO), blog, and/or forum.
  3. To be eligible for prizes, pre-register, then submit your entry by Tuesday January 31 (see below).

#WSBO Pre-Registration

Use the form at the bottom of this page to pre-register.

Start Thinking About a Shelf Design

You can work from plans or you can design on the fly. You can use wood, metal or even some other material. One great thing about a wall shelf is that the design possibilities are endless. Check out my Pinterest collection of wall shelf ideas if you need some inspiration.

Two Days to Build your Wall Shelf

I hope to finish my shelf in one day, but the build-off will carry on through Sunday for those who require more time.

After the shelves are complete, I would like to share everybody’s work here on my blog.

We had a lot of fun and had a lot of participation four years ago with the Shop Stool Build-Off, and I’m really excited about this year’s Wall Shelf Build-Off!

Submitting Your #WSBO Entry

To be eligible to win a prize, send an e-mail to FlairBuildOff@gmail.com by end of day Tuesday, January 31 containing:

  1. one or two photos of your completed wall shelf (please label the files using your name – mine will be titled ChrisWong1.jpg and ChrisWong2.jpg);
  2. overall dimensions of your shelf;
  3. a list of the materials used; and
  4. a link to where you shared your build.

You can also include:

  1. a sentence or two about your greatest challenge during the build;
  2. up to 300 words about the shelf, your inspiration, construction techniques etc; and
  3. a suggestion for the next Build-Off.

Pre-Registration Form

wsbo-registration-closed

Making a Long-Blade Marking Knife

A couple of years ago while working on a chair, I found myself needing to lay out the position of the seat slats on the centre rail, which was basically a cross-lap joint. Normally, I’d use my marking knife for this operation, but due to the thickness of the components, my marking knife wasn’t able to reach.

So I grabbed an old chisel and quickly ground a spear point on the end to make my marks, then proceeded to complete the project.

Recently, Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement hosted a hand tool build-off on their forum called Building Together: Hand Tools. I decided to make a long-bladed marking knife to complement my two short marking knives (shown on left of photo).

Marking Knives

I think that at some point, somebody used the chisel with a steel hammer without a handle in the socket, so the inside taper had a lip. Since I wanted a handle for the marking knife, I started by filing the taper smooth.

Filing Taper

I lapped the back on my 120-grit diamond stone, which was my coarsest.

Lapping Back

I applied blue layout fluid to the back of the knife and used my regular woodworking tools to lay out the shape of the knife point.

Layout

With my bench grinder’s tool rest at 90 degrees, I ground the profile of the knife. Then, I tilted the tool rest and ground the bevels.

Grinding Profile

I selected a piece of dogwood with interesting grain and mounted it on the lathe.

Blank Ready to Turn

I turned a taper on the end, and test-fit it frequently with the knife socket.  By rotating the handle in the socket, I was able to see where it was rubbing.  I removed those parts and kept checking the fit until the parts mated well.

I used an existing handle for shaping inspiration.

Shaping HandleI shaped the handle and sanded it up to 180-grit on the lathe. At this point, I used a hand saw to cut off the handle and hand-sanded the end.

Parting-Off Handle

I applied a coat of oil to bring out the grain.

Finished Handle

To complete the knife, I removed tarnish from the blade with a Rust Eraser, lapped the back of the blade to 600-grit, and ground the bevels flat (mostly for aesthetic reasons).  I finished sharpening the knife with a leather strop charged with honing compound.

Long Marking Knife

Links:

Build-Off: Canadian Woodworking’s Hand Tool Building Event

Ever since the Shop Stool Build-Off, woodworkers everywhere have been looking for more opportunities to participate in online group builds. Canadian Woodworking recently announced their second build-off called, Building Together – Shop Tools.

I’ve made a number of tools for my own shop, and this scrub plane could well be the most-used.

Yellow birch and Lignum vitae scrub plane

Yellow birch and Lignum vitae scrub plane

The event runs for the duration of August and is open to everyone – you just need to share your project on the magazine’s forum. Currently, prizes are being organized. Check out their website to get full details and inspiration for shop tools you can build.

Coffee Table Build-Off

Just last weekend, I announced a new box build-off hosted by Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine.

Today, I’m writing again to tell you about another build-off coming up in the near future. Neil Cronk of The Cronkwright Woodshop (and winner of the Shop Stool Build-Off) is hosting the Coffee Table Build-Off from November 1 (five weeks from today!) to 22. I am compiling pictures for inspiration on my Coffee Table Build-Off Ideas Pinterest board.

Neil Cronk with Shop Stool

The following information is from his website:

The premise is quite simple – design and build (or build from a pre-existing plan) a coffee table that strikes your fancy. There are no rules regarding size or materials, though at least one material used should be a wood or wood composite. Officially the projects should be started and completed between November 1st and November 22nd, though we obviously can’t stop you from starting sooner. This rule will not be enforced and will be based on the honour system. The idea is to challenge yourself to build the best project within the given time constraints.

We would love it if you Tweeted/Instagrammed/blogged your progress using the hashtag #CTBO. One of the biggest reasons for these build-offs isn’t just to make a great piece of furniture, though that’s definitely a perk, but to foster community among online woodworkers which is the big reason we’d love to see everyone blog and tweet about their work. We also have a communal Pinterest Page where people will be invited to share images and ideas for coffee tables.

Registration is not mandatory, as this competition will be open to anyone who submits an entry by midnight on November 22nd, 2014, however if you pre-register you will get your information listed on our participants page so people can follow along with your build.  Pre-registration will only be open until the contest starts on November 1st, 2014, so if you want folks to visit your sites and follow your progress, sign up today!

Links:

Canadian Woodworking Box Build-Off

Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine is hosting a build-off called Canadians Building Together (it is open to all woodworkers, regardless of your nationality or where you live). The following information is from their website.

During the week of October 12th to 19th we’re inviting members of the Canadian Woodworking Forum to join together and build a box of your choice. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, or what kind of box you want to build. This event is a great way to improve your woodworking skills, virtually work alongside other woodworkers, learn from your peers, and interact with other woodworkers from across Canada. Plus, there are some great prizes to be won.

If you’re not a member of our Forum, it’s a great time to join us. It’s free and easy. Just click here to begin the registration process.

Participating in the Box Building event is easy. Here is all you have to do:

  • Begin building your box the week of October 12. (We’ll be announcing the start on our website, on the Forum, and via Social Media).
  • As you build your box, post occasional photos and commentary on the Canadians Building Together: Boxes section of our Forum.
  • Post a final photo of your box, and fill out the entry form by October 22.

Links:

Live Builds Show that Woodworking is Not Without Hiccups

Did you build a shop stool this weekend? Remember to e-mail it to me following the guidelines. I will send you an e-mail to confirm that I’ve received your submission.


Saturday, as I built my shop stool, I monitored the other builds being documented on Twitter. I have gathered some of my favourite tweets and some of the ones that showed the adversity that builders faced.

Some of the Best Tweets


Live Woodworking Shows Real Adversity

My New Shop Stool

I am working on assembling an elite group of judges for the Shop Stool Build-Off. There are many categories and lots of prizes so everybody has a fair chance of winning something.

For a chance of winning a prize, make sure you submit your stool by the end of Tuesday, January 28.  Here is my entry, as per the submission guidelines:


My stool is 24-1/2″ high. The seat is 13″ diameter and the legs are splayed, so the footprint is 16″.

I used Western maple for the legs and butternut for the seat.

The build was documented here: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/flairwoodworks.

I had originally intended to angle the legs so they crossed in the middle (Plan B), but I didn’t cut them at the right angle, so the footprint ended up being too small. I ended up cutting off the angled tops and using straight legs instead – my Plan A.5, as I called it.

I used dado and rabbet joinery to connect the legs to the seat, which I shaped into a concave shape with a carving gouge. I left the texture of the carving gouge on the surface for decoration. It does not detract from the comfort. The stool is very solid and comfortable. Although I was initially disappointed that my crossed-leg design didn’t work out this time, I am very happy with the result.

Shop StoolShop Stool Seat Detail

Prizes for the Shop Stool Build-Off!

Remember that you must register to be eligible to win a prize. Sign up today!

I am so excited! I’m amazed at the level of interest and support that this idea has generated. The big day is two weeks away and I can’t wait!

My Design

This is the design I’m going to build. (I have moved the legs slightly inwards from my original design so that they intersect in the middle.) I like it because the joinery is fairly simple and sturdy, yet fancy at the same time. Also, the angle of the legs adds a nice detail. I expect the build to be easy to complete in a day, with the help of a simple jig to rout the slots in the seat. Any extra time I have after building the stool can be spent sculpting the legs or seat if I choose.

Shop Stool Build-Off Design

Over 50 Registrations!

Registrations keep arriving in my inbox daily. Roughly 3/4 of the registrants are from North America and the rest are from countries such as Australia, Denmark, Germany, Poland and the UK!

A Dozen Prize Sponsors!

Here are the sponsors and the prizes they are providing for the Shop Stool Build-Off. (I looked up the prizes to the best of my ability and have provided links below – links were neither provided nor approved by the sponsors.)

Prizes will be awarded based on certain categories, which will be announced closer to the event.

Links:

The Shop Stool Build-Off

Eleven months ago, two planemakers decided to each build a scrub plane simultaneously and share progress pictures along the way. It was later dubbed the Scrub Plane Build-Off. The two planemakers were Scott Meek and I.

The Inspiration

On Saturday, I was tidying up in the shop and noticed that my shop stool was in sad shape. I bought it many years ago from a department store and, while it has served me well, I’ve never been entirely happy with it.

I took a picture and announced that building a replacement would likely be the first live build of the new year.

Stool

Neil Cronk shared a photo of his very similar-looking stool, which he was also eager to replace, apparently.

Neil's Stool

Neil Cronk’s workshop stool

I proposed that we have a shop stool build-off and before long, a handful of other woodworkers agreed to join us.

The Shop Stool Build-Off: Saturday January 25

The idea of this build-off is to have a group of woodworkers simultaneously build a shop stool and share pictures along the way. I plan to share my progress on Twitter and Facebook through my Tumblr page. I encourage you to join me and build and share your own shop stool on January 25.

There are no rules. You can work from plans or you can design on the fly. You can use complicated joinery or simply cut a tree stump to an appropriate height. You can start with rough lumber, pre-milled boards, or even steel. One great thing about a shop stool is that the design possibilities are endless and the pressure to do the finest work isn’t there (at least for me).

The official start is Saturday, January 25th at 8 am Pacific (that’s 8 am for me, 10 am for Jim in Wisconsin, 11 am for Anthony in Ottawa and Rusty in New Jersey, noon for Neil in Nova Scotia and 4 pm for Jamie in the UK.), but if you wish to participate, you don’t have to start at that time. I hope to finish my stool in one day, but the build-off will carry on through Sunday if required.

After the stools are complete, I would like to share everybody’s work here on my blog. I’m really excited about the Shop Stool Build-Off!

Links: