Mounting Shelves and Pictures on Walls

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.

Is This Abuse of Art?

I was really happy and excited when I completed my latest piece of artwork, Art Frame, and hung it on the wall. I felt that the beautiful frame around the plain white, textured paper would create intrigue and discussion. I was confident that it would quickly become the most talked-about piece of art in our house.

Art Frame1

Then, my mother had the idea of putting an orchid plant in front of it.

Art Frame2

At first, I was devastated. I was crushed. She had taken my artwork of which I was so proud and rendered it normal. My artistic work was made almost unnoticeable as art. Everything that I had hoped to achieve was practically ruined.

Ruined, or Reinvented?

This unexpected use of my clever piece of art revealed another use. It provided a frame for a 3D object which emphasized its colour and shape. It enhanced the orchid and said, “Hey, this is important!”

Art Frame3

Although I didn’t like the idea at first, I quickly warmed to it. Art Frame had found another, more practical purpose.

As somebody whose signature building technique is to let things evolve, I have trouble making a stand against this unanticipated use.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section at the end of this article.

Art Frame is available for purchase.  Learn more on the product page.


Wire-Brushed Picture Frame, Session 2

 On July 3rd, I started making a picture frame for a photo.  If you missed it, read Session 1 here.

FlairWoodworks I’m back in the shop to finish the picture frame I started yesterday. The glue has set so I’ve removed the frame from the clamps. #flairww -1:41 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The corners look stellar. #flairww -1:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

luggermatt @FlairWoodworks Good work there Sir! -1:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thanks! I’m really happy with how it’s turning out and can’t wait to finish. #flairww RT @luggermatt: @FlairWoodworks Good work there Sir! -1:44 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I trimmed the Domino splines with my flush-cut saw. #flairww -1:46 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I used a chisel to flush the splines. #flairww -1:48 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I want to rout a keyhole slot from which to hang the picture. This is the special bit I’ll use. #flairww -1:53 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks This jig is for routing keyholes parallel to an edge. This frame calls for a keyhole perpendicular. #flairww -1:56 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With a 5/8″ Forstner bit, I drilled overlapping holes to make an oval hole for the guide bushing. #flairww -2:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve clamped the jig in position. Now I’ll set up the router. #flairww -2:07 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’ve installed the bit and guide bushing. I also set the plunge depth. #flairww -2:11 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks For the cut, I’ll start with the router in the template towards the bottom of the frame and plunge to full depth. #flairww -2:12 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Then I’ll slide the router towards the top of the frame, then back to the bottom before raising the router out of the cut. #flairww -2:12 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Hooked up to a vacuum, the chips were completely contained. Very nice. #flairww -2:19 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks The keyhole looks strange because the stock is so narrow, but it will work as well as anything. #flairww -2:22 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Now, to mount the photo! #flairww -2:24 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I attached the picture to a thin piece of corrugated cardboard with spray adhesive. #flairww -2:28 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I’m using thin, double-sided tape to secure the mat. #flairww -2:34 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I carefully placed the mat over the photo. #flairww -2:36 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks With the frame face-down, I put in the 2mm glass and picture/mat assembly. #flairww -2:40 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks [the mitres] do look tight! -2:37 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks what router are you using? -2:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks It’s a Milwaukee 1-3/4HP Kit. #flairww RT @BCcraftmaster: @FlairWoodworks what router are you using? -2:42 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks did the Plexiglas base come with it or did you make that? -2:43 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks @BCcraftmaster It came with the router. Milwaukee makes a great router kit. #flairww -2:43 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks I use a wooden block to press in the glazier’s points. #flairww -2:50 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When pressing in the points, I use a little downwards pressure to compress the cardboard backer to prevent the glass from rattling. #flairww -2:51 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks You can also use “turns” like these, which screw to the frame. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Turns are a good option for harder woods. Glazier’s points are most easily installed in softer materials. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Small brads can also be used in place of glazier’s points. #flairww -2:54 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks What do you think? #flairww -3:00 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a picture of a corner. #flairww-3:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

asliceofwood @FlairWoodworks thumbs up. Looks good. -3:01 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Thank you, Tim! #flairww RT @asliceofwood: @FlairWoodworks thumbs up. Looks good. -3:02 PM Jul 4th, 2012

BCcraftmaster @FlairWoodworks looks good! 3:07 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks When I get the picture hung, I’ll take a better shot. Shop lighting is not ideal! #flairww -3:08 PM Jul 4th, 2012

FlairWoodworks Here’s a better photo of the framed picture. #flairww -3:36 PM Jul 4th, 2012

kring_l @FlairWoodworks looks great! -3:56 PM Jul 4th, 2012

DyamiPlotke @FlairWoodworks looks great. -5:28 PM Jul 4th, 2012

Leave a comment here.